Jack and Back: Cycling Event
Cycling from Nashville, Tennessee to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee
Every year a group of cyclists ride their bikes from a school just outside of Nashville, TN to the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.
Routes: There are two options: (1) approximately 55 miles and (2) approximately 75 miles. The routes are clearly delineated and everyone ends the ride at the same location.
Sleeping Accommodations: Many participants spend the night camping at the location where the ride ends: Motlow State Community College.
o Alternatively, cyclists can book a room at one of the local hotels. Those who would prefer to stay in a hotel should make reservations early since hotels within close proximity fill up very quickly. There’s a shuttle that provides transportation between the end of the ride, various hotels, and the distillery. Rooms at the hotels on the bus route are a valuable commodity as those who stay at other hotels must pay for a taxi or arrange an alternative form of transportation.
Food: The Jack and Back ride is one of the most well supported rides you can find. There is a lot of food to eat on the way and you might actually arrive feeling somewhat distended from overeating.
The idea of biking to the distillery in and of itself is motivation enough to participate in this ride. However, the icing on the cake is that proceeds from the fundraising that participants must do in order to participate benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
In 2008, ride organizers decided to place limits on two key elements: Food and alcohol. Participants are now limited to one plate of food, whereas before it was all you can eat. Likewise, there was a time when cyclists could drink as much Jack as they wanted. Perhaps organizers thought that too many people were drinking too much and having difficulty biking back the following day. So in 2008, without warning participants, organizers instituted a three drink limit.
Another problem in 2008 is that the shuttles simply weren’t well coordinated. Participants had to wait a long time before they could get on a bus and head up the hill to the party. Why not walk? Because the Jack Daniel’s Distillery is an impenetrable fortress.
Hopefully ride organizers will improve upon these shortcomings. Someone who has just biked 75 miles does not want to be hungry and have to wait in a long line. Nonetheless, there is nothing that can take away from the beauty of biking the route from Nashville to Lynchburg on a fall day.
In 2009, the event is planned for Oct. 3rd and 4th. Register on-line at: Event Website
By Mary Fall Wade