Biking Around

Bike riding can be fun and no matter the age, and re-discovering or discovering for the first time the joy of pedaling can be exhilarating.

So local pedal paths are predominately paved (see what I did there?). We (Gmama and I) have pedaled a few spots both by ourselves and with our gkids. So here are some highlights:

Village Point Lake

The circular path around the Village Point Lake in Clemmons NC has nice view of the lake, is paved, has easy grades and is fairly short (0.6 miles). It connects to the bike paths designated on nearby roads so for those who want to keep moving, just take a right out of the lake area and you will be on the street bike path. The areas along the path consist of wooded scenery and lake views. As you ride around the lake, be sure to watch out for each bridge since there are posts on path at each (if you are not paying attention you may run into one).

There are also a few neighborhood connectors but we did not explore those…maybe next time?

Muddy Creek Greenway

Muddy Creek Greenway has two parking areas: one off of Meadowlark Drive and the other on Robinhood Road. The path is an easy, paved ride along Muddy Creek. We have ridden about 2 miles (one way) on the path and know there is another 1 mile to go. During school days, there may be a lot of kids on the field adjacent to the path but the ride will be fairly clear of traffic. A dog park sets at one end of the path close to the rest rooms, bike rental and small playground/obstacle course for kids. The path lends itself to bikers, joggers, walkers, skaters and other foot traffic and it is pet-friendly. Enjoy the ride!

Salem Lake

Salem Lake is a graveled 7 mile circuit around Salem Lake.  Though a large part of the path is flat or easy-grades, there are a few hills that will challenge riders. Benches are placed all along the path and you may find yourself side-by-side with walkers, hikers and horseback riders. Restrooms exist near the playground parking and at the marina/pier building. Having both shady and sunny parts to this path, having it follow the shoreline and riding on well-packed gravel make this a great ride. You will want to note that after heavy rain storms the trail may become more challenging with ruts and flooded areas.

Tanglewood Park

Nice place to go. Entering the park, take the first left and park in any of the parking areas. There are mountain bike trails (beginner to advanced) as well as paved paths. The paved path at the entry of the park is an up and down hill looped trail from the parking lot to the horse barns and back. You will run across runners and walkers along the path as well as local fauna (watch speed and be careful of deers coming out of the woods).

The mountain bike trails seem on par with other mountain bike trails. The “easy” path is filled with jumps, log crossing and small bridges…enough to challenge the beginner…but from a conversation the advanced trail is great but not as technically challenging at the mountain bike trail in Kernersville NC.  I discovered on my first trail ride (beginner path) that I prefer the gravel rail-to-trail type paths over sharp switchback through the woods and between trees. My bike also seems to like the easier paths since I ended up blowing out a tire on my ride.

If you do not want to pay the minimal entry fee into the park, as mentioned, turn left then find a parking spot. You can walk or ride a bike into the park from the paved trails or from the camping area.

Other Adventure Resources

Traillink by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy provides easy access to trails which have been converted from railroad lines (aka “rails-to-trail) as well as greenways and other paths. It is our “got to” app but you may find one you like better. For more information and what it offers, check out the website at https://www.traillink.com

The Carolina Thread Trail map is another great free on-line resource, which documents little known hiking, biking and paddling areas in the lower NC and upper SC area between the Uwharrie National Forest and the Smokey Mountains. Check it out for local short greenways and other activities at https://www.carolinathreadtrailmap.org/trails/

Alltrails is a site similar to Traillinks that documents the larger, more well known paths and parks. It is free to use and you can easily enter your location to find trails near you. For an annual fee, you will get more functionality. Check it out at https://www.alltrails.com

Bike Repair

Nothing stops a biking adventure as does issues with your bike. Finding local shops that can assist you in your time of need is essential to keep you cycling. Luckily, I incurred a flat during my attempt at mountain biking but was able to take the bike back to our bike shop, Mock Orange Bikes (https://mockorangebikes.com ), to get it fixed quickly. It did bring up the reminder that it may be a good idea to “scout out” a bike shop near biking adventures. The last time we made use of this information was riding the Virginia Creeper trail. My bike tire was too low on the bike rack positioning it directly in front of the car’s exhaust pipe. The heat from the car melted the tire. Again, luckily we were getting a ride to the top of White Mountain from the folks at the Shuttle Shack (http://shuttleshack.com/) who quickly repaired the tire before our ride.

A big “Thank You” to ALL of the bike shops who serve their customers with speed, expertise and friendliness. We are glad to be part of this community!