Shadows of bike riders at the Natchez Trace Parkway bridge near Franklin, TN.

“Car-Free Experience” on the Natchez Trace, September 2019 – Some Thoughts

Sunday, September 29th: a fantastic morning riding on the Natchez Trace Parkway with friends. The event used to be called “Car-Free Day on the Trace” but now is called “Car-Free Experience on the Trace” – which is smart rebranding, as it only lasts for three hours. Some reportage on the event says that the Trace is “shut down” for the morning – but in fact we know it’s been wide opened for human-powered transportation without worry or fear.

Were you out on the Trace today? Did you enjoy not having to worry about several thousand pounds of metal hurtling at high speed behind you as you huffed up those (dang) hills? Do you think the “Car-Free Experience” should be an actual whole day, and more frequent than twice a year? Mary Risser is the superintendent of the Natchez Trace Parkway, & you can provide her with feedback at Mary_Risser@nps.gov. (She seems to have a track record with wanting to provide safe conditions for all users of the Trace.)

Some reportage on the event says that the Trace is “shut down” for the morning – but in fact we know it’s been wide opened for human-powered transportation without worry or fear.

The Natchez Trace is billed as a “recreational road” – not providing exclusive connectivity between the towns alongside the Trace. It is a bicycling destination for many people around the world – a touring rider I once hosted through Warm Showers has written a beautifully detailed how-to on cycle touring the Trace – and wouldn’t it be great if, eventually, it was just closed down to vehicle traffic entirely?

Many thanks all the park rangers who were out on a Sunday so we could enjoy a few hours of quiet contemplative riding (punctuated by huffing up hills!).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.