Over Memorial weekend, Johnny Cash fans and cycling enthusiasts rode out in droves to participate in the Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues Bike Ride. The ride draws plenty of eager participants - ready to ride and wearing black in honor of Johnny Cash. This year, aerial photographers joined the fray and the result is a bird’s eye view of the ride that’s never been seen before.
Local photographers Coruscating Images and Steven Crowley Photography were onsite to capture the fun of one of Folsom’s favorite annual biking events.
The Folsom Prison Blues Bike Ride
The Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues bike ride may not be one of the city’s most challenging rides but it has quickly become one of the most anticipated. The eight-mile ride begins in Historic Folsom and takes riders across the Historic Truss Bridge onto the American River Parkway and along the north side of Folsom Lake. Riders then cross the Johnny Cash Trail overpass bridge and ride along the Johnny Cash Trail back to the starting point.
The loop is full of scenic views and rich in Folsom’s history. From the Historic Folsom district to the Historic Truss Bridge, Folsom Lake, the dam, and Folsom Prison, the entire ride is a reminder of Folsom’s storied past.
It’s fitting then that the ride is named for and pays tribute to Johnny Cash and Folsom Prison Blues, and ends on the Johnny Cash Trail.
Cash put Folsom on the map when he recorded his song Folsom Prison Blues in the 50s. A decade later, the City of Folsom was forever linked to the history of the country musician when he recorded an album at Folsom Prison in front of an audience of inmates and guards. The album that revived Cash’s career also made Folsom and its prison known throughout the world.
Riding the Johnny Cash Trail
The City of Folsom found its own way to pay tribute to the legacy of Johnny Cash and Folsom Prison Blues: the Johnny Cash Trail. Like many of Folsom’s trails, the Johnny Cash trail is a paved multi-use, Class-I bike trail that welcomes cyclists, runners, joggers, and families.
But that’s where the similarity to any other trail ends; the Johnny Cash trail is also home to a one-of-a-kind world-class art installation honoring the life and work of Johnny Cash.
Eight incredible public art pieces have been designed for the trail. Each one is larger than life and will be permanently placed along the trail for riders who travel the loop from Historic Folsom up past the prison and up to the lake to enjoy.
This year, riders who participated in the Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues Bike Ride got the chance to take in a newly installed piece on the trail: the donor wall.
The Johnny Cash Trail donor wall is a corten steel wall displaying the names of the families, individuals, businesses and organizations who’ve contributed to help bring the artwork to the Johnny Cash Trail. While not officially considered one of the trail’s art pieces, the donor wall was designed and fabricated by trail artist Adan Romo and hints at what’s to come. Like many of the pieces that Romo has designed for the trail, the donor wall is made from steel and is ready to stand the test of time.
The Johnny Cash Trail is quickly becoming one of Folsom’s greatest attractions and the Johnny Cash Folsom Prison Blues Bike Ride one of its quintessential events. Folsom is a city that is steeped in rich history, long-associated with Johnny Cash, and has earned a reputation as a superior biking destination. Every year during Memorial Weekend, the Folsom Prison Blues Bike Ride shows brings riders (and photographers) out to celebrate an event that could only be held in Folsom.