Category Archives: trails

MINIMAL EFFORT=HALF ASS

As an avid trail user and one who does a lot to help maintain the trails I am dealing with trail conditions daily. I do what I can as an individual to help but when it comes to cleaning up after flooding has occurred the city street dept. and the parks dept. have the responsibility. And, of course, they have the equipment needed to do so. And I do appreciate it when they get the job done and the trails are opened back up for use. The problem is most of the time they do very poor quality work as they use minimal effort. They are quite lazy and if the job involves manual labor it just doesn’t get done. They will operate the equipment where they sit on their butts and drive it but some of the areas along the trails simply requires manual labor … using a shovel and/or scraper and/or broom.

Then there are the trees which have fallen or carried in the river and deposited along the trails. Rather than completely removing them off of the trail they shove them or cut them off with a chain saw leaving them stick out over the trail. I am frequently riding along on my trike discovering this and stopping to remove the trees off of the trail. It doesn’t take all that long or that much effort usually. But as I said, they are lazy and won’t put forth the effort.

Then is the matter of snow removal. They plow the snow with a truck or tractor or some other vehicle but rather than removing the snow totally off of the trail they leave it piled up right in front of bollards or driveways or streets where it is quite difficult to get thru for those using the trails. Again, all it would take is stopping, getting off of the seat of the vehicle, grabbing a shovel and removing the snow off of the trail.

They are just lazy I tell ya. Minimal effort equates to a half ass job and that is exactly what results most of the time. It doesn’t do any good to complain to the city officials about it. It is just something that is ongoing and doesn’t look like it will ever change. Oh well, at least the trails do get back open eventually and I do my best to …

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COME RIDE THE FORT WAYNE TRAILS

Fort Wayne is Indiana’s second largest city with a growing population currently around 268,000. We are blessed to have about 116 miles of trails at this point in time. About 79 miles of them are connected together. They are all paved … mostly with asphalt and a small amount are concrete. The original trails are known as the Rivergreenway because they follow along the three rivers we have here in Fort Wayne. The Rivergreenway consists of about 21 miles of linear trails. The Rivergreenway consists of the St. Joseph Pathway, the St. Marys Pathway and the Maumee Pathway. Two other trails I recommend are the Towpath Trail and the Pufferbelly Trail. HERE is a map of the entire trail system.

For those who are campers there is a very nice campground conveniently located in Johnny Appleseed Park which has one of the Rivergreenway Trails (the St. Joseph Pathway) going right past it. There are also two fenced in dog parks available just across the street from the campground for those who have dogs with them. It is called Camp Canine and is 60,000 square feet in area. To check out the cost and requirements click on the dog parks link above. I often times stop by on my trike just to watch the dogs play and interact with one another. On the map below the black line area is the campground, the blue line area is the dog parks and the red line is the St. Joseph Pathway (bike trail).

I am available to ride with anyone who wants to come here and ride on our trails. I will help with learning the trails and making sure you are safe and don’t get lost. I look forward to meeting you. You can email me for further communication, information and planning. My email address is …   tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com.

May we all …

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WE ALL GOTTA GO

I wrote about this once before several years ago. Nothing has changed since then. It is still a most serious and desperate matter. I am talking about building trails to use but failing to provide restrooms.  I mean … come on now … we all gotta go. It is a human need. Why don’t these people involved in trail planning and building accommodate the people they are building the trails for? I mean it is not just something that would be nice but it is a genuine need. What is wrong with them? Do their brains not work? Do they not care about us? Yes, I know trails are quite expensive to build and adding restrooms into the picture would greatly increase the cost. It does not matter. Restrooms are necessary. Here where I live we have very few restrooms available on our trail system. Most of the ones we do have are located in city parks. Not all of our trails go thru or near city parks. To make matters worse most of them are closed for 6 months out of the year for concern of frozen plumbing and expensive damage from that happening. There are just a very few “port-a-potties” the city rents but they are too few and too far apart. And again, come winter time most of them disappear. I don’t know what the answer is but as far as I am concerned as much as I like to see trail expansion (more trails being built and added to the trail network) I would rather see them use the money to add restrooms to the existing trails … even if they are simply port-a-potties. Right now we only have two restrooms that remain open thru the winter as they are heated. One is in a city park near a trail. The other is in another city park but no where near a trail so to use it means riding several blocks off of the trail. Yep, we all gotta go, but where? Is anybody listening? I don’t think so. I know I have brought the subject up before the city before but it falls on deaf ears. I tell ya if I was in charge things would be different. Having somewhere to go would definitely help all of us to not only …

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but to be able to remain out there longer and ride farther instead of having to try to make it somewhere to accommodate our human need which grows quite desperate.

What about where you ride? Are restrooms available along the trails? Please tell us by leaving a comment.

