August 30, 2016 – Sunny, 90 degrees
Miles Today: 41
Miles to Date: 15,387
States to Date: 42
I walked out of the Nashville Entrepreneurial Center, located in the former Trolley barn turned hip workspace along the Cumberland River, after spending two hours talking with thoughtful energetic young people. Downtown Nashville spread before me like a tableau of the New South. Five construction cranes hovered above the city’s bursting skyline; three more swung in the distance. On a per capita basis, Nashville may be the fastest growing city I’ve visited. The place is brimming with a concerted focus on livability and sustainability and good intentions that can’t keep up with themselves. There are bike paths all over downtown, but construction barriers everywhere block many of them.
Music City throbs with a caffeinated baseline. Energy pulses through the streets, electric bus energy that pumps your spirit rather than pollutes your lungs. The place feels good, if you hanker for a frenetic beat. Not sure where you might find a languid, tragic ballad.
I rode by the Capital and the Parthenon, and shared a great lunch at Fido, near Vanderbilt, with a long-time Nashville musician. Then I pedaled up Music Row, over the river, and through the charming streets of East Nashville. Superb cycling all the way to Hendersonville.
Bruce Day, my host for the night, demonstrated a whole new level of warmshowers hospitality. When I mentioned I’d like to check my tire pressure, the retired ED doc commandeered my bike and gave Tom a complete wash and chain service while we traded touring stories. His wife Wilma served a delicious put roast dinner and washed my clothes better than I’ve ever managed. Four of Bruce’s cycling chums, several of who are also PhD’s, gathered in the basement to share beers and snacks and chew over our prospects for tomorrow.