Adam wanted to do something big before school started. His criteria was something fun, challenging and at a location he enjoys. Armed with this information and knowing what a Tennessee history buff he is, his father immediately thought of The Natchez Trace Parkway. When he mentioned this to his son, Adam happily agreed as he added, “Dad, can we do 100 miles in one day?”
His father replied, “Why 100 miles?”
The eleven-year-old said, “I want to see if I am able to do it; I think I am capable”.
The proud father was excited for his enthusiasm, but had concerns about the July heat. His endurance was a second concern; his longest bicycle ride before this in one day had been about 50 miles, so the jump to 100 was significant.
His father has completed 100 miles several times before in one day on the Natchez Trace, but he is an experienced, seasoned rider. Adam is only eleven. Not wanting to crush
his spirit, they decided to go for it with the condition of bringing overnight gear just in case.
The father and son live in Nashville, TN, so they decided the logical location to start was at the entrance by mile marker 444. The staging area and starting place where they could park was at the Loveless Cafe restaurant near the entrance of the Parkway.
Adam surprised his father at the half way point (mile marker 394) when he
offered they look for a place to camp and setup the tent. He said, “Dad,
it’s still early; bedtime won’t be for another 7 hours or more, let’s
finish today.” This young boy was clearly motivated and determined. As he watched in awe, Adam finished all 100 miles in one day.
His legs were sore for two days while his father’s were sore for four. “Oh well, much
to say about youth,” he said.
Now that Adam has had the opportunity to size himself up, his next quest is to do the entire 444 miles during school’s fall break. His father says he hopes he can take off from work to allow for this wonderful venture. The temperature and fall foliage would be spectacular.