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Hey, I would even settle for one of these with a hole in the ground like we used to have a long time ago. The Amish still use them.

70 steps to the outhouse by Will E. Makeit

I am reminded of the joke about the “two seater” outhouse where a couple of guys decided to have some fun. They rigged up a loudspeaker down under the seats and had a microphone hooked up to use a distance away where they were out of sight. They would wait until someone came along (preferably female) and sat down to use the outhouse. Then that person would hear a voice coming from down below them asking them to move over to the other hole (seat) as they were performing some work below where they were seated. The person would panic and rush out of the outhouse as quickly as they could.

And speaking of “WE ALL GOTTA GO” … God has said to us that “it is appointed unto man once to die and after that comes (His) judgement” Hebrews 9:27 … and  says “It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].” Hebrews 10:31  Are you prepared to meet Him? What have you done with Jesus?

PICK A TRAIL, ANY TRAIL

Here in the Fort Wayne, Indiana area where I live we are blessed to have several trails to ride on. There are currently about 115 miles of trails and more are planned and slowly being built. HERE is a web page which has information on them as well as great photos.

I know that many places have more and even better trails but I also know many places have no trails at all. My wife and I moved to Fort Wayne back in 2003. A couple of years passed by before I heard about the existing bike trails. They only had the original Rivergreenway at that time … some 26 miles or so of trails … consisting of three different trails which followed the three rivers here in Fort Wayne. Upon learning of these trails I immediately started riding on them and thoroughly enjoying doing so. Since I started in about 2005 I think the trail network has steadily increased in total mileage until now it is around 115 miles of paved trails. And since I started riding on them I have accumulated over 87,000 miles. I think it is safe to say that I am quite familiar with them.

Below is a video of a bike ride on one of the Fort Wayne Trails … the St. Marys Pathway, one of the original trails known as the Rivergreenway. It follows along the St. Marys River.

HERE is another web page the city parks dept. offers with information and maps on the trail system.

On one of the trails, the St. Joe Pathway, it goes right through Johnny Appleseed Park where a fairly large campground is located (about 2 miles north of the downtown area). So anyone who is into camping whether by tent or RV has a convenient place to stay and ready access to the trail. It is right near convenient dining and shopping. There is a nice restroom and shower facility at the campground. The campground only operates seasonally … closed through the winter months.

This is the current Fort Wayne trail network as of Nov. 2018:

The red lines are the current trails. Lots of trails are planned throughout Indiana and many of them are suppose to connect together. I don’t know if it will ever materialize but it would be really great to have such a trail network.

Below is a video of the trails manager and the mayor of Fort Wayne talking about Fort Wayne Trails and showing video footage of various trails. This was several years ago and at that time there were only 68 miles of trails.

So I invite you to come to Fort Wayne and PICK A TRAIL, ANY TRAIL to ride. And if you would like an experienced guide as well as someone to ride with just let me know. You can EMAIL ME initially.

Wherever you choose to ride be safe out there and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HIGH SPEED POLICE CHASE ON BIKE TRAIL

It seems that just about everybody loves watching the high speed police chase videos. I know I do. However, riding peacefully along a bicycle trail and suddenly finding yourself enveloped in one is not my idea of fun. I mean a guy could get killed out there. Just recently this was a reality for several trail users … most of them tadpole trike riders … as they were riding along on the Withlacoochee Trail in Florida and hearing sirens getting louder and louder. I would imagine that upon hearing the sirens their thoughts were that these emergency vehicles were over on the nearby road which ran alongside of the trail. It probably never entered their minds that the unfolding scenario was on the trail. Fortunately the trail users all managed to avoid catastrophe. I have watched the various videos of this pursuit a few times trying to watch for trail users. I have captured “screenshots” of the various trail users I spotted. All but one was off to the side of the trail. The one who was still on the trail was most fortunate that this parade passed him by rather than scoop him up as a grill ornament.

This was a dangerous person. He attempted to kill police officers and shot at one. You can see the bullet hit the windshield of one of the police cars.

I personally think this should have been handled differently for the safety of the public. At the very least I think a policeman should have used their outside PA system to warn trail users to get off of the trail. Whenever possible I think that helicopters should be used to track these people rather than engage in these car chases. It seems that rarely there is a good outcome. Innocent people end up getting injured and killed. Property damage occurs. Usually the stolen vehicle involved gets destroyed.

Lastly HERE is a news article to read about this happening.

Hopefully none of us will ever deal with such a dangerous situation. Try to be safe and …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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THE GREAT ALLEGHENY PASSAGE TRAIL

The Great Allegheny Passage Trail is reported to be one great ride. Many of us will never be able to take the actual ride, but we can experience it via this video.

