There are many great places to ride in Huntsville and the surrounding area. In the following pages, we share some of the things to watch, routes to take, and other important information about riding in:
Getting Around the Region
If you are interested in going from one neighborhood to another, get a copy of the City of Huntsville bicycle routes map from the visitors bureau or the city planning department. You might be surprised how far you can go on low speed, low traffic volume streets. It is quite rewarding to learn how to get around without using major streets.
The local bicycle shops and the Spring City Cycle Club (SCCC) can also help you decide what routes would work for you. The SCCC website has many recreational ride routes and descriptions all around the four county regional area. Collectively our bike shops folks have hundreds of years of all kinds of cycling experience.
Another option for planning your route is to use Google maps with the traffic bicycling option on. This option shows mountain bicycling trails, greenways, dedicated lanes on roads, and bicycle route roads and streets.
The traffic bicycling option in Open Mapquest uses Open Street Map data which also provides the data for the OpenCycleMap. The website Bike Route Toaster can alternate between Google and Open Street Map for planning bicycle trips.
If you are interested in cycling and using public transportation, the city buses have bicycle racks for two bicycles. Calculating the amount of time required is advisable, because it is usually faster to simply bicycle the bike routes. Be advised that if both racks are full, you may have to choose another bus route that gets close to where you’re going.
Getting Between the East and West Portions of Madison County
Huntsville has a north to south mountain range that requires bicycling handling skills in climbing and descents, and traffic skills for managing faster motor vehicle speeds and/or narrow lanes. In any case, having plenty of gears to use is practical when moving between eastern and western sides of Madison County.
There are five roads suitable for crossing or going around this range.
Winchester Road (Route 76)
Chase Road (Route 74)
High Mountain Road and Harris Hill Boulevard (Route 70),
Cecil Ashburn (Route 30)
Hobbs Island Road (Route 69)
Winchester Road is a major arterial with heavy traffic. Chase Road, a two lane street near the Alabama A&M campus, has a reasonable hill climb. High Mountain Road and Harris Hill Boulevard (south of Highway 72) have a more serious climb. Cecil Ashburn (Jones Valley to Hampton Cove) is a serious climb with paved shoulders on either side (most of it). Hobbs Island Road near the Tennessee River was once a flat reasonable route, but with development in the eastern county, it should only be used in low traffic volume times or by highly visible cyclists with strong bicycling traffic skills.