RICHMOND, Va. -- Long before the UCI Road World cycling championships put Richmond on the international bicycling map, the River City has been famed for its riverside mountain biking trails.
Some have sweet names, like the Buttermilk trails, but the latest gem in the city's cycling crown has a more flagrantly fragrant name.
The new "Poop Loop" (Ancarrow's East, by Ancarrow's Landing) winds around the city's sewage treatment plant, hugs the river and snakes through some beautiful woodlands and a few meadows and creek beds.
It's part of a truly amazing network of multi-use trails (riding, running, walking) built via a partnership between motivated and organized volunteers and the city park system. (Kudos to Nathan Burrell, the James River Parks manager and his staff.)
The Poop Loop is friendly to mountain biking beginners - a trail where you can build up speed and largely maintain it while seeing the sights.
And despite its name and proximity to the city's vast sewage treatment plant, I found it to be quite pleasant in terms of smell. Although, if the wind's blowing just right, "it can be a little ripe," as one rider said.
Walking time: not quite two hours. Yes, the Poop Loop is the sh- sh- schizzle.