Posts Tagged 'trails'

Warning: Knuckleheads on bicycles, others on foot

You may recall reading here that it’s best to assume all drivers are drunk and stupid when you’re out on a bicycle.

trail cycling

After reading a story on this morning (thanks for the link, @beautifulbicycl), it seems appropriate to add:

  • When you’re running, assume that someone fully capable of ruining your day (or worse) is closing in on you – a knucklehead on a bicycle, for example. Some will warn you, and you might hear them, and some won’t.
  • When you’re riding a bicycle and about to pass someone else, assume that person is not paying attention and is very likely to walk, run or pedal right in front of you at the worst possible moment.

Don’t assume that everyone else on the trail is courteous and alert.

In other words, be ready for anything.

CEMAR trail work a positive, if a bit late for some

As some Eastern Iowans just learned, it’s a good idea to pay attention to what’s going on in your neighborhood.

You won’t be surprised like they were the other day, as explained in this story about a Cedar Rapids recreational trail being built behind their back yards.

And no one will have to spend their time putting on yet another informational meeting.

The initial reaction of some to this “news” that has been around for years was like so many others that people have when something changes: This is a bad thing.

They couldn’t be more wrong. In a November 2008 post that has gotten a lot of attention over the past few days, I pointed out some of the benefits:

More people who live in the NE neighborhoods will pedal, walk or skate to those connecting trails rather than drive to them, as many do now. They’ll spend time and money downtown. When CEMAR is completed all the way to Marion, it will be an even more valuable and attractive link in our trails network.

Since Mrs. Smith and I decided to set our sights on Colorado a few months ago, I see as I re-read that post that something else I said has some new meaning:

The trail can’t get done soon enough.

Still, it’s a good thing, people. Enjoy it when it’s done. Maybe we’ll come to visit.

Pedal on.

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On the edge of a thrill…

Come on down, Mikey! It's not that steep...

Bike to work on a Linn County trail

Bicycling to work is easier than you might think, particularly if you live within a few blocks of a trail in Cedar Rapids and you work in or near the downtown area. It’s even simpler if you ride on the roads with other commuters.

Want to stick to the trails as much as you can, though? Check the Linn County Trails Association site for information or stop by a local bike shop for a trail map.

If you’re an employer who wants to encourage your employees to bicycle to work, let me know if you would like trail maps for them. I’ve got a box full and know where to get plenty more.

Bike to Work Week is May 17-21.

Pedal on.

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Walk, run, skate, bike and be a PSA video star

Are trails among your favorite places to walk, run, skate, ride a bicycle or just enjoy nature? A “yes” answer means you’re invited to the Cedar Valley Nature Trail in Hiawatha to talk about it Saturday morning, April 17.

You can even sing about it if you want to.

ACedar Valley Nature Trails a joint project of the Linn County Trails Association, Cedar Rapids Bicycle Advisory Committee and Bicycle Ambassadors, volunteers will be videotaping interviews with trail users of all sorts.

We’ll use your smiling faces in public service announcements (PSAs) about the benefits that trails provide, about bicycling to work and other places, and about sharing the road. We hope to have the first one done in time for National Bike Month in May.

Come to the trailhead at Boyson Road any time from 8 a.m. to noon to help us out and tell us what’s great about trails and healthy activities like walking, running, skating and cycling.

We’ll want to see you in action, too. (Cyclists, wear a helmet, please.)

The details:

  • Cedar Valley Nature Trail @ Boyson Road
  • Between 8 a.m. and noon.
  • Saturday, April 17

See you there!

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#whyweride: So the baby will sleep while we have fun

Image by N. Herring via Flickr

Over a surprisingly good cuppa bike-shop coffee this morning, Derek Stepanek told me a story that fits right in with the #whyweride thing going around on Twitter. I had stopped by his office at Northtowne Cycling & Fitness.

He happened to mention that he’d bicycled five times as much in 2009 as he had in the previous several years. How did he manage that with the long days and weeks it takes to run a retail business these days?

By making it a family thing with his wife, Jodi, and their one-year-old daughter, Jocelyn.

The little one, he said, is so active she’ll probably be nicknamed “Tornado.” Getting her to settle down for a nap can be challenging, but the Stepaneks found that she would quickly nod off in their Burley trailer.

They racked up the miles on their bicycles – exploring trails and roads in the Cedar Rapids area – while she napped quietly, rolling along behind.

Yet another good reason to …

… pedal on.

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Overdosing on citizen input: Will planners compare notes?

The City of Cedar Rapids put out two news releases on Tuesday asking for citizen participation in transportation planning: One about something called the Connections 2040 Visioning Forum and the other one about developing the Comprehensive Trails Master Plan.

Both seem like fine ideas. I’m all for public input.

A question or two, however:

  • How will the vision from the Connections 2040 Visioning Forum on Dec. 3 incorporate the ideas for “trails and multimodal connectivity” that are being solicited on Dec. 7?
  • Should trails not be considered part of our long-range transportation planning?

Aren’t these issues connected?

Maybe everything will come together clearly at some point, but a person does begin to wonder if our planners have a plan for comparing their plans.

Maybe I’ll participate in the “interactive exercise to design the region and future travel connections” on Thursday, and comment on the trails network online.

One comment might be: See suggestions made at the 2040 thing.

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Area cycling, running, triathlon clubs

If you’d like to find people who share your interest in running, cycling, training for triathlons or supporting our growing network of trails in Linn County, check these out:

Thanks to the C.R. Bicycle Advisory Committee for putting the list together.

Have a group to add? Send it along.


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Scenic trail leads to great food

As if there weren’t already lots of great reasons to get on your bike and ride…

cycling wisconsin 034c

Sometimes you get to eat great, great food.


Take the Red Cedar State Trail just under eight scenic miles from Menomonie to Downsville, Wisconsin. From the trail, pedal a couple of blocks east on County Road C to The Creamery. Enjoy.

You’re welcome. (You will thank me.)

RRV Trail’s fall festival Oct. 3

If you’ve never ridden or walked on the Raccoon River Valley Trail, you would do well to try it out on Saturday, Oct. 3.

That’s the date for the 4th annual Fall Festival.

After I first rode on this trail several years ago, I wouldn’t have recommended it. Parts were in pretty sad shape. Soon after that, a lot of resurfacing was done and it really is a great trail.

Check it out.


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