XTERRA Travel: Discovering Shelby County, Alabama
Racing isn’t just a chance to perform or test ourselves. It’s also a chance to celebrate hard work, explore another part of the world, and enjoy the Tribe once we get there. It’s hard to think of a better example than Pelham, Alabama. The laidback culture of the South combined with the urban influence of being just an hour from Birmingham, means that Pelham has the best of both worlds.
Below are some of the XTERRA Tribe’s favorite, can’t miss stops in Pelham, whether you are racing or just along for the ride. For more ideas, visit http://www.discovershelby.com.
Oak Mountain State Park – You didn’t think we could leave this one out, did you? With 52 miles of trails spread among 9,900 lushly forested acres, Oak Mountain State Park is widely regarded as the crown jewel of southern mountain biking. The 2.3 mile Lake Trail is great for beginners and families because it’s wide, non-technical, and has very little climbing.
If you are racing XTERRA Oak Mountain, you will love the single-loop 20 mile trail that includes a 700-foot climb as well as a descent through the Blood Rock section, which features a series of drops punctuated with a hairpin turn at a tree. (Think the coolest scar you’ve ever earned.)
Cahaba Cycles – Located right in Pelham, Cahaba Cycles will be out at the race Saturday morning with some chains, tubes, and a whole lot of expertise in case your ride includes more chunder than thunder. Even better, visit their shop at 2271 Pelham Parkway.
Birmingham Barons – The Barons are a AA farm team of the Chicago White Sox and have a relatively new stadium at Regions Field in downtown. Join the Tribe for “Thirsty Thursday” as the Barons take on the Montgomery Biscuits at 7:05pm.
Full Moon BBQ – Skip the dogs at the game, and instead, make a stop at Full Moon BBQ for traditional, hickory smoked BBQ. (You’ll know the place by the wood smoke.) If you can’t manage a stop, no worries. Full Moon will have a food truck at the race on Saturday. So much better than a post-race bar or gel!
Purple Onion – Whether you want a wrap, kabob, or even a burger, the Purple Onion is the place to go for Greek food and more. They have a great kids menu too!
If you are still hungry … Other restaurant suggestions include: Big Bad Breakfast, Margarita Grill, Champy’s Famous Fried Chicken, 5 Points Public House and Oyster Bar, Pizitz Food Hall, Seeds Coffee Co.
Willie Nelson – Make sure you take a nap after the race so you have enough energy to see Willie Nelson on Saturday night at 7:30 at the Oak Mountain Amphitheater. Even better? He’s performing with Allison Krause.
Civil Rights Museum
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is a great place to learn about the people and movements that helped shape the fabric of America. It’s a look into human experiences, a way to celebrate how far we’ve come, and hopefully an opportunity to bring us all closer together as members of the same human race.