Last year I joined Rails to Trails because I ride regularly on the Little Miami Bike Path which is a rails to trails transformation.
The people at Rails to Trails are creating a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines and connecting corridors of people and places. It’s a wonderful project. Their vision is that 90 percent of Americans will live within three miles of a trail system by 2020.
Rail-trails are multi-purpose public paths created from former railroad corridors. They are most often flat or follow a gentle grade as they traverse urban, suburban and rural communities in America. Ideal for many uses, such as walking, bicycling, inline skating, cross-country skiing, and equestrian and wheelchair use, rail-trails are extremely popular for both transportation and recreation. – Source: Rails to Trails
Rails to trails exists in a large way from Railbanking. There are more than 350 rail corridors (43 states plus D.C.) have been railbanked, with more than 160 trails open partially or fully on railbanked corridors. Railbanking is a voluntary agreement between a railroad company and a trail agency, which enables the agency to use an out-of-service rail corridor as a trail until a railroad might need the corridor again for rail service.
Thanks to Railbanking and Rails to Trails many Americans have access to smooth, safe bike paths. My favorite is The Little Miami Scenic Trail in Ohio. It is 78 miles long paved with Asphalt and Concrete. One I’d like to try is Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail a 106.5-mile Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail (FKOHT) that stretchs the length of the Florida Keys, from Key Largo to Key West, (love Key west) the southernmost point of the continental United States.
Find out more: http://www.railstotrails.org/
Donate if you can, I did.
Orange Headgear Good Idea During Hunting Season
Nerd Alert: You could buy a helmet cover like the one above here.
I wasn’t sure how to title this post, because the title I wanted to use was:
“How to Keep Your Head from Being Blown Off During Hunting Season”
but it was too long.
Gir Xar Orange Helmet
If you ride during hunting season, you want to wear orange to avoid being mistaken for a deer.
Especially if you ride off road. You can’t buy this New Giro XAR Orange Helmet until Feb 2011. and it will cost about $130. You might have to go with a helmet cover like the one above.
Orange Long Sleve Cycle Jersey
Next consider an orange jersey for cycling like this Capoforma from Cambria Bike. Capoforma cycling apparel and casual clothing is one of the few treasures in cycling. American owned, Italian manufactured. Its the bright orange color you need during hunting season.
Wearing orange during hunting season is a wise idea, even if you are on a bike path like the Little Miami Valley Bike Path. You ride alongside a river, but you also ride through farmland and some wooded areas. And I hear guns going off all year long, not just during hunting season.
Hunting Season is here, stay safe, wear some orange.
Recently, World Watch, a print and web publication featured this photo that I took in it’s magazine.
Featured on page 9 of their article titled, “Power to the Pedals” which is about urban cycling and the benefit of decades of trial and error. The Creekside Bike path was cited as an ‘off-street’ bike path separated from automobile traffic and features two-way traffic. Read the full article here: World Watch: Power to the Pedals
This photo was from a set of photos I took when riding from Xenia Station west along the Mad River Bike path in Ohio. Here is a slide show of my ride from Xenia west alongside the Mad River on the Creekside trail.
The Creekside Bike Trail is featured in World Watch Magazine
In the US only, Google Maps now has bike maps and suggest city routes for bikers. This is an excellent feature for finding bike routes and paths in any city.
One bad thing is you cannot embed the bike map. From Google’s site: Keep in mind that you won’t be able to embed Traffic maps, Mapplets, and some other Maps features.
Still, there is some good value here in finding new bike paths you didn’t know existed.
March 10th: the last of the snow was still on the Little Miami Bike Path about 2 to 3 miles south of Loveland. I tried to navigate in the snow but my skinny tires gave little traction on the slippery snow causing me to lose it on two separate occasions. Good thing I had my bike pants on with the padded hips. lol
See my complete Little Miami Valley Bike Path slide show and video.
The Middletown Bike path is part of the Great Miami Recreational Trails (GMRRT) which connects to trails in Montgomery and Miami Counties. Here is a section of the new bike path extension:
Ok, this video is incredibly boring, but it is a significant bike path event in Middletown, Ohio.
Middletown Mayor thanked everyone for coming and acknowledged the council members who were there including Vice Mayor Jim Armuruster, Anita Scott Jones, Josh Laubach, and AJ smith. Mayor Mulligan said, “This section we are dedicating today is Section 3, 1.9 miles long and begins at the current termination point, St. Rt. 4 and Carmody boulevard.” This section cost approximately $433,000.
Vice Mayor Jim Armbruster said, “Certain people I want to thank for making this possible of course is the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Middletown Community Foundation, Arthur Harvey Foundation and the Barnitz Fund,
Miami Conservatory District…”
The Middletown bike path now is 6.8 miles from Carmody (ST RT 4) to Trenton, St RT 73 just east of the Great Miami River bridge.
The next 2.1 mile section going north will stop at the Franklin city limits. This future portion will be funded by Energy efficiency and conservation block grant (EECBG) funds* in the amount of nearly $500,000.
View Dangerous Intersection Bike Path in a google map.
Just west of Caesar Creek Lake, the Little Miami Bike Path crosses Highway 47 is a bit dangerous, if you believe the sign. It’s not dangerous if you stop and look both ways. But if you are flying across intersections, the southbound traffic on the path can not see the southbound traffic on HW47 very easily.