Mar 07

Withlacoochee State Trail

Spring break is coming up.
I bet some of you are planning to go to Disney World for the break. Great idea. My daughter & I love that place. We’ve gone to Orlando for spring break three times.

There’s nothing like the first time seeing the joy on your child’s face when they see the Magic Kingdom, shake hands with Mickey Mouse, or even relax by the swimming pool.

But our third trip there was my favorite. That was the trip where we really got to experience the true Florida. Of course we took in the theme parks, but in the middle of the vacation, we left kiddy rides behind and went on Florida’s best ride.
It was a bike ride on the Withlacoochee State Trail. Everything about it was just as magical as any Kingdom imagined by Walt Disney. It was filled with pure southern charm:

  • First, we loved the countryside on the way there. 
  • Next the trail was perfect; It was level, smooth, long, and carefree.
  • Third, we rented a tandem, recumbent bike. OMG what a blast!!
  • Fourth, we got to see box turtles, moss hanging from Cypress trees, and country stores.
  • Fifth, even the drive home was fun due to a stop at a you-pick orange orchard. It was an experience we’ll never forget. We got to pick citrus fruit, shop in a store w/ homemade Florida goodies, and just wander about the orchard.
  • Finally (and I know this won’t seem like much to some of you) we got to stop at a Winn-Dixie before we got back to the hotel. We had recently read the book and seen the movie “Because of Winn-Dixie,” so this was quite a treat.  It’s a true southern institution and lots of fun for us visiting northerners.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2010/03/07/withlacoochee-state-trail/

Mar 06

What to take on your bike trail trip

Okay, spring is nearly sprung and we’re all itchin’ to hit the (hopefully not so) dusty trail. I understand your enthusiasm, but slow down little buddy. Take a few minutes to prepare for your bike trip. Let me make a few suggestions for you to take on the trail:

  1. well-tuned bike w/ storage onboard (seat pack or panniers or handlebar pack)
  2. sunscreen
  3. sun glasses
  4. helmet
  5. water
  6. weather protection (depending on forecast and local conditions you may need sweatshirt, windbreaker, shower cap to put over helmet [see my article in May 2009 Budget Travel magazine], gloves)
  7. snacks (nuts, energy bar, fruit)
  8. $
  9. bike repair kit, pump, spare tire
  10. optional items that I usually take include cell phone (w/) GPS & bike light (front & back)

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2010/03/06/what-to-take-on-your-bike-trail-trip/

Mar 04

Traveler quote

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving.” – Lao Tzu

I couldn’t agree more. Some of the best parts of travel are the planning, the journey, and the arrival home. The destination is often incidental and occasionally even disappointing, but the trip is always worthwhile.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2010/03/04/traveler-quote/

Mar 04

Please support Rails to Trails Conservatory

If you believe that rails-to-trails is valuable, please contact your congressperson in support of an upcoming bill. Visit this website:

http://support.railstotrails.org/ACT

Why is this post in this big white box? Help!!

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2010/03/04/please-support-rails-to-trails-conservatory/

Mar 03

South Platte Trail

You know the old saw, “I just flew in from New York and boy are my arms sore?”
Well, just rode my bike from Denver and boy is my knee sore. Dang!!! I thought I’d licked this knee thing. Obviously not. I’ve got it on ice now.
The short but sweet Denver trip was nice though. I rode the RTD bus in, then spent a couple hours at Tattered Cover Bookstore, then rode the South Platte Trail back home. In addition to a sore knee, I was starving.
For Platte River Trail information, click here.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2010/03/03/south-platte-trail/

Mar 02

Silver Comet & Chief Ladiga Trails

Help!!

I’m trying to get to the Silver Comet Trail and not having any luck.

My First mistake was to book my flight into Birmingham, AL instead of Atlanta, GA. I thought I could easily get to the Chief Ladiga Trail from Birmingham airport.

Wrong!!!!!

So now, I’ve decided to start my rail trail ride on the Silver Comet Trail rather than the Chief Ladiga Trail. A couple of the reasons I made that decision include:
– Easier to get from airport to a hotel near the trail.
– I found a great and very helpful bike shop named SCD Bikes that has recumbent bikes for rent and is located near the Silver Comet Trail.

I tried getting a shuttle or a ride from a local. I called a few people and put an ad in Craigslist. But nothing came of it. So now it looks like I’ll have to rent a car. I’d hoped to avoid that. It’s a bit of a waste since I’ll be on a bike for most of the trip. I’ll only really need a car to get from the airport to the hotel and back again.

I think someone would do a pretty good business if they provided shuttle service for trail riders. One of the bike rental shops should consider this as part of their business.

Permanent link to this article: http://trailsnet.com/2010/03/02/silver-comet-chief-ladiga-trails/

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