Flat Trail Bicycling by Sue Freeman
As urban sprawl spreads our homes and businesses farther apart, we spend more time in our cars. This translates to more cars on the road morning, afternoon, and evening. Head out at any time of day, any day of the week, and youll be enmeshed in a swarm of cars. Rush hour is no longer confined to a few hours in the morning and a few in the afternoon. Weve reached perpetual rush hour.
Because of this, it has become even more dangerous to bicycle on our roads. Despite marketing campaigns to the contrary, cars own the roads. And, they are not very gracious about sharing it. Theyre bigger and they go faster. A person on a bicycle is at a distinct disadvantage. And for families, road bicycling can be a stressful as well as dangerous undertaking.
The opposite end of the spectrum is mountain biking. Here, kids and young adults reign supreme. They have specialized bikes and the energy and lack of fear required to navigate trails with steep hills, narrow passages between trees, and a bed of roots and rocks. But what about the rest of us? The not so in shape; the families with small children; the less adventurous who still want some exercise and a fun outing.
Stop at the Erie Canalway Trail (that stretches 85 miles from Lockport to Palmyra) especially on a weekend or evening and youll find the rest of us. A constant stream of everyday people enjoying a bicycle ride. These are the flat trail riders. Flat trail riders can also be found on the paved bike paths in Webster, Greece, and circling the Genesee River in Rochester. Youll find them on the converted railroad beds in Victor, Canandaigua, Mendon, Webster, Scottsville, and many other places. Youll even find them in Mount Hope cemetery. Let the cars have the roads.
We flat trail riders have our own routes, far from engine fumes but still close to home.