Apr 20

New Mexico Cyclist Killed at Train Crossing

Two Deadly Bicycling Mistakes

It is always tragic when a bicyclist loses their life in a cycling accident. It is especially tragic since the vast majority of these tragedies can be avoided. Yesterday’s fatal bicycling collision in Santa Fe, New Mexico was the perfect example. The two most common and deadly mistakes bicyclists make are:

bicyclist on road

Joys of road riding

  1. Riding bikes on or near a road: Over 99% of fatal bike accidents happen on the road. Of course accidents also happen on trails, but they’re almost never deadly.
  2. Riding your bike with headphones on is an accident waiting to happen. Even on the trails, it is not smart to wear headphones while cycling. It is only slightly less crazy than riding blindfolded. You need all your senses when riding a bike. Both sight and sound are important factors for safe riding.

Deadly Cycling Accidents

Of course, if the road is your only option for riding, and it’s unavoidable, then you have to do what you have to do. But the New Mexico incident is a good example of how this often isn’t the case. The Santa Fe Rail Trail is quite near where this happens. It’s a great trail. And, without a doubt, it’s much better than riding on the road. It’s safer, more scenic, less hectic, quieter, more enjoyable, etc.

As bicyclists, we all need to demand more trails, for safety, for recreation, for health and for the environment. Deadly cycling accidents can be avoided when bicyclists & pedestrians are allocated the same resources and expenditures as automobile drivers. How many more cyclists need to be killed before trails become a priority?

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/04/20/deadly-cycling-accidents/

Apr 11

America’s Best Bikepacking Trails

Top Trails in USA for Bikepacking

            Spring is here and with the arrival of spring many people are already beginning to look forward to summer and all of the vacations, adventures, and travels that will take place. If you’re an outdoors person, chances are you’ve already begun planning outdoor trips. My favorite activity is bikepacking: the act of backpacking with a bike. There are many trails throughout the US that are perfect for this activity. Some of these trails are only a few hundred miles, while others go on for thousands of miles throughout multiple states. Regardless of which trail you choose, they all offer the chance to connect with nature and see the world through a new perspective. If you’re thinking about taking a bikepacking vacation this summer, you may want to try one of these top trails in the USA for bikepacking.

1.     Oregon 3 Rivers If this is your first time bikepacking, you may want to try the Oregon 3 Rivers Trail. The Oregon 3 Rivers trail is known for being fairly easy to bike through especially for less experienced bikers. What makes this trail so unique is that there are three different routes that you can take and you can even link them all together in one trip. These routes include the Middle Fork Willamette Trail, the North Umpqua Trail, and the Mackenzie River Trail.

 2.     Colorado Trail With its ample supply of mountains, Colorado has always been known for being a

Colorado Trail mountain bike route

Colorado Trail

great place to travel to for an outdoor adventure. This is a 500-mile trail through mountains, streams, and other gorgeous outdoor sceneries. While mountain bikes are common for outdoor trails, you might want to opt into using a fat bike instead. This trail is commonly covered in snow until around July. As seen in this infographic, fat bikes are great for handling snowy conditions at the Colorado Trail.

  3.     Arizona Trail The Arizona Trail begins at the Mexico border and runs approximately 800 miles to the Utah border. From the very beginning, this trail was created with mountain bikers in mind. This trail was created based on feedback and consultation with mountain bikers to ensure that they created the best possible trail. This trail is very aesthetically pleasing and features a wide range of conditions and settings including mountains, canyons, deserts, forests, and other wilderness areas. It is open for other outdoor activities including hiking and camping as well.

 4.     Continental Divide Trail Located in the heart of Montana, the Continental Divide Trail is one of the longest trails in America. If you’re planning to bike the entire trail you’ll want to prepare months in advance to make sure you are in good shape as this trail is over 3,000 miles long. While the length of this trail may seem intimidating, it is anything but stressful. This trail runs from Canada to Mexico, through Montana into Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.  With all of these different territories covered throughout the trail, you can look forward to connecting with nature and viewing miles of breath-taking mountains, hills, and lakes. Those who successfully complete all 3,000 miles will have their name featured on the CDTC Official List of 3,000 milers.

