NASHVILLE, Tenn. — On a hot, sunny Saturday, hundreds of riders took to the streets of Nashville.
"It really showcases the city more than just Broadway — which is great — more than just drinking and music, which is awesome," said bicyclist Patrick Ostrowski.
There was something for everyone to enjoy at the 18th annual Tour de Nash.
"You know, you got people in spandex, but you got people that aren't in spandex; you got e-bikes, I saw an EliptiGO bike, I saw a recumbent bike," said Executive Director of Walk Bike Nashville, Meredith Montgomery.
Riders could choose between three different bike routes ranging from nine to 45 miles long. For the first time, children also got in on the fun this year with a two-mile ride on the Shelby Bottoms Greenway.
"Being with the group here, I feel much safer on the roads next to cars versus just by myself on the roads, and that was one of the things downtown we really caught on, was it was great being next to ten, 20 bikers just having a good time," said Ostrowski.
Riders said the event highlights Nashville's growing cycling community, but with that growth comes the need for infrastructure to support it.
"With regards to biking, what we hear all the time is people want more protected bike lanes," said Montgomery. "So, you see some paint on the ground, but people don't feel safe, especially on a busy roadway."
That is why groups like Walk Bike Nashville are using events like this one to advocate for more connectivity and safety throughout the city.
"So, I hope that it generates an interest, and motivates people to speak up for getting more bike infrastructure and getting more involved," said Montgomery.
Despite the improvements still to come, riders are celebrating what they do have and preparing for next year.
"Practice for the hills," laughed Ostrowski. "Bring extra water."