Sep 18

Best State for Bike Trails?

trail sign

A CO Network of Trails

Colorado Governor Shares Plan for Bike Trail Network

At Interbike in Las Vegas, Governor John Hickenlooper shared his vision for improving Colorado’s biking and hiking opportunities. According to the plan, over $100 million will be spent over the next few years to increase both recreational and transportation alternatives for Colorado bicyclist including a much more connected system of trails in the state. Governor Hickenlooper has long been a supporter of bicyclists in the state, often speaking at biking events such as Bicycle Colorado’s annual gathering in Denver.

Improve Bicycle Transportation in Colorado

Governor Hickenlooper, along with key transportation officials and bicycle groups, has unveiled the Colorado Pedals Project, a four year mission to integrate bikes into the state’s transportation policy. And for a change, they’re talking about more than just the same old worn-out “solutions” such as bike lanes and bicycle education. Those components have a place in the overall plan, but they do not meet the needs of everyday bikers who have a healthy fear of mingling with automobiles.

Cataloging and Connecting Trails

Finally someone is talking common sense. “First on the Colorado Pedals task list is cataloging and connecting trails –

bicyclist on road

Life in the Bike Lane

natural, paved and bike lanes – statewide.” The idea of building more bike trails and connecting current ones is absolutely fantastic. But the first step in Colorado and the entire country should be to inventory existing trails. And why reinvent the wheel. Nearly every trail falls under some local, county, state or federal entity. Why not just connect an EXISTING website like with an EXISTING entity like the Forest Service, city of Louisville, National Park, etc. and catalog every existing trail. This is a chance for Colorado to be a pioneer. Governor Hickenlooper, bike czar Ken Gart and Bicycle Colorado leader Dan Grunig should set that as their very first goal. Let’s start by finding out what we already have. Then let’s build on that by connecting existing trails. We’ve had bicycle summits. It’s time for a Colorado trails summit. Bring all interested parties to the table and let’s work as a team to build the greatest and safest cycling infrastructure in the world. While we have a bicycle-friendly governor and an active bicycling community, it’s time to start the revolution. We’ve tried the bicycle lane model for too many years. It’s not attracting new bikers… just the same old two or three percent of people as have always been biking. It’s time to reach out for the other 97% of potential bikers. It’s time to reach out to the people who have the common sense to realize that bicycling on the road is and always will be dangerous. Let’s go with dedicated bikeways for transportation, recreation, exercise and safety.


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Sep 13

Epic Bar Trail Snacks Review

Healthy Trail Snacks

I recently had the chance to sample a wide variety of trail snacks from the folks who make Epic Bars and Epic Bites. From the start, I was impressed by the long list of healthy attributes that accompany the Epic products. All of their foods are:

trail snack food

Epic Bars

  • Gluten Free
  • Soy Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Low Glycemic

And they taste great. I was surprised at the wonderful smoky flavor, especially considering that their meat-based bars and bites have no added nitrates or nitrites. This is highly unusual in meat products of this nature.

Products Available From Epic

Epic makes four basic types of products:

  • Epic Bars – Shaped much like a nutrition bar or very thick slice of jerky, these products contain meat, fruit & nuts and have a chewy (but not stiff) consistency with a slightly smoky flavor. The individual taste of each ingredient is quite evident since there is no overpowering sugary flavor.
  • Epic Bites – These tasty treats are shaped more like a fruit snack or lozenge and are wonderful for sharing with your trail partners.
  • Hunt & Harvest Mix – You’ll love the packaging on this Epic product. It contains small pieces of jerky on one side with nuts, seeds & dried fruit/berries on the other side. It’s up to you if you want to mix these bite sized treats or eat them separately
  • Epic Bits – These are smaller than the Epic Bites but still have the same great taste. Although they can also be eaten trailside as a hiking or biking treat, I preferred them mixed in with my camping meals such as in a salad or scrambled eggs. A hickory smoked Uncured Bacon Bits omelet is absolutely heavenly!!

So the Epic line of meat products is extremely versatile and allows hikers, bikers and backpackers to carry unrefrigerated meat products on the trail with them. They are not only versatile in their shape and texture but also in their flavor. Some of the flavors they offer include:

  • hickory bacon

    trail snacks

    Epic Bits

  • chicken sesame
  • maple bacon
  • berry blossom
  • coconut carnivore
  • honest harvest
  • mountain medley
  • chicken sesame BBQ
  • uncured bacon
  • beef steak

    trail food

    Epic Bites

  • bison bacon cranberry
  • beef apple bacon
  • turkey almond cranberry
  • beef habanero cherry
  • chicken sriracha
  • pulled pork pineapple
  • lamb currant mint
gluten free trail snacks

Epic Hunt Harvest

High Quality, Humane Meat Products

Epic Bits, Bites & Bars are not only healthy and delicious, but they are also humane. They come from animals that are:

  • vegetarian fed
  • humanely treated
  • antibiotic-free
  • hormone free

For example, their turkeys are raised on small family farms and are provided shelter and sufficient space so that they are able to live a good turkey life.