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THE GREAT AMERICAN RAIL-TRAIL

The Great American Rail-Trail is an ongoing project as well as a great vision. From sea to shining sea … from Washington (D.C. ) to Washington  (Seattle) … better bring your pajamas as you won’t make this ride in one day. I like the idea of riding across the country on a bike trail and not having to deal with riding on dangerous roads.

Most definitely one challenge and important concern to such a trail is providing toilets all along the route. We can’t be going behind a bush or tree and definitely we all have to go sometime … in more ways than one.

HERE is an article about this trail explaining the plan and providing some information about what has been built thus far and where things stand.

Much of the trail utilizes rail trails that are already in existence and are simply being linked together rather than starting from scratch and building all new. In my State of Indiana the Cardinal Greenway is a part of it.

I hope the governing body has the good sense not to restrict e-assist cycles from using the trail. I wonder how the governing body is going to work seeing how this long trail system is utilizing existing trails which already have their own governing entity.

One thing about it … if a tadpole trike rider took off on this nearly 4000 mile long trail they certainly could …

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HAVE YOU BEEN GOOGLED?

Yes, our local trail system has been Googled.

It seems like it was about 2 years ago our city’s assistant manager of the Greenway System was driving a golf cart around with the infamous Google cameras aboard.

And here is the sign which appears on the back of the golf cart …

Also a man was wearing the back pack camera outfit and walking around with it. Yep, we’ve been Googled. It took a very long time before this effort finally materialized and showed up on Google Maps. Just today I received notice via email that it is available online. Unfortunately the entire trail system was not included and even some of the trails that were only have a mile or so filmed and appearing online. Never the less, it is neat to see this feature available.

Here are some screenshots I captured of the Street View of some of our trails:

Above: Pufferbelly Trail north of Dupont Rd. This trail upon completion will be about 80 miles long.

It is a rails to trails project.

Below: Pufferbelly Trail south of Dupont Rd.

Below: St. Marys Pathway which  runs alongside of the St. Marys River.

Above: The St. Joe Pathway which follows along the St. Joe River. Here it is going under St. Joe Center Rd.

Below: The St. Joe Pathway as it comes onto the property of a local university it shares the trail with. Here it crosses the river using this bridge and continues along the other side of the river.

Below, My current personal favorite local trail is the Maumee Pathway which follows along the Maumee River. Here it passes under Maplecrest Rd.

Upon Googling “Fort Wayne Rivergreenway Street View” HERE is where Google took me. It is the Maumee Pathway and just happens to be the section I am assigned to as a Greenway Ranger.

Here is a map showing some of the Fort Wayne Trails …

Click to access FWT005-Trail%20Map%202017-WEB(2).pdf

HERE you can find maps of individual trails around Fort Wayne, IN.

And HERE is an article about  the Google Maps Street View Trekker project.

As of the end of 2018 we have about 109 miles of trails and more are being added each year.

You may never have the opportunity to come to the Fort Wayne, Indiana area to ride the trail system, but if you do hopefully this information will be helpful. Regardless of where you are at do your best to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’ 

and

ENJOY THE RIDE

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RECUMBENT RANGERS ON THE WITHLACOOCHEE TRAIL

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POOH POOH ON POO POO

stepping-on-dog-poop

While out on a ride recently I noticed (could not help but notice) lots of dog and goose poop on the trail. Now I understand that wild animals are going to do this and there isn’t much we can do about it. We just have to deal with it. The matter of dogs comes down to their owners. The dogs may not know better, but their owners certainly do. They just don’t care. Sadly there doesn’t appear to be much we can do about it either. Yes, I know … S H _ T HAPPENS!

dog-cleaning-up-poop

We can’t expect the dog to clean up after themselves, but dog owners are required by law to do so as does common decency.

clean-up-after-your-dog

I said it is not the dog’s fault and this is true. However, they can be taught where they should and should not go to the toilet. Here is an example of a well trained dog who knows where it is appropriate to relieve himself: Then again, dogs are generally  more savvy than lots of people.

dog-poop-obama

And another one:

dog-urinating-in-commode

dog-poop-on-bike-tire

This much I know … it ain’t good to ride thru poop. And unfortunately it is rare to see anybody make any effort to get it off of the trails. I spent a third of my time riding today removing poop from off of the trail. It is really aggravating as this should not be happening. What is wrong with people that they do this? I wasn’t raised that way. I find it hard to believe that people can be so low and irresponsible. Yet it seems to be all too commonplace. Nobody wants to walk along stepping in dog poop or riding thru it on a cycle. It is challenging enough to avoid riding over dog poop on a bicycle. With a tadpole trike it is even more difficult to avoid as we have three different tracking wheels and our trikes being wider we don’t always have the space to maneuver as we really need to.

scoop-the-poop-sign

In addition to the fact that it is quite unpleasant to step on or ride over dog poop it is illegal for dog owners to allow a dog to poop outdoors and then not clean up after them. I have said it before, but I would like to see these dog owners faces shoved down into their dog’s pile of poop.

