Hike and Bike

Morning! I thought I was getting my routine back but I apparently was not totally accurate. I will be able to be in my exercise routine for a week – 7 days – and then it falls apart again. The Y is closed next Saturday for spring cleaning! Grrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

Maybe I can talk my husband into loading me and the bike into the car and taking me to a local rails to trails. Assuming they are all over the US but for our international readers, the United States made the (foolish) decision to send much, if not most, of the goods and people transported in the country by trucks and private cars. That left thousands of miles of abandoned rail beds. Many of them are being turned into walking and biking trails. Since there is no motorized traffic allowed on them and very few crossings, they make good places for low vision folks to exercise.

According to the website there are almost 23,000 miles of rails to trails in the country. I would be surprised, if you are in the USA, if you were located very far from one of those. There are four, two of them quite long, within 45 minutes of my house.

The two shorter ones are going to be connected soon. There are efforts to connect sections of trail all over. Or at least that is my understanding. That means people will actually be able to do bike trips of several days long if they wish, and they can do them on safe, easy riding trails.

Or, they can go out and back on a two-mile trail like I have generally done. However, in my own defense, that was when I had good vision and I could ride my bike almost three miles to get there.?

My biking goal for the summer is to get someone – anyone! – to take me to the D&L (Delaware and Lackawanna, my grandfather was an engineer for them) trail. The section I have ridden and intend to do again is 26 miles long and goes from White Haven to Jim Thorpe.

26 miles sounds impressive, but it is not as bad as you may think. This section of trail is almost totally a 1% downhill grade and an easy ride. That is a good thing about rail beds. Often with only one engine and upwards to 100 cars, you did not want to be going up or down hills much steeper than that. Most of the rail beds, in Pennsylvania at least, have very easy slopes. (Slope is rise over run; remember?)

Canada has the Great Trail. I know nothing about it except the website says it is extremely long, 24,000 km which translates to approximately 14,600 miles. Sort of sounds like the AT on steroids. Check out the section you might be interested in for accessibility data.

The AT, Appalachian Trail, approximately 2,000 miles, Maine to Georgia. The section I know is a true ankle breaker and I would not recommend it for people who cannot see their feet. To prove my point? A blind man who hiked the AT was written up in extreme sports magazines! That was Trevor Thomas. He hiked the AT in 2008.

He was not the first, though. Bill Irwin, also blind, hiked the trail in 1990.    [Lin/Linda: Here’s a YouTube video from behind the scenes of the movie about this called ‘Blind Courage’ which is to be released in 2017.  Click here to get the book that he wrote called Blind Courage – it’s available as a Kindle e-book or through his website link.]

That said, there are easier sections. Check out your local section online or talk to a local hiker. A little research, a few modifications and my guess is you can get out and enjoy. Have fun!

Next: Mr. Magoo!

Home

Ratings

  • Rate this
  • Summary
Current Average Ratings
Overall quality
Avg: 5.00/5
Applies to topic
Avg: 5.00/5
Helpful to me
Avg: 3.00/5
Hike and Bike
Total Avg Rating: 4.35 out of 5 with based on 1 rating(s)
Overall quality
Applies to topic
Helpful to me