Best Bike Routes Near Abilene – Jones’ Top 5
Weather in Abilene is good for bike riding just about year round. Even in the winter months, you can find several days that are amenable to getting out and getting some beneficial exercise. My wife and I have been riding since March, so we are relative 'newbies' to the activity. The routes I list here are therefore to be considered thought starters. I welcome your additions and ideas for good rides. So with that said, here are a few bike routes near Abilene that I have enjoyed over the past several months.
1. Hardwick Road Loop
This is our 'go to' daily ride. It's an easy 10.5 miles out Hardwick Road south of FM 707. If you park at Beltway Park Baptist church to unload, it's just a half mile east on 707 to Hardwick. Turn South and enjoy a low traffic, paved road all the way out to Bell Plains Road, where you turn around and come back to Iberis. Hang a left (west) on Iberis to Buffalo Gap Road and then turn right (north) to go all the way back to 707. An excellent daily ride. See the detailed map here at MapMyRide.com.
2. Buck Creek Trails
Buck Creek Trails are owned and used by the Abilene Police Department for bike training. The trails are open to the public at certain times, and one great opportunity is Bike Town's weekly ride at the site. The ride is designed for parents and children and it's a great way to not only get some good exercise, but a rewarding family activity that can be enjoyed year round. Fall and Winter months around Abilene are when cyclists switch to mountain bikes to enjoy the slower pace and reduced wind chills. Mountain biking is often done in terrrain that includes some tree cover to block wind too, so it's a good choice to keep your physical conditioning when it's just too cold to get out on the road bike. Buck Creek offers numerous routes over varying terrain. It's scenic, and will give cyclists a solid 12 miles of work. Buck Creek Trails is located on Phantom Lake Road East. For details on the ride, go to the Bike Town website here at BikeTown.com
3. Bradshaw Ghost Town
I'm fascinated by ghost towns and this one is no exception. The little town of Bradshaw finally dried up completely with the departure of its final resident from the general store, which is just about all that's still there other than a church and a couple of historic markers. It sits just off Highway 83 on FM Road 204. The general store and church are literally only a few hundred yards off Highway 83. A good launch point to ride a bike out there is from Buffalo Gap. We like to take off from The Cafe on all of our Sunday long rides. It's bike friendly and the food is fantastic after a ride. For riding directions from Buffalo Gap to Bradshaw, click here at maps.google.com.
4. Tour De Gap 27-Mile Route
This was our first event ride in August of 2011. I absolutely love the Tour De Gap. The 27-mile route is a great fitness ride that takes you from Buffalo Gap through downtown Tuscola. It then heads out Highway 83 to a turnaround that goes back towards the start on Lemons Gap Road, maybe my favorite road for riding a bike. Lemons Gap Road is mostly a descent back towards the Gap, and it's easy to hit speeds well over 35 miles per hour down this scenic quiet stretch. It's an exhilarating ride. This one gets a high recommendation. Once again, it's easy to launch from The Cafe or the Old Settler's Reunion Grounds in Buffalo Gap to do this ride. For a detailed map and turn by turn directions, just go here to MapMyRide.com
5. Old Coleman Highway
I give all the credit to our buddy Mike at Bike Town for suggesting this ride. Old Coleman Highway is a gradual climb just off Highway 1750 near Potosi. It's also accessible off Clark Road east of Highway 83, and generally is very light on traffic. The ascent to a dead end is beautiful and covers a distance of a little over 5 miles. And the reward is the descent all the way back, usually with a tail wind. Once again, this one will get you up to some pretty good speeds, and since it's downhill, you can get a breather and enjoy the scenery too. Bike Town does a Thursday evening intermediate ride that will take you out there if you want to ride in a group. For directions, just click here at maps.google.com. You can ride out starting at Beltway Park Baptist church, take Hardwick Road out to Remington street to hook up with Clark Road and get in a solid 25 miles round trip. It's also easy to take off from Buffalo Gap for added scenery.