Tell Us ...
In September, we asked you to tell us whether you've ever kept track of how many miles you've walked, run or ridden on a rail-trail?
Ellen Agronis — Tulsa, Okla.
I've kept a log of my walking mileage for the past several years. As part of getting healthy again, and staying healthy after a bout of breast cancer, I began setting a goal of walking 1,000 miles a year, an average of 2.75 per day. Most of my daily mileage is on Tulsa's wonderful trail system, including some rail-trails. I note where and how much I walk each day. One thousand is a fairly attainable goal if one is consistent. Now that I've begun walking marathons, 1,000 is pretty lame. I'll probably be there by the end of this month. Next year I think I'll have to up it to 1,150 or 1,200 to keep my self respect.
Chasidy Rush — West Virginia
My 11-year-old son and I rode our bikes a total of 50 miles this summer on the North Bend Rail-Trail in West Virginia. The trail is approximately 70 miles and goes through a lot of rural areas. I must admit we're not avid riders and had to go buy bikes and accessories before we could even start. It took us five days to ride the 50 miles, with sometimes a week or longer between rides due to the extreme heat and humidity this year.
The scenery was beautiful, but the people we met along the trail were what made this so special for us! Come to West Virginia; you'll not meet nicer people. We met a couple in their late 80s walking hand in hand. They said they get out and walk two miles a day just to enjoy the land, nature and each other. Then they proceeded to tell us how they lived and worked on or near the railroad most of their lives. We walked with them for about 15 minutes, and my son listened as the man told us about an upcoming tunnel that's supposed to be haunted! My son was excited and ready to see the ghost. Oh my gosh, when we got to the tunnel it was misty and eerie looking!
I hope to go back and start where we left off this fall. With cooler weather we should finish this rail-trail in no time.
Ella Cromer — Box Elder, S.D.
We keep a record of our bike riding in the summer months. We are retired, and for the last seven years we have been full-time RVers, traveling the country riding rail-trails. This was the second full summer we spent in northern Minnesota riding the Heartland and Paul Bunyan state trails. They intersect in Walker and run together for a number of miles. We chose these trails because we found an RV park adjacent to the Heartland Trail. We like living (for the summer) right next to the trail. We see many beautiful flowers along the trail, as well as deer and sometimes a bear.
Last summer, we rode more than 3,200 miles from May 15 to October 10. This year, as of today (Sept 14) we have ridden 2,938. Our goal of course is to break last year's record, and we should easily do that. We ride recumbent bikes and are in our late 60s.
Andy Williams — Duluth, Ga.
I started tracking my miles in 2008 when a church buddy and I decided to ride in BRAG, the Bike Ride Across Georgia. We are deeply entrenched in middle age, and neither of us had ridden in years. We became friends and bonded as we began our attempt to get in shape, spending a great deal of time on the Silver Comet Trail outside Atlanta. When the summer of 2009 rolled around, we completed BRAG together, and I continue to track each and every ride: distance, time, average speed and maximum speed. We don't set any land speed records, but we always have a good time!
Reg Reisenbichler — Seattle, Wash.
Although I haven't gone back to my daily log books for exact calculations, I commuted between home and work, or to the University of Washington in Seattle from 1981 to 2008—rain or shine. I calculate that I logged more than 100,000 miles during that period. The commute by bike, with low or no car traffic on the Burke-Gilman Trail, allowed me to miss the notoriously bad Seattle traffic and retain some semblance of sanity and physical fitness. I wore out several sweatsuits and several sets of gears on my old mountain bike.
Steve and Laurie Deal — Fairmount, Ind.
My wife and I often use rail-trails in southwest Michigan, and we base most of our getaways around the state's trail system. Michigan has the most user-friendly trails I have seen. We bought a book and started logging the trails we have visited. We write about the day's weather, how we rode, how busy the trail was and the condition of the trail.
We have never felt threatened using any trails to date (except there was that racoon in the middle of the trail once; he owned the place).
Ian Maze — Savannah, Ga.
I commute to work many days per month. Now that the weather is cooler, I ride eight miles each way nearly every day. The number of folks who do the same has increased dramatically in the past two years. Sunrise going in and sunset going back along the Augusta Canal and the Savannah River. It's beautiful and peaceful, and the favorite part of my day.