Trail Snack Suggestions

I would highly recommend Epic Bars, Bites and Hunt/Harvest Mix as trail snacks. They are especially good for day hikes and bike rides. They are also good for both snacks and meals when backpacking with one caution. If you have plenty of water available, Epic snacks make a great source of protein on your epic backpacking trips and long-distance bike tours. However, the sodium content would make them a little less desirable if water is scarce. A good example is on my recent Colorado Trail bike, hike and trail maintenance trips. Epic snacks would be great for camping on Colorado Trail segment 1, 3 & 8 of the Colorado Trail due to a dependable source of water. But I would be less inclined to take them on Colorado Trail segment 2 because of limited water.

Where to Buy Epic Snacks

The best place to buy Epic products is from the Epic online store.Their food products are available in reasonably sized boxes that range in price from $30 to $49.99. They also sell shirts, hats and bandanas online. Since they have so many great flavors, I would recommend starting out by trying one of their sample packs. You’re sure to find a flavor that you love.

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Sep 04

Should Bicycles Be Allowed On Wilderness Trails?

Should bikes be allowed on wilderness trails?
  • 25% - ( 10 votes )
  • 40% - ( 16 votes )
  • 35% - ( 14 votes )

Welcome to Adventure Project followers. We look forward to your input. Feel free to share the poll on your website, Twitter, Facebook, etc. And thanks to Outside magazine for getting this discussion started on their Facebook page.

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Aug 29

Trailsnet Comments Working Again

Comments Finally Functional Again on

trails discussion forum

Lets Talk Trails!!!

If you are here to take the “Bicycles in the Wilderness” poll, that is located directly beneath this blog-post.

For those of you who have tried leaving comments on, I’m sorry that it has not been working for over a year now. I finally bit the bullet and had a professional look at the website and make the correction. (Thanks Syahir!!) The comments are working once again, so please feel free to leave comments on Trailsnet blog-posts, pages and trail entries. Trailsnet has always been meant to be an interactive website where trail enthusiasts could discuss, debate and exchange ideas with each other. Thank goodness Trailsnet comments are back on and it is now an interactive trails forum again.

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Aug 20

Prana Convertible Pants Review

Convertible Pants Are Perfect for Active Travel

convertible pants

Prana Khaki Convertible Pants

Autumn is just around the corner, and that means cool mornings and warm afternoons. That also means you’ll need a different wardrobe in the afternoon than you do in the morning. You’ll probably want to start your day with long sleeved shirts and full length pants to beat the chill. Then it’s easy to shed that long-sleeved shirt once things start to warm up. But what about the pants? Most trails don’t have changing stations along the way, and most of us active travelers don’t want to carry a full change of clothing around in our day pack. Therein lies the beauty of convertible pants. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, those are the pants that allow you to zip off the bottom half so they become shorts. They are great for hiking, biking, climbing and active travel touring such as a Mosel River Bike Tour. It’s easy to dress in layers on the top half, but much less so on the bottom. But convertible pants solve that problem.

Prana Convertible Pants

Up until recently though, convertible pants meant a poor fit and a dorky look. Plus, the early convertible pants were heavy, bulky and uncomfortable. But the folks at Prana have solved that problem. The Prana convertible pants fit beautifully, look great and are really comfortable. No more bulky fabric, finicky zippers, or “one-size-fits-all” mentality. The Prana Zion convertibles are likely the best convertible pants on the market for the following reasons:

  • Both the men’s and women’s pants look great.
  • The abrasion-resistant fabric is extremely durable for those grueling days on the trail.
  • The stretch material assures a lightweight, comfortable fit for most body types.
  • The Prana convertible pants dry quickly, so they are a great choice for backpacking and active travel.
  • The cinch belt keeps these convertible pants snug all throughout the day, even without a belt.
  • The zip-off shorts make it easy to add or remove the bottom portion for warm afternoons on the trail and cool evenings around camp.
  • The Prana Size & Fit Guide make it easy to find the correct size for your individual needs.
  • With six different sizing options and three inseam options, Prana provides you with a total of 18 different fit options for their convertible pants.
  • The Prana convertible pants come in three stylin’ colors so you’ll be the most fashionable hiker, biker or climber in your group.
convertible shorts photo

