Category Archives: trails

THE WEATHER DEPARTMENT, A YEAR TO REMEMBER

The reason for having a tadpole trike is to ride it, but in some parts of the United States it has been and continues to be a difficult year to get much riding in. That’s because of all the rain … day after day … week after week … month after month it seems. It is a year to remember. When is it going to stop? I mean like … give us a break! Even what little time has been available to ride there is so much flooding that there are very few places to ride without encountering flood water … closed trails, closed roads and streets, closed city parks. Then to top it all off there have been some strong winds in some of the storms which have brought numerous trees down which are blocking off trails. Some of the trees are huge. With all the rain the ground is so saturated that the entire root system under them just pulled up out of the ground. Many others were simply snapped off or large branches were snapped off. Many fell onto houses and cars/trucks. I have ridden around various parts of the city and seen many such scenes.

tree uprooted and fallen onto house

tree fallen onto car

They were also blocking streets and sidewalks, but at least those are usually removed fairly quickly. The bike trails haven’t been touched though and probably won’t be for some time. Some are still flooded.

flooded trail in Sweeney Park

In the image below the red line shows about where the bicycle trail runs. There is more than 7 feet depth of flood water over the trail about where I have drawn the yellow line on the red line. The river is to the left beyond the trees.

Maumee Path from North River Road near Landin Road trail marked

This image below is of the St. Joe Pathway near Parnell Ave. As you can see it is completely flooded over. The river is to the left.

flooded St. Joe Pathway near Parnell Ave.

Other trails are a muddy mess and with all the rain aren’t drying up. That means that nothing can be done about clearing the trees off of them. Besides the city is too busy dealing with cleaning up other places which take priority over the trails. That is the story here where I live.

Then there are parts of the nation experiencing bad drought conditions. They desperately need the rain. I sure wish we could send some of ours their way. Not only are they experiencing drought, but they having scorching heat making it miserable and dangerous to be outside. Fires are a serious threat when these conditions exist.

I know that there are those who say “just ride in the rain”. To that I say “no, thanks”. I don’t find that enjoyable at all.

I just took a look at the 14 day extended forecast. Even though it is raining today as it did yesterday the forecast shows several days of no rain. Hallelujah! Thank You Lord. Now if I just had somewhere to ride. I will have to work on that. I want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

TREK THE TRAILS

Every Tuesday evening at 6 PM from April thru October here in Fort Wayne, Indiana the local trails authority conducts what they call Trek the Trails.

Trek the Trails ride meetup

Each week they have an organized ride where bicyclists can show up at a designated starting point to form up and head out riding a different section each week. By the end of the “riding season” they will have covered the whole trail system and probably repeated some of it. The rides are usually about 6 to 9 miles long. They are open to all and families are most welcome.

Depending upon the weather the turn out is usually pretty good … 60 to 100 riders. Someone always leads the rides and someone always brings up the rear making sure everybody made it ok. I have only personally ridden on a couple of them as I ride all of the trails frequently and know them all quite well. The main purpose of these rides is to introduce people to the local trails and help them to learn about them.

Trek the Trails ride

Probably at least 4 times during these rides they offer special events in addition to the ride itself. Sometimes they have a live band, food, dance, bicycle giveaway by drawing, etc. On one such ride they go to a predetermined location out away from the city lights where they have telescopes set up to check out the stars and whatever else they can see in the heavenlies.

Here is a video of one of the rides from 2012. It is on the Saint Joseph Pathway to Shoaff Park. It started out at Johnny Appleseed Park.

And HERE are other videos of these rides. And HERE are other videos of  Fort Wayne Trails.

In addition to these Tuesday evening rides they also have a Saturday morning ride once a month which is longer and geared a little more for those more serious about riding including a little faster pace and longer distance. But again, it is open to all and someone brings up the rear ensuring everyone makes it regardless of whether they keep up the pace of the leader. These rides always get spread out considerably. Even the Tuesday evening rides do, but probably not as much.

Trek the Trails ride 3

Anyway, I think it is a pretty good thing that they offer this. It is good to promote the trails and help people learn of them. In doing so it raises awareness and more and more people are taking to the trails. And after all … that is what it is all about. Just so they don’t get too crowded as we want to be able to continue to …

ENJOY THE RIDE!

