Biomedical Researcher and Cycle Enthusiast
The best part of Columbia is its nonmotorized access. Biking is a major passion of mine, but it’s also my form of exercise and my preferred mode of transportation. While I ultimately chose Columbia to start my business (our laboratory is in the University of Missouri’s Life Science Business Incubator), the trail system was a huge draw. I can get from my house to work — or wherever — without getting on a road.
Rock Bridge State Park is a favorite of mine. It offers a lot for non-cyclers. Like the Devil’s Icebox, which is a huge cave that is accessible by boardwalk. The whole park is very scenic with a lot of variation and has a nice flow between trails. It has good elevation change and some fun mountain biking trails and hills for more technical riding.
Not to be confused with trail biking, “trial” biking is a form of biking that involves maneuvering obstacles on the bike without putting your feet down. I was originally drawn to trial biking because, while it is challenging physically, it also has a very analytical component. You have to figure out your route and visualize your moves several steps ahead, like a chess match. For that, Grindstone Nature Area has some great embedded rocks and rough routes, as well as well-maintained trails.
I used to rock climb, and Capen Park has some great bluffs for that.
If you’re not into as physically demanding of a ride, there are plenty of chill, easier rides. For example, Pedaler’s Jamboree is a fun annual ride that starts downtown on the MKT Trail, which connects to the Katy Trail. You ride to Boonville, with stops along the way at Katfish Katy’s and, if you want, Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport. There is live music along the trail and a festival at the end. Kids are welcome. It’s great for families. You’ll also pass Missouri’s famous Big Bur Oak Tree.
Logboat Brewing Co. is a really cool local brewery with an amazing outdoor space. Pets are welcome, kids are welcome. I like to ride straight there sometimes when I get off the trail. Top Ten Wines is a nice wine bar with a really chill vibe, and everyone in there is super cool. I actually met my wife there. I also love to take people to Shakespeare’s Pizza. lt has a lot of history and is an iconic Columbia institution.