Prana Convertible Shorts

Tips for Buying Prana Convertible Pants

If you mostly use your Prana convertibles to explore the local trails in your area, then by all means purchase all three color options. They look great and will offer you six different style options. (three shorts and three pants) But keep in mind that Prana pants are fantastic for active travel touring and backpacking due to their durability, versatility and quick-drying material. For travel and backpacking, especially on longer trips, I recommend taking multiple pairs of the same color of pants. That allows you to color-coordinate all of your shirts to match this one color. On a recent trail tour in Europe, I was able to get by with nothing but Prana convertible shorts/pants as my lower extremity wardrobe. That made it much easier to plan which shirts to pack on the trip. And I found that many of the European trail destinations offered cool mornings well into June, so the option to start the day in pants and switch over to shorts midday was ideal. Zipping off the leg portion literally took less than a minute and stowing the bottoms in my daypack was a cinch.

logo for Prana activewear

Prana Logo

So when you’re considering a trail wardrobe for yourself or a gift for fellow active travelers, consider Prana activewear clothing for the yoga lover, bike rider, trail hiker, backpacker or active traveler on your list. They may become your new favorite clothing option. And, for a limited time, Prana is running their #7daystretch promotion wear you can get 15% off of your Prana clothing purchase when you enter the code 7DayStretchF15TN upon checkout.



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Jul 10

U.S. 36 Bikeway Update

Boulder to Denver Bikeway

U.S. 36 bikeway

U.S. 36 bikeway

I really want to give you some good news about the trail formerly known as the Boulder to Denver Bikeway. I was hoping  that “phase 1” of the cycleway would be completed by now. But alas, I suppose if they’re having this much trouble figuring out what to call the bike path, (first touted as the Boulder to Denver Bikeway and now being called the U.S. 36 Bikeway) then actually getting the trail completed might be asking for a lot.

A Tale of Two Bikeways

It turns out that the portion of U.S. 36 Bikeway that was supposed to be finished by early June 2015 is still incomplete. But let’s take a look at the portion that is completed. Since we’re going to call this major urban connector trail two different names, let’s go ahead and stick with that theme and divide the currently completed bikeway into two segments.

Louisville to Church Ranch:

This section will be defined as safe but confusing. Bicyclists can ride this section of the trail without crossing any major roads. They may get lost several times because this section is completely free of directional signage. But at least they can ride it without taking their lives into their hands.

Church Ranch to Sheridan:

Let’s label this particular section of the trail as dangerous but well-sign-posted. Once you get to Church Ranch Blvd., you are expected to cross a major intersection in order to continue your journey to (currently) nowhere. BTW, this intersection has a pedestrian crossing button you can press; and absolutely nothing happens. You press the button, then sit and wait through numerous cycles of traffic-light changes. But you never get a walk sign. My guess is that there is a hidden camera nearby and group of “U.S. 36 Bikeway engineers” is monitoring it while wagering how many traffic cycles it will take before the pesky bikers & pedestrians finally realize they are never going to get the official go-ahead to cross. My guess is that they are also laughing uproariously. Then, as you proceed a little further down the trail, you’ll arrive at Sheridan Blvd. where you have two options: You can either cross an extremely dangerous intersection where the trail disappears, or you can….  Okay, you really don’t have any logical options. Either way you go, the trail ends right here. And if I read the final bikeway plans correctly, you will likely have to cross Sheridan, at-grade, even when the trail is completed. Maybe someday they’ll install a toll-lane that costs bicyclists $36 to get all the way to Denver without risking their lives. In the meantime, see what you think of this game board concept:

The U.S. 36 Bikeway Game

This game combines The Game of Life with Chutes and Ladders for a fast-paced, exciting look at how not to plan a bike trail. So, like the Game of Life, you start by choosing which path you want:

  • Drive a car on Highway 36

    • upsides – fast, relatively easy, relatively safe
    • downsides –  pollutes the environment, no exercise, can be expensive for gas, parking, etc.
  • Ride a bike on U.S. 36 Bikeway

    • upsides – provides exercise, doesn’t cost anything, is environmentally friendly
    • downsides – You could die. (There are others, but this one pretty much trumps the rest.)

Now the fun begins. Once you start playing the game, you have all sorts of benefits but lots of potential pitfalls:

  • Driving 36 Parkway positive options – It starts raining and you’re dry and warm in your car while those suckers on the bikeway are getting soaked. Move ahead 3 spaces.
  • Driving 36 Parkway negative options – After spending $50 million of your taxpayer dollars and two years of delays and detours, you read in the newspaper that they will start “phase 2” of the project that will cost even more and result in another two years of delays. Move back 3 spaces.
  • Bicycling U.S. 36 Bikeway positive option – It’s a beautiful, sunny Colorado day. You are enjoying the peacefulness, serenity, money-saving, environmentally-friendly benefits of riding your bicycle into Denver where you will relax over a cup of coffee and good book at the Tattered Cover Bookstore. – Move ahead 3 spaces.
  • Bicycling U.S. 36 Bikeway negative option – You are blindsided by a speeding car as you cross Church Ranch Blvd. Game Over.

Stay tuned for the New & Improved version of the game that offers a third option: Commuter Train from Boulder to Denver. Start saving your pennies, because this option could be available as early as 2040. (or possibly never)

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