Well, now I went and did it. I unloaded here. I feel better now. So I say pooh pooh on poo poo. Without it it is much easier to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

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TRAILS, TRAILS & MORE TRAILS

deer-on-traillove riding my tadpole trike on paved bicycle trails. In the area where I live (Fort Wayne, Indiana) we have an ever increasing number of trails. It seems each quarter (3 month period) the report comes out of more miles of trails added to the growing network. And that is exactly what is planned. I am just glad to see it come to pass.

Every once in a while I find myself looking up some locality and then wonder if they have any paved trails nearby so I start looking this up. Of course, some times I find very little if anything. But then again some times I am rather amazed at what I find. Some places which are even smaller than where I live have quite a lot of trails around.

paved-trail-thru-green-trees

Yes, as I look around the nation I see this same thing happening in many many different localities. It is great! I am so glad to see local govt. leaders and community leaders working to make this happen. And that is what is takes … getting involved to make it happen. I think multi-purpose trails are an extremely wise investment in any community and beyond.  And the proof is there … these trails are a huge asset to any area.

snow-trail

And it is not only happening here in the United States, but in many other nations as well. For those of you who live places where it is not happening I feel your pain. I am sure there are various reasons for this. And I would imagine the number one reason is monetary. Building trails is extremely expensive. Here locally they cost an average of about $750 dollars a linear foot for a 10 foot wide trail. It is difficult enough to come up with the money needed where there is prosperity and the will. And there are always those who fight against it. Most of the time, however, it seems that eventually the trails get built despite those who oppose it. I for one, am happy about that.

Lots of people like having the trails to use, but few are willing to pay for them or help maintain them. That is sad.

snow-covered-trail-closed

Unfortunately for various weather related reasons the trails end up closed some of the time and unavailable to use. That is sad too.

If I were in a position to do so I would love to be able to travel around some and ride on various trails around the nation and perhaps even in other countries. That is not likely to happen though. So I am so thankful that I have local trails to ride on. And as soon as my new knee joints allow it I plan on “hitting the trails” again and try to …

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A RIDE THRU KREAGER PARK

Here is a video I filmed a couple of years ago, but didn’t publish it until just recently. It is a slow ride on some of the trails thru one of our local parks as well as a side trip out the far side of it into a subdivision where there is another trail I rode on before heading back to the park. The video was first produced using YouTube’s video editor. It was the first and only time I have used it. It did some strange things to it. You can see the trees, telephone poles, etc. bending and moving around as well as the sky and grass changing appearance. It was weird. The first musical selection on the video came from YouTube. All the rest I added later using my own video editor software. Anyway, this is a slow ride along some of the trails in Kreager Park. Just to give you some perspective, it is approximately two miles distance around the perimeter of the park. I am sure some of you have no interest in watching a video such as this. It is about 32 minutes long. I was simply riding slowly as I filmed the ride. Hopefully some of you will enjoy it and find it relaxing.

Here is a satellite image of the area:

kreager-park-satelite-image

One of our local bike trails is nearby right across the road running alongside of the river. It is the Maumee Pathway.

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OH FOR SOME SHADE

high heat thermometer

Sunshine on my shoulders, in my face, on top of my head, on my arms, legs … all over me. That’s okay when it is 30 degrees F., but when it is hot and humid it makes it mighty uncomfortable out there riding as well as dangerous and even deadly. Consequently I can’t go along with the song lyrics of it making me happy. Carrying around our own personal shade tree just isn’t practical and so riding in the shade of trees is most appealing.

So I ask ya … which trail would you prefer to be riding on?

sunshine vs shade

There certainly is a world of difference. That shade feels soooooooo good! Actually these pictures are of the same trail (Maumee Pathway near Fort Wayne, Indiana). Fortunately it is mostly shaded. And it is my favorite local trail to ride, especially during the summer months when it is hot. I mostly ride on it just so I can be in the shade and take advantage of the cooler temperatures found there. I would guess that about 6.5 miles of the 8 miles or so I usually ride back and forth on is well shaded and another 1/2 of a mile is somewhat shaded.  And depending upon what time of the day one is riding out there some of the remaining trail is shaded for awhile.

