Category: Bike trails

How a rail line might become a major bike trail in Washington state

Can you imagine riding your bicycle in the future along this corridor where these railroad tracks run today? I can.

This is a very short stretch of a 47-mile railroad right-of-way that runs north-south about two miles from my home in the growing communities just east of Seattle.

The current owner, the BNSF Railway, wants to sell the 100-foot right-of-way. A deal currently in the works calls for the Port of Seattle to buy it for $100 million to $180 million and turn it over to King County along with the funds to build a bike and hike trail on it. In return, the Port gets the King County-owned 625-acre airfield just south of Seattle.

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If the land swap deal happens — we'll probably know next year — the old rail line could become the backbone for a network of existing bike trails. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/11/28/how-a-rail-line-might-become-a-major-bike-trail-in-washington-state/

New York college issues bike path warning

The University at Buffalo is urging people not to travel alone on bicycle paths in western New York after a recent homicide was linked to the so-called “bike path rapist.”

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The warning was issued after police linked the late September killing of Joan Diver, 45, to the unknown man responsible for nine sexual assaults, including two homicides, against women between 1986 and 1994. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/11/17/new-york-college-issues-bike-path-warning/

Fall color abounds on bicycle trails

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy website has some cool suggestions from its staff on which rail-trails have the best fall color.

Up here in the Pacific Northwest, the big-leaf maples are blazing right now, although recent rains have knocked down a lot of leaves. Here's a scene along the Lake Washington bicycle path earlier this week.

Not all of the trails on rails-to-trails list are accessible to bicycles. And I'm sure some of their suggestions from the northern tier have played out (the piece has been up for a month; unfortunately I just noticed it this week).

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The website links to fall foliage forecasts in all the states mentioned. Here are some bike trails that might still be colorful …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/11/09/fall-color-abounds-on-bicycle-trails/

Staying safe on remote bicycle trails

A murder on a bike path in Georgia and an assault and separate gun-pointing incidents on an Indiana bicycle trail show the need for cyclists to consider personal safety when out for a ride.

I don't want to be an alarmist about this. Bike trails aren't dangerous places. I've stumbled across these news stories in the past couple of months, and they may represent the only incidents of violence across the thousands of miles of bike trails used by millions of people during that time period.

Even so, it's probably worth repeating some words of caution.

Update: The University at Buffalo issued a warning Nov. 17, 2006, that people shouldn't travel alone on the Ellicott Creek bike path, or pathways in western New York.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/11/09/staying-safe-on-remote-bicycle-trails/

Badgering for bike trails in Wisconsin and Alabama

Bicycle trail advocates in Wisconsin and Alabama are pushing for more funding this week to complete trails in their states.

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin says the 40-mile Badger State Trail from Madison to the Illinois state line should lead priorities for funding, instead of that money going to highway construction projects.

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In spite of a $5.8 billion transportation budget for 2005-2007, the state Legislature has cut 70 percent from the bicycle fund, leaving 92 such projects in the state unfunded …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/10/11/badgering-for-bike-trails-in-wisconsin-and-alabama/

How to keep 60 kids safe on a bike path

I'll have to admit that I was expecting the worst when I volunteered to help chaperone a peloton of 60 middle school pupils bicycling on the Sammamish River Trail this weekend.

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Clipped wheels. Face plants. Head-ons with speeding adults trying to shave seconds off their time trial records. Tangles with roller-bladers, dogs on leashes or stollers. Anything could  have happened — but nothing did. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/10/02/how-to-keep-60-kids-safe-on-a-bike-path/

The West's Top 10 City Bike Rides

A few days ago I mentioned that the Seattle Burke-Gilman Trail had been named among the West's Top 10 City Bike Rides by Sunset Magazine. What are the other 9, you ask?

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Leading the list is the Paseo Del Bosque Trail, left, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The 16-mile bike path, which runs along the Rio Grande, has no street crossings along its entire length. It also has no water or restrooms. The flat trail passes beneath the busy highways and is a good place to see coyote, road runners and migrating waterfowl. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/09/30/the-wests-top-10-city-bike-rides/

A snowy Mickelson Trail Trek in South Dakota

How's this for a way to finish a three-day bike tour in mid-September?

Snow greeted the 435 cyclists on the final day of the 109-mile Mickelson Trail Trek last weekend, reminding them that the Black Hills of South Dakota can offer blustery weather while the rest of us are enjoying late summer temperatures.

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This was the 9th year for the bicycle tour that uses the 114-mile George S. Mickelson Trail that runs between Edgemont and Deadwood in southwestern South Dakota. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/09/22/a-snowy-mickelson-trail-trek-in-south-dakota/

New York City announces extensive bicycle network

The Big Apple has announced big plans for a bicycle network that encompasses the addition of 200 miles of new on-street bicycle lanes, routes and pathways in the next three years.

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The idea is to improve the health and safety of New Yorkers. The announcement, made by the city's directors of transportation, health, parks and police, cites the deaths of 225 cyclists on city streets in the past decade, as well as chronic health problems of the city's denizens. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/09/13/new-york-city-announces-extensive-bicycle-network/

Longest bike-hike bridge to span Arkansas River

The Murray Lock and Dam Bicycle Pedestrian Bridge — also known as the Big Dam Bridge — opens in Little Rock, Arkansas, this fall as the nation's longest bridge built for such use.

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The 3,463-foot bridge links 25 miles of bike-hike trails in the cities of Little Rock and North Little Rock, as well as connecting two recreation areas — Murray Park and Cooks Landing. …

Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2006/07/02/longest-bike-hike-bridge-to-span-arkansas-river/