By Kathy Witt
Cyclists seeking the roads less traveled will find them in Shelbyville and Simpsonville, KY. Three hundred forty-six miles of gently rolling hills, picturesque parks and paved country roads have recently opened up.
Bikers who love the beautiful scenery of the rural countryside, birding, history and the adventure of cycling new routes can pedal on their choice of 12 bike routes. Each backroad and byway offers its own distinct charm and beauty, taking riders past golf courses, an arboretum, horse and dairy farms, shopping enclaves and an apple orchard for an up-close and personal glimpse of the countryside.
ou get the perfect mix of flats and hills, along with a mix of small town and total country seclusion,” said Luke Scott, a competitive racer who rides the routes so often that one trail was named for him – the 44-mile Luke’s Long Ride. “All around, you get a beautiful taste of what it’s like to be a cyclist in Shelby County.”
Creating the routes and making them available to cyclists have been in the works for a couple years by the Shelby Parks Foundation, which based its route model on two books written by Joe Ward. Wheeling Around Louisville: 25 Great Bike Rides Around Louisville, Jefferson County and Southern Indiana and Wheeling around the Bluegrass, both written more than 15 years ago, are considered cycling bibles for this part of the country.
We decided it would be neat if we could create a web-based, free inventory of rides using the Joe Ward model which will create deeper connection to Shelby County than just our roads,” Shelbyville community volunteer said Dee Maynard.
History buffs might enjoy making a pitstop and stepping back in time at B&N Food Market on the Flat and Fast to Bagdad. Birdwatchers will pass by an eagle’s nest on the Monday Night Ride and will want to make a mental note about returning to Wakefield-Scearce Galleries at Science Hill to rummage among the rooms of old English antiques.
A piece of Americana sits along a stretch of the Rookie Hill Ride. Spot the Sears and Roebuck House between Washington and Main streets. From about 1908 to1940, handy DIYers could buy a kit consisting of some 30,000 parts for less than $5,000 and build their own house.
“People like cycling in Shelby County,” Maynard said. “Our people are friendly, our roads are good, and we in an easy driving distance to Louisville and Lexington.”
Cyclists can visit www.kybikerides.org to see an inventory of rides and select rides that appeal to them.