Now I ask ya, doesn’t that look inviting?

shaded trail

and this?

shaded trail 4

Over exposure to the heat is dangerous and deadly. So be careful while out riding when it is quite hot and humid. Be sure to stay well hydrated and avoid being out under direct sunlight anymore than necessary. We need the sun, but be respectful of it as it can do a number on you. Heat can make you feel miserable and even kill you. I am not a medically trained person, but I know that if we start to feel overly hot, flushed and weak we need to stop and find shade to get relief from the heat. We should do something to help cool down our bodies, especially our heads. Pouring water over us or soaking a cloth of some sort to use to wipe ourselves with will help. We should relax and allow ourselves to cool down and recuperate before trying to go on. If we are by ourselves it is most important that we discipline ourselves as we have no one to give us aid should we need it. If we are with others we need to watch out for one another as there may be signs we miss that someone else picks up on. Slowing up and not keeping up the pace may be such a sign as heat can zap our strength.

sweating on trail

The older we get the more we need to be concerned about all of this. Even so a young person can be overcome by heat exposure. A 12 year old boy died from the high heat while hiking on a trail just recently out near Phoenix, Arizona.

We all want to safely …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

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Oh, before ending this article I want to mention the use of canopies. They do help in comfort while riding. I certainly have nothing against them and would myself like to have one on my trike. However, I can’t for a couple of different reasons I won’t go into here. What I want to point out is that they only offer immediate shade and usually only partial shade at best as they don’t shade all of the body. And the bigger factor is since it is only local shade and not constant shade over the entire area where we are riding they don’t lower the temperature. It is still hot. I really enjoy riding along a very shaded trail as it feels so much more comfortable than out under the sun. The difference in temperature can be considerable.

handheld umbrella shade

trike rag top 2

In June 2019 I finally put a canopy on my trike and I am loving it. Here is a picture of it …

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WHO’S FOOLING WHO?

Many of us know the popular commercial where we hear the words “It’s not nice to fool mother nature!” Well, I am here to tell you that it works both ways. It is not nice for mother nature to fool us. Of course, sometimes it is a case of “mine eyes deceiveth me”.

sun rays shining down thru tree foliage 3 marked

While riding along a trail I frequently see “something” up ahead which from a distance appears to be another person. As I get closer I discover that it was not another person at all, but rather it was a tree, a bush or a sign of some sort … something other than what it first appeared as from a distance. Often times there was sun shining on it … a matter of the sun managing to find its way down thru the tree foliage and illuminating just a small area in the midst of an otherwise dark shaded area. I also see what appears to be litter along the trail which I am prepared to pick up to properly dispose of it. As I get closer I discover it is only a leaf that the sun is shining on which makes it stand out and take on the appearance of man made material … litter … out there on or alongside of the trail. It is not such a big deal except sometimes I have slowed way down to retrieve it only to find out it was for nothing and I have to expend all the effort to get going again and back up to speed. Another thing that happens frequently is seeing a bright green or yellowish color in an otherwise dark shaded area. I am thinking it is another person wearing one of the safety florescent colored shirts or jackets. But no, it turns out to be sunlight striking some green vegetation and once again fooling me.

sun rays shining down thru tree foliage marked

Yep, I find that mother nature likes to play tricks on me. Oh well, I guess it adds to the riding enjoyment while out there. One thing for sure … I am not going to let it keep me from …

KEEPING ON TRIKIN’

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TRAIL PLANNING

paved trail thru green trees

Bike (multi-use) trails are great and have become very popular. They are ever increasing as community leaders and planners recognize their value. Many additional trails are planned for the future, but it is a slow process building them. There are various reasons why it is such a slow process. First of all and most prominent among the reasons is that they are very expensive to build. The cost of a five-foot bicycle lane can range from approximately $5,000 to $535,000 per mile, with an average cost around $130,000. And that is only 5 feet wide. Most trails being built here in the U.S. are anywhere from 8 to 12 feet wide. Our local trails where I live average about $142 per linear foot. That is nearly $750,000 per mile. I have seen various figures … $150,000 per mile for a 10 foot wide trail. Cost per mile differs based on many factors, including right-of-way acquisition, engineering, and other environmental factors. I just asked the person in charge of our local trails what the cost is. Here is her answer:

On the cost per mile, it really varies.  If it’s a locally-funded project, then it’s generally $400,000 – $500,000 per mile.  If it’s federally-funded, then it can be $800,000 – $1,000,000 per mile.  When you have boardwalks, bridges and/or retaining walls, that really increases the cost.  I would say use $500,000 per mile as an estimate, but that is ONLY construction.  You need to add in engineering and right of way.   I’d add $125,000 for engineering and $150,000 for right of way.  This brings the total to $775,000 per mile.  So, you are looking at about $147 or $150 per lineal foot.

So I was very close in what I stated above. I just took a look at the current trail planning for our area and I added up all of what is listed. It totals over 32 miles. We currently have nearly 90 miles of trails I think.

benefits of trails

It is no secret that we are living in uncertain and troubled economic times. This greatly effects trail building as the money just isn’t there as much as it used to be. Quite frankly I am amazed that new trails are being built with all the economic woes that beset us. One of the things which is helping is the fact that some of the trail building is part of a road widening and/or improvement project the state or federal govt. is doing so they are covering the expense involved so that the local government doesn’t have to.

