Easy South-End to Downtown Commute: Arling Court to Bike Couriers' Bike Depot
This route leads from Arling Court, near Saint Mary's Hospital in the vicinity of Iroquois Park, down Southern Parkway to Bike Couriers' Bike Depot, home to Louisville's only bike courier service, as well as a full-service bike shop. Courier service is open Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM; shop hours are Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 5 or 6 PM (varies seasonally); Saturday 10 AM - 5 PM.
As a whole, this is a level, easy route. Hazelwood Ave and Bluegrass Ave south of Taylor are narrow, so an extra dose of caution comes in handy there -- however, drivers on Southern Parkway and in the downtown business district are generally used to encountering cyclists on the road, so your vigilance will soon be rewarded with some smooth sailing.
There are two underpasses in the area of the University of Louisville's Belknap campus with small descents and small climbs, but heading from the Iroquois Park neighborhood into downtown there are no major climbs to speak of.
A shallow descent on the first half of Southern Parkway does make for a 'false flat' on the return trip.
A bike lane is available along Second Street between Oak Street and Broadway on the northbound route, and on the southbound route one can be found on Third Street between Broadway and Cardinal Boulevard (the northern boundary of U of L's campus). These come in especially handy during rush-hour, allowing bikes to zip along as fast as their riders can make them go while cars wait in traffic.