This Saturday, April 12th, you can celebrate the unofficial opening of the Cumberland River Pedestrian Bridge by throwing on your finest sundress and riding your bicycle across the bridge.
Dan Hensely, organizer of Nashville’s Cross Dressing the Bridge Ride, hopes the event will “bring attention to cycling in the city and the use of bicycles as viable forms of transportation, as well as bring attention to more opportunities for road and mountain biking. We will have a petition on hand to help gain more mountain bike trails in Davidson County.”
Participants should meet at noon on Saturday at the Public Square near the Woodland Street Bridge and Second Avenue (map). The course will follow Davidson Street in East Nashville to Shelby Park and along the paved path in Shelby Bottoms Greenway to the pedestrian bridge. Riders will take a break for snacks on the other side of the bridge before returning via the same route to downtown and then on to the Yazoo Brewery for the post-ride cool-down.
According to Hensely, the idea for the ride originated in discussions with his friends about the lack of a bicycle culture in Nashville. “There are a lot of people cycling, but not a lot of fun, free events. We were tired of waiting, so we just decided to do it ourselves.” Johnny Crowe, who coordinates the regular Sunday Ride, organized last Sunday’s Nashville Scavenger Hunt cycling event and Hensley took the lead for planning the bridge ride. “The idea of a costume party theme came to mind and it just went from there.”
Hensley encourages riders to dress in drag or a costume and to wear a helmet, but notes that fashionable attire is not required. The ride is free and open to the public and will proceed rain or shine. Hensley notes that organizers have planned a casual group ride and not a race, so cyclers of all abilities are welcome.
For more information, see the website.
UPDATE 4/10/08: Metro Parks and Recreation has not yet opened the Pedestrian Bridge to the public. Hensley still plans for the group ride, but is not planning to cross the bridge if it has not been opened to public traffic by Saturday.