There are factors which add considerable expense and challenge to trail building. Crossing a busy road may require a bridge like pictured here. We have a local trail project which will require something like this, but larger so it will be very challenging. It is also in a much busier area and far more developed than the area in this picture.

bike trail bridge over busy road Wooster, Ohio

And dealing with a marshy wetland area or such may require extensive boardwalks.

wooden boardwalk

Crossing rivers and creeks may require a bridge … again, something that is not inexpensive to build.

unique bridge over river on bike trail

Of course, sometimes there are already existing bridges such as abandoned railroad bridges which can be used and save considerable expense.

railroad bridge used for bike trail

Sometimes a road bridge can be altered and a bike trail included in it. Here is a trail project which involved incorporating the trail into the bridge when it was rebuilt recently. The red line shows the trail. The yellow line is a wide sidewalk which runs along the road for a distance.

St. Joe Ctr. Rd. bridge Rivergreenway Trail marked

In addition to building the trails it costs a lot of money to maintain them. Most trails need to be mowed and the weeds kept under control. Up north snow must be plowed off of them if they are to remain open and usable. Repair to the surface including repaving is required periodically. Trees which fall onto the trails must be removed and any damage caused must be repaired.

nh boardwalk tree damage 2

Some trails flood over making a huge muddy mess of them which has to be cleaned off of them. Here is a section of one of our local trails trail which floods frequently and has about 7  foot of water over it (higher than I can reach).

just add water

Sometimes some pretty serious problems develop involving trails and pose big problems and expense. Trails which run alongside of rivers can experience bank erosion threatening the trail and the safety of trail users. If it can not be stopped and corrected and the trail surface repaired the trail may have to be closed or rerouted if that is possible. Even if it is possible it is not always something there are funds available to accomplish. Here is my trike posing to show the opening in the trail caused by river bank erosion. It is all repaired now and repaved.

Maumee Pathway river bank erosion problem my trike front wheel down in opening

It doesn’t help any when so many trail users litter throwing their trash all over the place instead of carrying it with them until they get to some place where they can properly dispose of it. Somebody has to clean that up. I pick it up nearly everyday while I am out riding. It is quite disgusting. Some trails have volunteers who do this, but some have paid employees that taxpayers fund to clean up the litter. People are something else. I constantly see litter thrown down on the ground within a few feet of a trash can provided along the trail.

trash along trail 2

Broken glass is a huge problem, especially for cyclists.

broken-glass-on-pavement-2

And then there is the problem of vandalism and theft which also requires a good sum of money to fix and replace. Again it is usually taxpayers who foot the bill. Here is a fence along a trail that somebody destroyed.

vandalized fence along trail

Getting back to trail planning … oftentimes there is a “master plan” … what I would call “the big plan” or “big picture”. What I am talking about is the trail network connecting together so that a trail user can navigate and travel about mostly if not all on trails and not have to use streets and roads. Of course, all that trail network is a long way off and who knows if it will ever materialize. It is nice to know that it is being planned. Here is a map showing trails planned for Indiana where I live. (sorry for the blurriness)

Indiana trails

Here is another map of it although it isn’t much better quality.

Indiana northern planned trail network

Indiana southern planned trail network

Here is an interesting statistic … as of July 2013, 97.9 percent of all Indiana residents live within 7.5 miles of a trail and 93.2 percent live within five miles of a trail. That is pretty amazing when you stop to think about it. I mean … who would have thought this could be the case?

Hey, with all these trails popping up there is no excuse to not …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’   🙂 🙂

FREE GIFT awaits you!

TRAIL RULES DON’T APPLY

Trail Rules sign

Did you know that trail rules don’t apply? That sure seems to be the attitude and position many take. I find this especially true among bicyclists. I would estimate that about 85 % of bicyclists do not obey the trail rules such as giving a warning they are passing other trail users. They obviously don’t believe the trail rules apply to them. Then there are those on foot who pay no attention to the instruction to stay to the right  except when passing. Many meander all over the place (paying no attention to others on the trail) making it impossible for other trail users to get by them without them getting over out of the way. Other trail users walk abreast of each other and take up the whole width of the trail. Many trail users have earbuds in their ears and can’t hear anything other than what they are listening to. The trail rules don’t apply to them either. Then there are dog owners … oh … they are something else. The trail rules (not to mention the state law where I live) require them to keep their dogs on a short leash under their control. But ol’ Fido gets to run free and just do whatever he wants including attacking cyclists and walking or running right out in front of them causing them to wreck. Definitely there are a whole lot of dog owners who don’t think the trail rules apply to them. One of my really big pet peeves is when they allow their dogs to poop right on the trail and then just walk away and leave it there. Now I don’t blame the dog, but I sure do blame them. What kind of a person would do such a thing? I would like to take a hold of them and shove their face right down in that pile of poop. Yeah, that is what I would like to do.

