Great Greenway Tour 2008
Written by Michael Heyes
About this time of the year I’m getting a bit tired of the riding the same weekend routes I’ve ridden for 28 years, and look for somewhere new to ride. On July 26, 2008, Kathi and I planned on visiting my sister down in Anderson. Muncie’s on the way and that day the Great Greenway Tour was taking place. It sounded like a nice ride, and a chance to ride at relaxed touring speeds. Not wannabe racer speeds, touring speeds of 15 – 17 mph. Upright Jeff, this is the ride you’re looking for!
The ride started and ended at the Depot on Wysor Street. For some reason, at the start there was a spinning class taking place when we arrived. A real spinning class with lots of music and the ubiquitous slave driving director. Whatever, we were there to ride.
From the Depot you can go north or south. North takes you to either the 55 or 70 mile options, most on the Cardinal Greenway but some on country roads. The south route takes you to the 20 or 34 mile routes, with a 10 mile option around the Prairie Creek reservoir. Kathi asked someone which way was the most scenic and was told to head south. Off we went.
The first few miles were fairly busy and there were several road crossings. The greenway itself is very scenic and very well maintained. Lots of shade, some slight grades that let you know that you’re going up but not much climbing. Along the way we saw some nice parks, and even a Greenway Bike shop! There are plenty of places to stop and rest on beautiful benches that are set off the greenway a couple of feet. There are mile markers along the way in case you don’t have a computer on your bike (or are walking or running).
The first sag was at 10 miles, and it's the turn around if you’re doing the 20-mile option. It’s also the start/return for the Prairie Creek Loop, a 10-mile loop around the reservoir. The loop is on country roads and roll along nicely until you come to the reservoir. It’s a large and pretty lake, and it was much cooler there with the slight wind blowing across the cool water. There are a couple of marinas and a public beach that looked awfully inviting! If you go to the Greenway Tour, be sure to try this loop - it is the best part of the tour!
At the top of the loop you go around the top of the reservoir and head back on the other side. This side rolled more than the other side and was a lot of fun. There are some nice homes and scenery to look at on this side, though you see more of the reservoir on the other side. When you complete the loop you’re back at the 10-mile sag which was really nice on this hot and humid day!
There is a lot of information about the Cardinal Greenway online if you’re interested. I really enjoyed a day of relaxation on the bike and highly recommend the short drive down to Muncie for this well organized tour. The sags were excellent on the ride, and there was plenty of drinks and food at the Depot.