Monday, January 5, 2009


Whenever I look for articles about biking, whether it’s on the internet, in books, or in magazines, I’m offered two main categories of trails and occasionally a third. It is assumed that I am interested in either mountain biking or road biking.

For many years, I was a mountain biker and loved it. I have never been too into road biking, but I do spend a lot of time biking around on highways and byways. However, I avoid them whenever possible.

In general though, I’m much more into biking on multi-use trails. Often times these trails are thrown into the general category of rail-trails, but this is a bit of a misnomer since not all multi-use trails are rail-trails. And they definitely should not be thrown into the heap of mountain biking or road biking [trails] because they are neither of those.

I have to assume that I’m not alone in my pursuit of multi-use trails. Multi-use trails serve the needs of nearly everyone. They are usually accessible by young people, not so young people, hybrid bikers, mountain bikers, road bikers, recumbent bikers, handicapped individuals, and even infants/children being pulled in trailers or tagalongs.

In other words, they are the most useful and usable trails out there, yet they don’t seem to warrant their own category in most forums. Occasionally, there is a category for rail-trails, and this is a step in the right directions, because rail-trails are incredible. But, as I mentioned before, not all multi-use trails are rail-trails.

Maybe the problem is in the name. I call them multi-use trails, but that is not necessarily a widely accepted term. Maybe there’s a better name for them. I’d like to hear from some of you. Would you like to see a separate category of trails and, if so, what do you propose we call them?

This issue may not be up there in the national psyche along with, say, health care reform, but it is an issue near and dear to my heart, so whataya say?


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