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.

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Mar 02

Silver Comet & Chief Ladiga Trails


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.


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.

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Feb 28

Health Benefits of Living Near Open Space/Rail Trails

Many studies have shown that living near open spaces (such as those provided by rail trails) is beneficial to your health. Specifically, a study done in the Netherlands that examined medical records showed that those who lived close to “green spaces” were a third less likely to have anxiety disorders.

But what about those people not fortunate enough to live near open/green spaces? That’s where rail-trails come into play. Even if you can’t live on or near open space, trails offer the opportunity to relax, unwind, & reinvigorate yourself. America’s trails are for everyone and investment in trails is an investment in our national health.

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Feb 27

Bicycle Hero, Congressman Earl Blumenauer

Today’s bicycle hero is Representative Earl Blumenauer from Oregon. Rep. Blumenauer is a hero because of his tireless bicycle advocacy. He talks the talk and rides the ride. He is not only a supporter of bicycle use in the United States, he is also a great role model.
According to an article in Parade magazine, he has cycled to work in Washington D.C. for over 12 years. In that time, he has “burned over 300,000 calories and saved $94,000 in car costs, 206 gallons of fuel, and 4800 pounds of carbon dioxide.”
No wonder Portland, OR is consistently voted one of the top bicycling cities in the U.S. If all states had public servants like Mr. Blumenauer, this would be a greater country, a greener country, a healthier country, and most certainly a more bicycle friendly country.
Our helmets are off to you, Congressman Blumenauer. (But only while we’re not riding our bikes.)

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Feb 26

Congratulations to Bike-Friendly cities

National Geographic Traveler recently released its 2010 list of Bike Friendly Cities.
Congratulations to Portland (no surprise), New York (real surprise), Chicago (surprise for some people), San Diego, San Francisco, Montreal, Washington D.C. (I couldn’t agree more), and Tucson (sorry, but I have to disagree unless their only criteria for inclusion is road-biking).
I am glad to see a rating system for bike-friendly cities. I love riding bike in urban, suburban, and rural settings. But If I’m going to ride my bike in a city (or anywhere for that matter) I want it to be on a trail. I do not trust drivers. Heck, when I’m driving, I don’t trust bicyclists. Let’s face it; the two modes of transportation don’t mix well. And for bicyclists, it just takes one split-second of misjudgment to end it all.
But I digress. I’m happy for the cities that make biking a pleasure and hope that other metropolises follow in their footsteps. It’s good for our health, economy, society, and life in general.
Unfortunately, of those cities that won the award, the only bike trail on trailsnet is the Washington D.C. trail to Mount Vernon.

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Feb 24

Spokane Centennial Trail in Washington state

I flew to Spokane, WA and met my dad there for a three day bike ride. While there, I rode two trails in Idaho and one in Washington. The two Idaho trails I rode were the Trail of the Coeur d’ Alenes and the Idaho Centennial Trail. I’ll talk more about those later and/or you can look them up on the website.
The Spokane Centennial Trail was great for the usual three reasons plus one. Of course it was great exercise, lots of fun, and a great way to meet nice people. But it was also nostalgic. As a kid, Spokane was “the big city” to us kids in northwestern Montana. We went there to shop for clothes, visit friends, and, accidentally in most cases, acquire a little bit of city culture.
Upon riding the Spokane Centennial Trail, I encountered some of the memorable places of my childhood. For example, the trail runs right through the Gonzaga Campus. It also goes by Spokane Falls and tangles its way right into the heart of downtown Spokane, home of more than a few childhood haunts. I was especially thrilled to see the old Loofe Carousel in Riverfront Park.
Of course, none of my bike trips would be complete without a great lunch on the trail, so I stopped into the Pita Pit in downtown Spokane (a couple blocks away from the trail) for a pretty danged good lunch.
If you’d like to see more information, pictures, a trail map and facts about the Spokane Centennial Trail, click here.

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