Monday, June 20, 2011

Great trail discussion on topix.com

I just found a great discussion about bike trails on topix.com.
road bike or trail bike?

It's one of the few forums that allows anyone to participate w/out joining.

This particular forum starts with a question about why anyone would want to ride their bike on the road when there is a perfectly good trail right beside it or near it.

I've often had the same question. I will go way out of my way to find a trail rather than ride on the road. On the other hand, some people seem to avoid trails like the plague.

I love the topic of the discussion, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere. Half the participants seem curious why the bikers are avoiding the trail and the other half keep answering because, "Bikers have a right to be on the road."

Here's what's so frustrating about that:

  1. Just because you have the right, that doesn't explain why you do that. I have the right to play an accordion in a walk-refrigerator in Speedo tights. But why would I want to?
  2. Often times, these people seem to be saying, "By gosh, I've got the right to impede traffic, risk my life, and piss people off, so by golly I'm going to do it."
One other point that comes out in the discussion is, "Why spend tax-payer money on trails if people aren't going to use them?" Although I don't fully agree w/ that perception, I can see where others may find it valid.

Do me a favor: either comment to this post or add your two-bits to the Bike Trails forum on topix.com.

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9 comments:

Kirsty said...

Such a difficult question! They're both great!

Barry said...

Oh how I love open-forums.The chance to air my views, debate an issue with someone (without it getting heated) and read/hear what others have to say.

I do get a bit annoyed though when people use the term - "I have rights". The poor buggers in North Korea don't have many rights.

Brian said...

As for the former questions, I'm not sure. I greatly prefer trails to road cycling. I view it as a safety issue, and an issue of ease of travel.

As far as people not using trails, I'm finding that more and more trails are being built in rural areas, and people go to them for recreation. The Urban trails I've been on have been pretty crowded, especially on weekends. The Baltimore-Annapolis Rail Trail for instance, I wasn't able to pedal for more than 5-7 seconds without having to communicate with a jogger, in line skater, or other cyclist about my presence. It was very crowded to the point of needing more lanes.

trailsnet said...

I was hoping that someone would bring up the point that Brian just made:
Actually, trails get a lot of use. It depends on when and where you ride.
I have found it relatively easy to find a peacefully, secluded trail when I really wanted to.
But most trails get plenty of use. As Brian said, some of them can be downright crowded at certain times on certain days.
In my opinion, trails may be the best bargain for taxpayers and contributors to trail funds such as Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. They provide great recreation, exercise, commuting, and environmentally friendly transportation for millions of people on a daily basis.

greatplainstrail said...

I think road cyclists use the roads because they are traveling 60+ miles per ride and there aren't many trails that can do that.

trailsnet said...

I think you're right about that, but in this case, I think the people on the forum were talking about places that did have lengthy trails right beside the road. I know while I was biking in Georgia, Mississippi, & New Hampshire, there would be 50+ mile trails and on the sections that bordered roads, I would see people riding their bikes on the road rather than the trail. It was one of those "huh?" moments for me. The trail just seemed so much safer and more relaxing.
On the other hand, one part of me was glad that those people were on the road because they were hell bent for election, and I'd rather not see that type of cycling on the trail.

trailsnet said...

I think you're right about that, but in this case, I think the people on the forum were talking about places that did have lengthy trails right beside the road. I know while I was biking in Georgia, Mississippi, & New Hampshire, there would be 50+ mile trails and on the sections that bordered roads, I would see people riding their bikes on the road rather than the trail. It was one of those "huh?" moments for me. The trail just seemed so much safer and more relaxing.
On the other hand, one part of me was glad that those people were on the road because they were hell bent for election, and I'd rather not see that type of cycling on the trail.

trailsnet said...

I think you're right about that, but in this case, I think the people on the forum were talking about places that did have lengthy trails right beside the road. I know while I was biking in Georgia, Mississippi, & New Hampshire, there would be 50+ mile trails and on the sections that bordered roads, I would see people riding their bikes on the road rather than the trail. It was one of those "huh?" moments for me. The trail just seemed so much safer and more relaxing.
On the other hand, one part of me was glad that those people were on the road because they were hell bent for election, and I'd rather not see that type of cycling on the trail.

trailsnet said...

I think you're right about that, but in this case, I think the people on the forum were talking about places that did have lengthy trails right beside the road. I know while I was biking in Georgia, Mississippi, & New Hampshire, there would be 50+ mile trails and on the sections that bordered roads, I would see people riding their bikes on the road rather than the trail. It was one of those "huh?" moments for me. The trail just seemed so much safer and more relaxing.
On the other hand, one part of me was glad that those people were on the road because they were hell bent for election, and I'd rather not see that type of cycling on the trail.