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© Nathan Valles
Nathan Valles and family at Utah's Snow Canyon State Park during their 2010 cycling vacation.


© Nathan Valles
Nathan's wife and daughter encounter an unusually steep rise along the Snow
Canyon Trail in Utah.


© Anna Keaney
Anna Keaney's son, having learned to ride a bicycle in 2010, is looking forward to
a summer of riding with his mom.


Tell Us ...

If the weather is keeping you off the trails this winter, now may be a great time to troll through some of your old rail-trail memories and photos. Can you remember the most unusual or surprising thing you've ever come across on a rail-trail? Did you encounter a moose or herd of cattle in your path? Or maybe you saw a ridiculous sign? Share your strangest stories with Karl at karl@railstotrails.org.

With all e-mails and photos, please include where you currently live as well as any caption info.
All photos submitted to Rails-to-Trails Conservancy may be used in any and all organizational materials.

Tell Us ...

In December, we asked you to tell us about your proudest rail-trail feats from 2010.


Anna Keaney — Madison, Wis.
This year, my 6-year-old son learned to ride a bike without training wheels and turned into a biking fanatic. Madison has several  paths in and around it, and there are few things he loves more than to go for a long ride. His longest was 14 miles one hot summer day; this on a bike with no gears! His 7th birthday was in November, but he put his present on hold until spring, when he'll get a new bike with gears and handbrakes. He's hugely excited about a summer of biking together, and I'm thrilled to have fostered this passion in him. This was definitely my best biking feat of 2010.

Nathan Valles — Santa Rosa, Calif.
Our family decided to do a different vacation this year: a cycling-filled vacation. Since we all like riding our bikes, it seemed like a good thing. After all, we had ridden trips of more than 20 miles numerous times. Some of our favorite trails are the Brush Creek Trail, the Joe Rodota Trail and the Prince Memorial Greenway/Santa Rosa Creek Trails, all in Santa Rosa, Calif., where we live.
 
With our 8-year-old daughter old enough to ride her own bike, and some recent accidents involving cyclists and cars on the news, my wife insisted that if we were cycling, we needed to be on dedicated bike paths to the greatest extent possible. With that in mind, I hit Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's
trail-finder website and found some great paved trails and bike paths for our trip.
 
Taking off from Santa Rosa with our bikes on the back of our car, we intended to start with the
Sacramento River Trail, but bad weather prevented that ride so we headed for Provo, Utah. We camped at the campground along Highway 180 and rode the entire length of the the Provo River Parkway. It is a nice 15-mile trail that leads from the canyon out to the edge of Lake Utah. After a few stops for food and rest, we checked off a total of 30 miles for that day.
 
From there we headed out to Glenwood Springs, Colo. We had every intention of riding the bike path along the Colorado Rver through Glenwood Canyon, but as we found out seven miles into our ride, late rains along with melting snows had resulted in floodwaters closing parts of the bike path. Only about 15 miles that day. To make up for it we decided to take the bus (equipped with bike racks) out toward Aspen, Colo., and ride the
Rio Grande Trail back to town. That was about 32 miles of rail-trail, averagind 1 to 2 percent downhill all the way. With a lunch stop in Carbondale, it was a beautiful 32-mile day.
 
Our next stop was just outside of Bryce Canyon in Utah. The bike path runs along Highway 12 through Red Canyon. Starting just west of the canyon, we rode up to the rest stop on the high plateau. Only about a 16-mile day, but what a beautiful, quiet day it was.
 
Our final stop was just outside of St. George, Utah. Starting at the little park on the Snow Canyon Parkway, we rode east and then north along Highway 18, and then back down through
Snow Canyon State Park. Although the climbing was more than we expected, the ride was beautiful.
 
We came home happy and refreshed. We had ridden more than 125 miles that week and had a bunch of stories and photos to share with friends and family.

Steve Eisele — San Jose, Calif.
What I accomplished this year: I purchased a tandem bicycle for my wife and I to get her out of the house to ride with me. It worked, and she actually likes riding it with me. We bought a two-seat child trailer and a tag-along bike that we hook up to the tandem to take the grand boys out for a ride. The set up is a tandem bike, tag-a-long and child trailer. We call it the tandem train. I have done some new organized rides and new rides on my own, as well.
 
For this upcoming year, I am hoping to get lot of trail time in with the wife and grand boys, their mom (my daughter) and dad, along with their uncle (my son). We are looking for a tandem tag-along bike so the two older grand boys can ride on that and the youngest will ride in the child trailer. My first ride for the year if the weather holds and stays dry is to ride to the top of Mount Hamilton in San Jose, Calif. I am hoping to get more long rides in with my son on our single bikes, somewhere in the 60- to 100-mile or plus range.

Terri Dellamaria — Elkhorn, Wis.
This is the first year I have kept track of my riding miles, and how motivating just doing that is to keep reaching various milestones! I rode 1,368 miles on trails from April 27, 2010, until November 11, 2010 (the weather is a factor here in Wisconsin!).
 
Of that total, 1,158 miles were on the
White River State Trail that goes from Elkhorn to Burlington, Wis. The other miles were on various legs of the Illinois Prairie Path and the Glacial-Drumlin State Trail. It was so exciting to reach the 1,000-mile marker. Now, I have a record to beat next year!
 
William Langland — Schererville, Ind.
I bought a Townie bike in 2009 after moving to Schererville, Ind. My house is on the 14-mile Erie Lackawanna Trail, and I started slow but eventually rode 1,600 miles my first year on the trails! I now know biking is just right up my alley, and I can't wait to get out ther again next season!

Mike — Maple Grove, Minn.
I was able to ride 1,600 miles this past summer, and it felt great! Apart from the Luce Line State Trail, I was able to explore three additonal rail-trails in my area and now am looking forward to gettng my kids on these trails next summer.

 

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