by Carmen Greger
Our newest column will celebrate all of the nature-inspired thrill-filled opportunities that our lovely Lakeland, designated an Adventure Tourism District, offers in abundance.
The Lakeland City Website states “The Tennessee Adventure Tourism and Rural Development Act of 2011 defines Adventure Tourism as outdoor recreational opportunities such as equine and motorized trail riding, white water rafting and kayaking, rappelling, road biking, rock climbing, hang-gliding, spelunking, shooting sports, mountain biking, canoeing, paragliding, zip lining and other such tourist and recreational activities.”
We will launch this column with a feature on biking:
“Get Your Wheels in Motion”
There’s something so liberating, invigorating and inspiring about being on a bike, riding in nature, in the great outdoors. Whether you’re on the regionally known mountain bike trails at IH Park (4523 Canada Rd, Lakeland) on your mountain bike or on your road bike coasting down Memphis-Arlington Rd or Seed Tick Rd, embracing the elements while enlivening the mind, body and soul is a must. Try it once; it’s so addicting that there’s sure to be a chain reaction. If fact, if you need suggestions for trails, check out traillink.com and bikemap.net for some great route suggestions!
Biking is something you can do at any age and any fitness level. It’s low impact and non-weightbearing , which means much less wear and tear on the body and can be as intense as you like, especially now with the addition of E-bikes on the cycling scene, so take your pick, get out there and explore what’s in your wheel house.
Make sure you have the proper seat adjustments, that your bike is tuned up annually, that you have and know how to utilize a bike tool kit (and bring it with you on your rides, as it doesn’t do you any good when you get a flat on the road if your new tube is at home in your garage). Remember to pack some heathy light snacks, bring plenty of water so you can stay hydrated, know some general bike etiquette (ie, ‘on your left’), be aware of any traffic around you and wear your helmet please! Check in with your local bike shops and mechanics for a more comprehensive Biking 101 checklist.
(Video from Vons Bike of IH Clubhouse trails uploaded to YouTube on 7/1/21).
If the weather’s got you stuck indoors, or you’re feeling like you want to change things up a bit with a class format and a like-minded crew for some extra heart-pumping, playlist accompanied, instructor-led motivation, or simply for added strokes and heightened indoor training that can translate to higher functional performance on your outdoor rides, you can always check in for a ride on a Schwinn AC Performance Plus with your local community for some ‘Life Changing Team Training’ at Cyclebar (@cyclebarlakeland on Instagram and TikTok located at The Lake District) or and/or hop in the saddle in the convenience of your own home and join an international community of enthusiasts with a Peloton (onepeloton.com).
We want to see and hear about your adventures in Lakeland! Whether you’re out for a relaxing family ride with a plan to stop somewhere breathtaking and throw down a blanket for a bike basket lunch or if you’re riding for your elite time and stop at the peak to throw down a goo and refill your camelpack, we’d love to share your birds eye view! We will be featuring all aspects of Adventure Travel and Outdoor Recreation here, so, if biking’s not your thing, then show us what is!
Life’s an adventure in Lakeland, get out there and enjoy the ride!