Have any of you been on any of these trails? If so, which one was your favorite? If not, which one would you be the most willing to try? Is there anyone you prefer that’s not on the list? What trails would you nominate as the best bikepacking trails in America or the world? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Byline:

Ann Shirley is a freelance writer that enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. She enjoys using her writing skills to educate others on the joys of bikepacking, one of her favorite pastimes.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/04/11/americas-best-bikepacking-trails/

Apr 04

Best U.S. Trails in the Spring

Southern Trails Are Warm Trails

Longleaf Trace bike trail

Longleaf Trace Trail.

Winter’s over, but dependably warm weather is still a month or so away. If you’re looking for good bike trails for spring travel opportunities, you’re in luck. The following United States trails are good choices for April bike touring:

Withlacoochee Trail in Florida

Florida’s Withlacoochee State Trail is the best family trail for spring bike rides. It is a nice, long trail that is flat enough for the whole family to enjoy. It wanders through orange groves and into quaint southern towns so you’ll have plenty of rest and refuel stops. It’s also within easy driving distance from major Florida family tourist destinations such as Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando. On your way to this great Florida trail, you can stop at an orange grove and enjoy you-pick fruit or boiled peanuts. You can’t get more southern charm than that.

Silver Comet Trail in Georgia

By combining Alabama’s Chief Ladiga Trail with Georgia’s Silver Comet Trail, you get 100 miles of a charming southern bike tour. And since it’s all trail with only a few road crossings, it’s very safe and relaxing. This trail is another good one for families and is also great for recumbent bikes, stand up vehicles, tandem bikes and other personal transportation vehicles in addition to road bikes and mountain bikes. Like the Withlacoochee Trail, the Silver Comet Trail is a smooth cement path, so it’s very forgiving to novice bicyclists and riders of other PTVs.

Longleaf Trace Trail in Mississippi

Another smooth, paved trail in the southern U.S. is the Longleaf Trace Trail in Mississippi. This trail is both a recreational trail and an educational trail. It has informational signage along the entire route that identifies various native southern trees along with some creative spelling for some of them. (good botanical education, not so good spelling education) (-: All of the trails mentioned in this article are considered rail-trails and all of them provide great active travel touring opportunities for bicyclists of all ages and abilities. Feel free to browse other Trailsnet trail descriptions for the best U.S. trails in the spring.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/04/04/best-u-s-trails-spring/

Mar 28

Trailsnet Website & Social Media Statistics

Trailsnet Website Information

Trail website information

Trailsnet Analytics

2013 was a great year for Trailsnet.com with July 2013 being the busiest month since our 2009 introduction. Our subscriber numbers are looking great, website visits remained steady and our social media is on a slow but steady path. This past month has been a great one for blog subscribers, and we just went over the 200 mark with 204 blog subscribers as of today. According to Google Analytics, since our inception we’ve had:

  • 143,090 page visits
  • 123,857 unique visitors
  • 224,822 page views

Trailsnet Social Media

Trailsnet on Twitter is doing just fine with 3,841 Followers and lots of retweets. For our needs, Twitter is by far the best social media outlet and seems to generate pretty decent traffic to the Trailsnet.com website. It’s also a great way to announce new trail-listings and blog posts. Trailsnet will start using Hootsuite in 2014 to increase our social media presence in general and our Twitter activity specifically.

Trailsnet is also doing fine on Facebook even though it is not one of our areas of focus. Trailsnet has 353 likes on Facebook and is often mentioned as a “Page to Watch” by other Facebook users. One of the Trailsnet goals for 2014 is to expand our Facebook presence by making posts on a more regular basis.

Trailsnet is also represented on Pinterest and Google+, but these are not major outlets for us. Hopefully that will gradually change starting in 2014.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2014/03/28/trailsnet-website-social-media-statistics/

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