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>>keyword Exclusive – Bicycling Adventure Tips

Supplement to the WORTH THE TRIP column “Blaze a trail with a bicycling adventure”

According to Elaine H. Wilson, executive director of Kentucky’s Office of Adventure Tourism in the Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet, biking is one of the fastest-growing activities in the country. With its diverse and scenic topography, Kentucky, with its mountain biking and road biking trails, is a challenging and appealing destination for bicycle adventures.

Kentucky has trails for all skill levels, from families just beginning to take to the trails to expert cyclists who compete professionally.

Tips for beginners from dedicated bicyclists:

• Equipment needed: bike, helmet, and gloves; knee pads and shin guards are optional.

• Type of bike: full-suspension mountain bike (front and rear suspension) or hardtail (no rear suspension).

“Full-suspension bikes take some of the harsh nature out of the trail,” Vince Carman says. “By design, these are intended to be ridden off-road and have knobbier tires with more traction. Your spine won’t be so jostled.”

He adds, “It’s the difference between a jeep and a car.”

• Bike with a friend. “Having someone who knows the ropes or knows the trails is important,” Carman says.

• Chris Lockard suggests bringing a backpack along with water and snacks and enjoying a picnic on the river.

• When you or the kids get tired, stop and rest. “The main key with any child is, take it slow and make it fun,” Lockard advises. “Parents should always encourage their kids to walk parts they’re not ready for, and parents should be the first to get off their bike and push.”

• On multiuse trails, bikers should always yield to other trail users.

• Visit local bicycling shops to learn about unpublished trails that are available for riding.

• Adults and children should always wear a helmet when riding.

To read the Kentucky Living July 2011 WORTH THE TRIP column that goes along with this supplement, go to Blaze a trail with a bicycling adventure.

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