TO BE SEEN OR NOT TO BE SEEN

As I sit here typing this it is snowing again outside. Being stuck indoors thru another nasty winter unable to go riding outdoors I am envious of those who can ride at this time of year. So sometimes I watch others ride on videos posted online. Here is one I came across which I think looks very inviting.

One of things I noticed as I watched this is safety flags. This is a subject I approach with passion. I have WRITTEN ABOUT IT before and even made up a VIDEO of my own about it. I know not everybody agrees with me on this as it is obvious by the flags they choose to fly and by the position they have them at. Safety flags can be quite effective and eye catching or they can be quite ineffective. In this video embedded below I captured a screenshot of two trikes in the front of the camera. Both are flying safety flags. One is barely flapping while the other is flapping vigorously. One is farther away than the other. The one which is most visible and eye catching is not the one which is flapping the most or closest. It is the one flapping the least and furthest away. How can this be? Color! The yellow flag stands out far better than the multi-color (blue, white, red and yellow) one. Look for this fairly early on in the video. Normally the flags that flap around a lot are more eye catching, but if the colors are not all that noticeable than the flapping doesn’t accomplish all that much good. You can see this in the video.

2 safety flags from behind 2

Nope, I just don’t get it. Why bother? Why spend the money to fly a flag that doesn’t show up? I mean the whole idea of a safety flag is to help others see you. If is for your safety … hence, it is called a safety flag. Flags might be pretty to look at, but if they are not eye catching … well, what can I say? It’s your funeral as they say. I know there will be many who spurn what I am saying. They might even get upset with me. I know many will go on ignoring what I am saying. But if just a few trike riders wake up to this and do something to help others see them it will be worthwhile getting others upset with me.

While I am at it I see some trikers fly their flags down real low. I assume they do so trying to keep wind resistance down. I guess they have it in their minds that this is going to slow them down a half a mile an hour and they can’t have that. Again, I don’t get it. Why bother at all? If your flag isn’t going be placed where it is noticed then you might as well not even have one.

Well, anyway the video of this trail ride is neat and it makes me all the more desirous to ride. Come on Spring! I want to …

KEEP ON TRIKIN’

AUTUMN RIDE ON TRAIL

was watching some videos on YouTube of our local trails here in Fort Wayne, Indiana when I came across this one which sort of caught my eye … probably because of the fact it was in Autumn with the leaves on the trees changing colors which is always so pretty. The colors certainly are not breathtaking as they are some years, but they are still pleasing to see. Anyway, I thought I would share it so others could enjoy it as well. Fort Wayne’s original trail system known as the Rivergreenway are trails built which follow along the three rivers here in Fort Wayne. This video features the St. Marys Pathway which follows along the St. Marys River.

Here is a map of our current trail system. It is not quite up to date as there have been a few short sections added since this map was created. The trails are represented by the red lines. We presently have just over 100 miles of trails completed. And more miles are planned and slowly materializing. The St. Marys Pathway is the north-south trail in the middle of the map toward the bottom.

ft wayne trails map

RIDING THE RAIL

Riding the rail … a “rails to trails” trail, that is. These tadpole trike riders are on the Nickel Plate Trail in north central Indiana. The name comes from the former railroad track bed the trail was built on. It was the Nickel Plate Railroad. I have ridden on ihis trail once myself although this particular part these guys are riding didn’t exist at that time. Apparently they started their ride together at the Victory Bike Shop in Kokomo, Indiana. Where these guys are riding is about 75 miles from where I live. I don’t know if these guys are a part of the group of tadpole riders who have an organized group in the nearby area, but I would not be surprised if they are. I know I would be if I lived closer. (That is, if they would have me). From what I have read they usually ride together on Thursdays and ride all day long up until evening. They often ride about 100 miles. At least that is what I read. That is a lot of riding. I am envious. Other than my one friend there are no other tadpole trike riders in our area that seem to show much interest in getting together for a group ride. Watching this video I would say that it looks like these guys are enjoying themselves. I would like to be with them. How about you? Some people are loners by choice while others are because they have no choice. I am hoping things change around here where I live and other tadpole riders start riding together.

If anyone is interested in checking out the Nickel Plate Trail HERE is a link to their website. And HERE is the TrailLink website page on this trail. HERE is the IndianaTrails webpage. HERE is their Facebook page.
Nickel Plate Trail map

Lastly, HERE is an article about the trail.