I find some folks have some very interesting attitudes and thinking about trail rules. Recently one person stated that the rules are “archaic” and senseless. That would be laughable if they weren’t serious. I believe most people would disagree with such a notion regarding trail rules … saying just the opposite. Rules are very much needed. People being rebellious by nature and “unrestrained” will self destruct and do major damage in society. So I say to anyone who thinks the rules don’t apply to them and are stupid or senseless you are guilty of “stinkin’ thinkin’ ” and are seriously in need of an attitude adjustment.

Trail Rules sign 2

There is nothing archaic or senseless about trail rules. They exist for very good reason. And none of us are exempt from them. God has commanded us to obey those in authority over us as long as man’s laws don’t violate His laws and commandments to us.

don't tune out

Just as I started writing this article I received an email from our local trails authority which included a list of the trail rules. Here is a portion of the email …

“Below are some fundamental rules that will help keep everyone safe:

+Walk and Roll on the Right. Pass on the Left.
+Use Bell or Voice When Passing. Slow down, allow the trail user to react and then pass the person on the left.
+Don’t Tune Out. Music is a great way to pass the miles but make sure you can still hear. Leave an ear bud out or keep your music low enough to hear other trail users.
+Use Caution on Blind Corners. When encountering a blind corner, slow down, stay right and use your bell or voice to say that you are proceeding. +Never pass on a blind corner or hill.
+Doggone it, Mind Your Pets. Keep your pet leashed and be sure to clean up after it. Dispose of the waste in a receptacle. Never, ever litter.”

They all make perfect sense to me … nothing archaic about them. The only thing I will say is concerning the “on your left”  announcement I think needs some improvement as it can be confusing to some people. I usually say “coming up behind you and will be passing on your left side”. Of course, many trail users have earbuds in their ears and don’t hear anything I say even though I say it loudly. Some people are on the left side of the trail so it isn’t possible to pass them on the left. If people would just obey the rules it would make everything so much better. We need to read and heed. One way or the other let’s all just try to get along out on the trails and …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

I will admit that every once in a while I come across signs that get my attention 🙂

stupid signs 1

danger thin ice 2

no parking beyond this sign

uphill-both-ways1

FREE GIFT awaits you!

OPEN STREET MAP

According to Wikipedia OpenStreetMap (OSM) is a collaborative project to create a free editable map of the world. It was created by Steve Coast in the UK in 2004.

OSM is built by a community of mappers that contribute and maintain data about roads, trails, cafés, railway stations, and much more, all over the world.

OpenStreetMap powers map data on thousands of web sites, mobile apps, and hardware devices. OpenStreetMap emphasizes local knowledge. Contributors use aerial imagery, GPS devices, and low-tech field maps to verify that OSM is accurate and up to date.

HERE is a website to help people learn how to use OSM. There is lots of stuff available concerning OSM in this high tech world we live in. Just search online and you can find it.

Android OSM downloader

Android Maps & Navigation app

Android OSMTracker app

Apple & Mac downloads

It is not something I personally have any interest in or use for, but I am sure there are many out there this would appeal to and be of use. Hey, if it helps people to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

I reckon it is okay.

FREE GIFT awaits you!

BOOBY TRAPPED BIKE TRAILS

barb wire injury to face

This subject is almost unbelievable and most definitely scary.

barb wire injuries to neck

Evil hearted people are stringing barbed wire (and other wire) across trails and roads where cyclists come upon them and usually don’t see them at all or don’t see them in time to avoid injuries. In the image below (which I created to illustrate this as I don’t have any actual pictures of a paved bicycle trail where this has been found) I have circled the wire in yellow.

barb wire across trail 3

Nobody likes meeting up with barbed wire …

barbed wire entanglement 2

Scene of Steve McQueen from The Great Escape movie.

Here is a real picture of barbed wire across a trail in the U.K.

barb wire across trail

The cyclist spotted it just in time to get stopped. He reports that if he had been going the other direction which is downhill he never would have seen it in order to avoid it. Anyway, this sort of thing is happening in various places all over the world. I think it is mostly on off road riding areas, but some have been reported on bike trails and roads.

Not all of these wires are face high. Sometimes they are lower so that the front tire catches it and the bike gets flipped over. At least that is what the intent is. At our height we might get our faces or necks right into it.

Hopefully this won’t “catch on” and escalate. I have not heard of it happening anywhere near me.

SOOOO fellow tadpole riders do your best to be alert. No one wants to be a victim of such evil practices. We all want to safely …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

FREE GIFT awaits you!

