I was just looking at a website listing trails in Georgia. My wife and I lived down in the Atlanta area for 10 years so I still have an interest in that area and was wondering about trail development down there. My thinking was … “What if we still lived down there. Would we have trails to ride on?” What I discovered seems to be a universal problem most places I know of. I am talking about connectivity. There are various trails, but most of them don’t connect together so they are not very practical to ride on at this point in time … especially the shorter ones. It is not hardly worth it to load up your trike and haul it many miles to get to a trail that is only 2 to 4 miles long. Of course, there are trails around which are much longer … more distance than most people would want to attempt in one day’s ride.
Yes, connectivity is a problem. Some of our trails around here where I live don’t connect together at this time so I don’t usually ride on them. I pretty much stick to the trails that do connect together. Right now all of our local trails are linear. We can ride to the end of it and then have to turn around and come back the same way we had just come. Again, someday this is suppose to change. They are planning some more trails which will make a loop we can ride. That would be nice.
Lots of future trails are planned. There is just one problem … money. Trails are very expensive to build and maintain. It is my understanding that our trails around here cost about $125 a foot and that is just the part that is asphalt. Boardwalks cost about $500 a foot. With a struggling economy which is getting worse and not likely to turn around (I think it is going to totally collapse as that is the plan of those running things) these future trails will not likely materialize.
So I reckon we will just have to do the best we can and be thankful for what we have. And it helps immensely if we the trail users help maintain them. It helps us all to …
KEEP ON TRIKIN’
Below is one of the articles I wrote and is posted on Steve Greene’s Trike Asylum blog. Steve was kind and gracious in giving me his permission to post them here on my own blog. I have made some minor changes mostly in the way of updating information I wrote about. Here is the article:
Some of us have a preference one way or another. Some of us have a choice while others do not. Some have no trails available and only have roads. Personally I am not afraid to ride out on the streets, roads and along the highways, but I have friends who are and won’t do it. They won’t even ride in bike lanes. That being said, I much prefer riding on trails as I find them more interesting for the most part. And I don’t think there is any doubt that they are safer than riding on streets and roads. I only wish I was in a position where I could travel around the country and ride all the different trails that are available out there. Of course there are paved trails (asphalt or concrete) and what I consider non-paved trails (everything else). I don’t care to ride on any trail that isn’t paved … especially riding a trike. I have ridden off road with my trike, but it ain’t for me. I think off road riding on a trike is very impractical. Sorry, maybe you don’t agree and like doing it.
Here where I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana we have approximately 80 miles of paved trails at the current time. In actuality we only have about 38 miles of trails which are of practical use … of any appreciable length and connected together. Some “trails” are what I refer to as “glorified sidewalks” and not really trails at all … at least they are not my idea of what a trail is. They are simply extra wide sidewalk which run along the side of a street or road. If commuting someplace is what one is doing then I have no problem with riding on these rather than riding out in the road/street. Otherwise there just is no comparison between these “sidewalks” and a true trail. I just have a hard time with classifying them as trails. Now 80 miles of trails sounds like a lot, but I tell you that those of us who ride on them daily will all say that it gets old quick. And as I said, it is really only about 38 miles we ride on. Hopefully someday there will be more and they will connect. Right now all the newer sections which exist are scattered about and isolated from one another. What was originally built is all a linear trail following along our 3 rivers. This means that once we get to the end of the trail we have to turn around and come back. The trails do not loop around or connect to other trails … not yet anyway.
There is a tadpole trike rider up in Calgary, Canada who has several YouTube videos of his rides. They are good quality videos which I enjoy watching.
Out of curiosity I looked up bicycle trails in the Calgary area and discovered that they have approximately 375 miles of trails and 240 miles of bike lanes. That is a bunch! I am impressed!
Perhaps you have something to say concerning your preference and what you have available where you live. I am all ears. Well, actually my nose is bigger than my ears, but we won’t go there. 🙂
Keep On Trikin’