We’d like to hear from you.Write to “Members
Network,” Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, 2121Ward
Ct., NW, 5th Floor,Washington, D.C. 20037.
Letters may be edited for publication.
Digital Maps Customer
I’m somewhat new to this mobile stuff.
But I love riding with my puppy in a
kangaroo pouch. She’d go forever.
I’m 70 years old and just started rid-
ing again after many, many, many years.
I got a Schwinn Collegiate for $15 at a
rummage sale last year, and rode every
day last summer. When the temperature
was 99 degrees we rode at 5:30–6 a.m.
I loved it! So we had a late spring this
year and I’m just getting started again.
Surprisingly, I’m still in shape.
Your TrailLink.com website is very
helpful to me. I’m sure the guide will
help a lot. Thank you.
DES PLAINES, ILL.
Your Bike Commute
Between March and October I regularly
bike to work but alas no rail-trails—all
on public roads. But my commute is
only 5.8 miles, all in one town and
mainly on less-traveled roads. I live in a
low spot in town and hence every direc-
tion away from home is uphill. The good
about that is you warm up quickly on
those chilly New England mornings, and
the afternoon commute features a one-
mile downhill coast to home.
One route takes me by a vernal pool,
which resounds with the peeping sounds
of frog love. All routes take me along the
Shawsheen River, so I get to see geese,
swans and ducks, the fog shrouding the
river, ice and occasional flooding. Near
work live a flock of turkeys. Thankfully,
they move away from the bike.
So even while keeping an eye and
both ears attuned to the traffic, I get
to appreciate the sights and sounds of
nature. It is a relaxing way to get to work
and to get home. The time difference
between biking or driving is negligible,
while the rewards are priceless.
A Moveable Feast
I wanted to remark how much I enjoyed
reading the article on the evolution of
I grew up near the Pullman neighbor-
hood in Chicago, but never realized the
history and intricacies of these dining
that there are many historical tales that
accompany the converted trails that we
walk and bike on. Porterfield’s enjoyable
article was one more piece of Americana
that relates to rail conversion.
Personally, I have an interest in
American food history that is as avid
as my bird watching along the old rail
paths. When I completed the article two
things occurred to me; the first was get
on Amazon.com and purchase his latest
book, and the second was to write and
let you know how delightful and infor-
mative the article was. Thank you.
The Southern Charm
I commend John Greenfield on a won-
derful article about Tunnel Hill State
fell in love with the area during a mid-
s trip to see a friend in Carbondale,
and have made repeated trips back to
hike, bike, fish and camp.
I loved the phonetic spelling of
Eldorado, having been politely corrected
of its proper pronunciation by a local
many years ago. Many Northerners may
not realize how far south you really are
when you’re in this area. In fact, Cairo
pronounced “Kay-ro”) is about 30
miles further south than Richmond,
Virginia, which was the capitol of the
Confederacy during the Civil War.
A great area, with wonderful people.
A Great Idea:
Share the Magazine
Brilliant! Wish I had thought of it.
For 24 years I have been a supporter,
and always talk-up Rails-to-Trails
Conservancy to friends. But never had
Mr. Richter’s idea. Kudos to the man.
Cycle Tracks and
I just read the Spring/Summer issue.
Although I occasionally ride rail trails in
our area, I am much more interested in
seeing bikes used as an alternative to cars
for local transportation.
I am very much in the “interested but
concerned” camp mentioned by Keith
At age 58, I’m not as nimble as I used
to be, and am more cautious about
venturing near traffic in this time of
behemoth SUVs and distracted driving.
I would very much appreciate your
devoting space—and resources—to cycle
tracks and green lanes. Perhaps it will