HELP!!! (YOUR HELP IS NEEDED!)

The following is a reposting of an article I wrote quite some time back when I first started this blog and then deleted it … losing all my postings other than a few text files I saved which can be found HERE.

HELP!!!!!

If you are fortunate enough to have bicycle trails near you that you can ride on I hope you appreciate it and realize that it takes a lot of money and effort to build and maintain them. Money is always in the forefront and even moreso in recent years with the bad economy being forced upon us by our national governmental leaders and international bankers. Without money available the building of new trails and upkeep of current existing trails is hurting.

Pufferbelly Trail looking north from Wallen Rd

Many places a key part of the upkeep is accomplished thru volunteers. Most trail systems have some sort of organized volunteers to serve in various capacities. Here in Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live we have the “Greenway Ranger” program as well as the adopt a section of thr trail program. I am one of about 81 current greenway rangers for our trails. The number has gone down as there was about 10 or so more last year.  We have over 90 miles of trails now so that equates to a need of over 180 greenway rangers.  We are only about 100 shy. See what I mean about the need being there? Here is my official I.D. card with a little of my photo editing fun (I added the part about badges) and the official city seal removed as I don’t want to get in trouble here.

greenway ranger card with badge & no seal

Here is a picture of some of us at a ranger meeting.

ranger meeting pic Nov. 2013 enlarged & cropped

On our trail system each of us is responsible for a half mile section of the trail. A few have one mile sections. Our job is to help the management of the trails by informing them of anything that needs attention. We pick up litter keeping the trails in good shape. We are expected to clean up litter up to 10 foot off of each side of the trail. Broken glass is one of the biggest problems out there on the trails. We live in a day and age where there are people who seem to get their kicks out of breaking glass on the trails, streets and sidewalks where they know bicyclists ride over it. I clean up most of it myself which I come across, but occasionally I call it in instead. We help other trails users providing them with helpful information about the trails and provide assistance if they are experiencing mechanical problems and need help. Some of us pick up tree branches off of the trails and even trim various types of vegetation growing along the trails. There are a few of us who ride the entire trail system and cover much of it on a daily basis. We help with the entirety of the trails not just our assigned section which is a very big help to the management folks. I was already doing most of this before I officially joined the volunteer program. HERE is a webpage concerning volunteer opportunities with out local trail system in Fort Wayne, Indiana. There is a good chance similar volunteer opportunities and needs exist near you if you live near trails.

Adopt a Greenway sign

In addition to the Greenway Ranger volunteers our local trail system also have an Adopt a Greenway program where a group of volunteers are assigned a 2 mile section of trail to help care for. They go out a minimum of two times a year to do a more thorough cleanup of their section of trail. By more thorough I mean they go further off of the trail into the nearby areas off to the sides.

trail cleanup effort

I am sure most people who use the trails don’t have a clue what all goes on to keep the trails in condition to use. I am telling you this because there is a great need for volunteers and it is something many more need to get involved in. In doing so you help make it possible for everyone to use the trails. You may not get a lot of expression of gratitude from others as like I said, I don’t think most trail users have a clue what all is involved to keep the trails open and in good condition for their use. I got a chuckle out of a bicyclist passing by on the trail earlier today when myself and my two friends I ride with stopped to trim back some bushes which were growing out over the trail. When he saw us there he apparently thought something was wrong and asked this as he rode by. I thought it was pretty obvious what we were doing, but that is exactly what I am talking about … others not having a clue.

I bet if you were to listen carefully you would hear your local trail system hollering out … “HELP!!!! I need help!” And if you listen close enough you might even hear your name being called. Please consider volunteering. With enough of us doing our part we can all …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

“MANY HANDS MAKE LIGHT WORK”

TADPOLE TRIKES GET ATTENTION

Catrike 700 S. Korea

have been watching some videos of a South Korean triker who rides a Catrike 700. In the one video I just finished watching I noticed the people he was riding by as several of them turned to look at his trike as he rode by them. Yep, tadpole trikes definitely attract attention.

heads turn heads turn 2

heads turn 3 heads turn 4

He has several videos available to view. Click HERE to see what he offers.

Another thing I noticed is that the area he is riding in has nice bike/pedestrian trails some of which must have been expensive to build and perhaps a bit challenging as well. I like his whirlygig safety flag.

I am sure most of us who ride tadpole trikes can attest to the fact that the trikes get attention and admiration quite often from many different people we encounter. Some are curious and want to ask questions about them. Whenever possible it is a good idea to take the time to answer their questions as in doing so we are being good ambassadors for our chosen means of cycling. We have the opportunity to educate others and help them to know more about these awesome machines. And just maybe they too will join us in riding in comfort and fun.

KEEP ON TRIKIN’