Entries Tagged as Rail-Trails
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.
I had done this trip so many times before but this was the first time since my crash. I had ridden through the winter taking just a month to recover. Still, I wasn't sure how I would feel.
In the early hours of my overnight, I stopped to watch the family coming my way. The young woman was smiling with two sleepy toddlers sitting in child bicycle seats somehow attached behind the seat of her bicycle. Trailing behind was a large bicycle trailer that appeared to be filled with everything, maybe even the kitchen sink. We were on the C&O Canal Trail several miles west of Harpers Ferry.