Dec 21

New Year’s Resolution, Trail Style

Just like a great novel, your New Year’s resolution needs a strong theme in order to be successful. And that theme needs to be tangible, positive, & measurable.

Now this is the part where most plans tell you to eat less, exercise more, or find some ethereal balance between the two. And those are the plans that are destined to fail. What’s positive about starving yourself? What’s tangible about asking you to flounder around looking for just the right exercise? And who wants to measure something as boring as calories, pounds, or inches?

a group of people walking on a trail over a bridge

Get fit while having fun.

For this year’s resolution, one word says it all: Trails!!

If you’re thinking this sounds different than any other New Years resolution you’ve ever read, you’re correct. That’s exactly why this one will work. It’s tangible, positive, and measurable… in a brand new, fun way.

Trails are the perfect weight-loss tool. They provide both exercise and diet assistance. They’re located in your community. They’re fun. They’re social. They’re healthy. They’re free … (Read more about using trails to achieve your fitness goals on

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Dec 20

Rail Trails: Top Ten

The folks at Adventure Cycling have come up with their list of favorite rail-trails, & I’d say they’ve compiled a great one. Here are their ten best trails, in no particular order:

1. George S. Mickelson Trail, South Dakota; length: 109 miles.

2. Great Allegheny Passage, Maryland-Pennsylvania; length: 141 miles.

3. Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, Idaho; length: 72 miles.

trail sign for Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail

Alabama's Chief Ladiga Trail

4. Katy Trail State Park, Missouri; length: 238 miles.

5. Paul Bunyan State Trail, Minnesota; length: 111 miles.

6. Raccoon River Valley Trail, Iowa; length: 56 miles.

7. Iron Horse State Park, Washington; length: 100+ miles.

8. Chief Ladiga Trail, Alabama; length: 33 miles.

9. Elroy-Sparta State Trail, Wisconsin; length: 32 miles.

10. Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail, California; length: 25 miles.

Thanks to Adventure Cycling for including that list. Check out their page & let them know what you think or leave a comment below with your favorite rail-trail experiences.

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Dec 17

Trailsnet May Get a New Logo With Your Input

Trailsnet is looking for a new logo, & we need your help deciding. Please choose your favorite trailsnet logo below by checking the box that corresponds to your favorite choice. Pay no attention to the words that accompany each logo, because those will change to & our spiffy “… network of trails…” slogan. After you have cast your (up to 3) choice(s), don’t forget to hit the “vote” button, leave a comment (where it says “Leave comment” at the bottom of the post, & then visit OnTheMoveTours & ActiveTravelTours to vote for a logo for each of those websites also. Thanks for your input!!

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Dec 16

Reasons to Ride a Bike

family enjoying a bike ride

Biking is for families… & everyone else.

Bike Rides Save Lives…

Or at least make them a whole lot better.  (-:

I have shared a link to a “Some more reasons to ride a bike” web page. That is toward the bottom of this post. But here is my summary list, slightly paraphrased so that I can name it… wait for it…

The Five F’s of Bike Riding +2

  • fun
  • fitness
  • freedom
  • financial
  • family
  • fresh air &
  • (the) frickin’ environment

Okay, that was fun; now here’s the full scoop on “… more reasons to ride a bicycle”  courtesy of Florida Biking.

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Dec 12

Electric Bikes on Trails

Electric Bicycles on Trails

Are electric bicycles legal on trails? It’s a good question and one that varies greatly by country, state, & trail. Before we get into the electric bikes on trails debate, let’s start w/ an overview of the:

picture of electric bikes on trails

Electric Bike on Trail

Federal Electric Bicycle Regulations (not just for trails)

  • an electrically driven bicycle is considered a bicycle
  • electric cycle must have less than 750 watt motor
  • must have functional pedals
  • maximum speed of 20 mph
  • Federal Law shall supersede State Law
For a nice, one-page summary of the Federal Electric Bicycle Law, visit the Electric Vehicle Association USA Fed Regulations web page. As they suggest, I have printed the page and carry it with me on my electric scooter / bike. (However, I just keep it in a zipper bag instead of laminating it like they suggest.)

What About Electric Bikes on Trails?

But these regulations don’t really seem to address the issue of electric bikes on trails, especially since they specifically refer to operation  “on a paved level surface.” So what about a gravel trail that is not perfectly level?

And what about such vehicles as hybrid Trikkes? These are power-assisted, meet most of the requirements for power level & speed; but they don’t have pedals.

Thanks to Paul Wiegman for providing us with this American Trails link that provides Department of Justice requirements for the use of Other Power Driven Mobility Devices or OPDMD on trails. The article gives a clear definition of OPDMDs and begins to clarify the rules regarding their use on trails. It is written with trail administrators in mind and provides information regarding how those trail administrators can prepare for compliance with ADA and Department of Justice guidelines, rules and regulations.

Comments about Electric Bikes, Pedal Assisted Bikes & Pon-e Trikkes

So what has been your experience? What do you think. Should electric bikes be allowed on trails? Would you like to use an electric bicycle, Trikke, recumbent, or scooter on some or all trails? Please leave a comment (no email por favor) below.



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Dec 10

Winter Snowshoe Trails

Trails are to Boulder, Colorado what beaches are to Honolulu, Hawaii. Ubiquitous, popular, and greatly enjoyed. But there is one major difference that can be summarized in one word: winter.

Snowshoers pose for picture.

Snowshoers near Brainard Lake, Colorado

In Hawaii, winter means a couple degrees cooler with water temperatures that are a bit less comfortable but still inviting. But in Colorado, winter means sub-freezing temperatures and periods of snow. So does that mean that people stop enjoying the trails?

You know the answer to that! Of course they don’t; they just enjoy them in a different way. The two most obvious ways include snowshoeing and nordic (cross-country) skiing. In fact, many mountain-dwellers look forward to the cold and snow as a way to add variety to their favorite trails. Nothing says tranquility like a snow-softened landscape.

Another benefit of the winter season is reduced trail traffic. Yes people still use the trails, but not nearly as often. So even the popular pathways like the Brainard Lake Trail offer a much greater degree of solitude than the same trail in the summer months. Even on the busiest days, there are spaces available at the trailhead and stretches of solitude on the trail.

I’d love to hear your opinions and experiences with winter trails. Love them? Hate them? Prefer Munro Trail on Lanai, Hawaii to Kootenai River Trail in Libby, Montana? Leave a comment at the beep.


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