Entries Tagged as Rail-Trails
I had hoped that a nice, sunny day and cool spring temperatures would combine to help make my first-ever bike overnight memorable. And, while my companions and I did get a remarkable trip up the C&O Canal Towpath from Washington, D.C., the weather we wanted wasn't what we got. It started raining the moment we left our starting point, the downtown D.C. building where I work. It rained as we cycled through trendy Georgetown, where we got a little lost and I almost got mowed down by a big delivery truck in rush hour traffic. And, it rained long past the time when we shivered ourselves to sleep.
I purchased a new Raleigh Sojourn touring bike last June and this was the second overnight trip taken with it. I rode from Sacramento State University to Lake Solano County Park and back on August 10 and 11, 2011.
On a Sunday my wife announced that she would like to get one more tour in before cold set in. By Tuesday I realized that she (and the time) was right and that the weather would be great. Thursday we decided to take the Iron Horse Trail over the Cascades to Cle Elem, Washington. Friday, we decided also to bring our 10-year-old along.
Three weeks ago I posted a piece at my Adventure Cycling Biking Without Borders blog titled Flat's Where It's At: My 10 Favorite Rail-Trails. While I didn't exactly pull these ten trails out of a hat, I do admit that I haven't personally experienced them all.
This past Labor Day weekend marked my first bike tour. An amazing experience: Load your stuff on your bike and pedal away. The open road stretches in front of you as you pass by farmland, forests, towns, sand dunes, and ocean. About 90 miles on the Pacific Coast Bike Route over two days in central coastal California.
In 1843, Johann and Catherine Hagemeyer left their native Germany on a three-masted sailing ship in search of freedom and opportunity. After 45 days and one cyclone at sea, they and 180 other immigrants arrived in Baltimore. With two young children and three heavy trunks, Johann and Catherine boarded a small, steam-powered train for the first leg of a 25-day journey by rail and canal to the farmland of Ohio. Johann Hagemeyer was my great-great-grandfather. In researching his immigration, I made an unexpected discovery: The route of his train ride is now a scenic bike trail.
Though the boy is pushing his Trail-A-Bike’s pedals for all he’s worth, we still can’t make it up the sharp slope from the parking lot at Channahon State Park onto the Illinois & Michigan Canal Tow Path. He’s only eight years old; his locomotive contribution is marginal at best and negative on ascents. I stand on my pedals, but the rear wheel just spins in the loose gravel and I quickly put a foot down to keep the bicycle upright.