Greg Taylor’s 444-mile Natchez Trace Bike Ride: Engineering Excellence in Every Mile

JACKSON, Miss. (June 18, 2024) — Neel-Schaffer geologist Greg Taylor, RPG, recently checked off a major item on his bucket list: a thrilling cycling adventure from Natchez, MS, to Nashville, TN.

Alongside seven friends, Greg made this 444-mile journey over four days via the historic Natchez Trace Parkway. Traversing stretches of roadway and crossing bridges designed by Neel-Schaffer engineers, they rode about six hours each day, averaging an impressive 18.4 miles per hour.

Greg and his friends enjoyed a tailwind for the first three days, making their ride smooth and exhilarating. “The tailwind was great!” Greg exclaimed. “But on the fourth day, we were tired, and the wind had changed.”

Despite the grueling pace, Greg found the experience enlightening. “It was a great way to see the Natchez Trace Parkway,” he said. “We sometimes take it for granted and overlook its beauty, but it’s truly a treasure.”

The Natchez Trace is more than just a road; it’s a journey through 10,000 years of history. This two-lane road with a 50-mph speed limit, free of commercial vehicles and traffic signals, stretches across Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. According to the National Park Service, it’s a drive through history that offers stunning scenic views and a peaceful riding experience.


Greg, a Senior Project Manager for Neel-Schaffer’s Environmental Science Group in Ridgeland, MS, has been with the firm since 2006. With over 30 years of experience in environmental assessments, Greg is also a fitness enthusiast. After years of running and completing several marathons, he switched to cycling at 55, finding it gentler on his knees and back. At 60, the Natchez to Nashville ride became his perfect bucket-list goal.

Beyond the breathtaking scenery, Greg treasured the camaraderie of his group and a spontaneous moment on Day 3.

“Nobody planned it,” Greg recounted. “We pulled over at a historical marker and found a clear, shallow, and cold stream. Sitting down in it to cool off was a beautiful, unexpected bonus.”

Greg’s adventure is a testament to the spirit of exploration and the joy of experiencing the beauty of the Natchez Trace Parkway. His story highlights the lasting impact of well-designed infrastructure, showcasing engineering excellence in every mile, making every ride a memorable journey.