The first hints of a long-anticipated Memphis spring are in the air and soon enough the outdoorsy among us will be itching to get back to nature. The premier spot for fresh air, though, may not be a single spot at all, but a series of spots along the seven miles of the Shelby Farms Greenline, extending from the north side of the park to Tillman Street on the west end. To continue your enjoyment, follow Tillman to The Hampline and take in the many shops and cafés along Broad Avenue in Binghampton to its terminus at Overton Park. On the eastern end, just across Walnut Grove Road, you’ll find a meandering roadway that hugs the Wolf River along the Germantown Greenway.
Don’t have a bike? Not to worry, they’re available for rent from the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. In a newly inked deal, Victory Bicycle Studio (one of those Broad Avenue shops) will be the sole provider of rental bikes for the Conservancy and, with support from Victory, Jim Steffens and his Bikesmith mobile truck will handle all service and maintenance needs.
Clark Butcher, owner of Victory, recently placed a 30-bike order for the Conservancy with another order of the same size planned in time for a kids’ summer program.
“It’s pretty cool that the whole deal is small businesses doing work with a nonprofit, it’s a cool little triangle of business going on,” Butcher says. He also brokered as part of the deal that all of the old bikes no longer rentable will be refurbished and donated to Binghampton Christian Academy.
Bike rentals at Shelby Farms range in price from $12 to $35, depending on size and style, and include a helmet.
The Conservancy also announced recently that it has reached its capital campaign goal of $70 million and that work on the Heart of the Park portion of its Master Plan, which includes the expansion of Patriot Lake, is well underway.