Remember when we were kids and a bike ride meant hopping on a sturdy two-wheeler with a banana seat, baseball cards clicking in the spokes, mastering the art of riding with no hands or with our best friend blocking our view on the handlebars?
Times have changed, as have the opportunities to enjoy bike riding for fitness and pleasure. Gone are the days of wind flying in our hair – (if we still have any!). Safety helmets have had a significant impact on safety, reducing the number of serious head injuries.
Even bikes themselves are safer, with wider, padded seats that better suit our – er – seats and that adjust in height to allow for easier pedaling with less stress on knees and backs. Mirrors, lights, easy-to-use gears and more make today’s bikes more like a luxury vehicle than a child’s plaything.
Modern bicycles also are created in a variety of styles, depending on the type of riding you plan to do. Street bikes are great for trips to the local store or to cycle around the neighborhood; speed bikes, with their lighter frames, are created for those inspired by the Tour de France; mountain bikes feature sturdier frames that stand up to bumps and falls (hopefully, the rider does as well!)
And while cycling around the neighborhood certainly has its appeal, the number of biking trails and opportunities to ride with other cycling enthusiasts is growing each year.
With entry points in Cobb, Paulding and Polk counties, the Silver Comet Trail – built upon an abandoned railroad line for which it is named – features more than 60 miles of paved trails where bikes are welcome but motorized vehicles are not, which makes for an enjoyable outing for beginners and experienced riders alike.
The Silver Comet Trail also links with the 33-mile Chief Ladiga Trail, which terminates in Anniston, Alabama. Serious riders can challenge themselves to cycle the entire 100-plus miles of trails as they boast their interstate cycling adventures! Visit http://www.silvercometga.com/ for more information.
Just a bit farther north is the Blankets Creek/Taylor Randahl Memorial Bike Trail in Woodstock. Created and maintained by SORBA (Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association), the Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trail System has become one of the most heavily ridden mountain bike trails in the United States.
The original trail opened in June 2000, followed by the next trail in 2003 and a third expansion in 2008. SORBA plans to eventually connect with the Silver Comet Trail. Visit www.sorbawoodstock.org/trails/ for more information.
For those cyclists who want to participate in group rides or to ride for distance, BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia), which began in 1980, features an annual, week-long, fully supported bicycle tour that introduces riders to Georgia “in a whole new way,” according to event organizers. The ride takes place each June, and riders participate at their own pace along a set route. Visit www.brag.org for more information.
Whether you’re considering biking into town for dinner with friends or cycling along a trail for fitness and enjoyment of the great outdoors, you’ll have more time to cultivate your two-wheeled passion, living the life you’ve always dreamed of in your low-maintenance, ranch-style Windsong home.
Each Windsong active retirement community was designed with walkable streets and a private fitness center in the clubhouse, neighbors with similar life-stage experiences, and home designs that maximize accessibility, minimize hassles and provide an opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle.
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!