About the Archive
This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996. To preserve these articles as they originally appeared, The Times does not alter, edit or update them.
GLIDING through the cool, pine-scented air of a Mississippi spring morning, my bicycle’s tires humming on the gently rolling Natchez Trace Parkway, I was Huck Finn on an asphalt river: the joy of biking crystallized in a sense of freedom and self-reliance.
I had wanted to bike on the parkway — a 421-mile history lesson that cuts through three states and 8,000 years — since driving on a section of it three years ago. So in late May last year I packed bike and gear into a rented car and headed for Tupelo, Miss. I had decided to ride parts of the parkway in Mississippi between Tupelo, in the northeast corner of the state, and Natchez, in the southwest.