The Chainlink

Anyone else heard of this effort to connect trails coast-to-coast.  If this were to happen in my lifetime, I'd happy burn some vacation to ride it every summer!

https://www.bicycling.com/news/a27395751/great-american-rail-trail-...

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Yes, I have seen it.  Take Amtrak to DC and start riding back to Pittsburgh, then section by section coming back.  The big gaps are Wyoming and Montana, so traffic there should not be a problem.

There may not be much traffic in places like Wyoming and Montana, but drivers go super fast because they have to travel such long distances.

Not sure what the appeal of Rail-Trails is outside of metropolitan areas.   There are so many lonely two-lane paved roads that are excellent for biking in this country, why divert to a Rail-Trail?  Adventure Cycling has done such a good job mapping those roads, and in a very continuous manner, I can't imagine much support for building a duplicate system for non-continuous Rail-Trails.

I've biked the Rail-Trails around Chicago, the Elroy-Sparta Trail in Wisconsin, the Washington-Old Dominion Trail in Virginia, and various Rail-Trails elsewhere.   It is boring biking.  Given the choice, I'd much rather risk seeing a couple cars an hour, than grind away on a gravel trail.

Because the trail is not being built exclusively for bikes, which you would have noted had you read the article.

I get what you mean, although the Elroy-Sparta Trail is a bad example of boring, mainly because of the 3 railroad tunnels.  But the rest of the 100 miles on the "Bike 4 Trails" across mid-Wisconsin is a bit dull.

But on a multi-day ride, sometimes you just want a day on consistently flat-grade trail, or not have to figure out a road route.

So, the goal is, per the article, to eventually create a CONTINUOUS trail.

My advise to you, clp, is to not ride it. Then again, what suits your needs / preferences may not fit all users. I may never desire to ride it myself, but will I actively advocate AGAINST it?! No.

Advantages are it's exclusively for bikes, well balasted surface and it's moderately graded. Needed infrastructure like bridges and tunnels are either in place or easy to re-establish.

Terrain depends on where you are. Illinois is pretty dull on any surface.

"The Great American Rail-Trail will be multi-use, with public trails available for activities such as cycling, walking, wheelchair use, inline skating, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding."

Well with the rise of the Internet, worthy-sounding causes are being created every day.  All it takes is a bit of web-savvy and a feel-good idea that sounds plausible.   They get a 501(c)3 designation, and the money starts rolling in....from sympathetic individuals, institutions and corporate sponsors.  They give themselves a nice title and salary, hire all their family-members, at least on paper, develop a pleading tone in their voice, and start giving media interviews.   They're set for life.

But as we've seen many times, the 'worthy cause' gets nothing....because the whales, polar bears, and Mother Nature have no use for money.   Meanwhile real, legitimate charities, that are doing wonderful things, are getting less and less funding.  Because scarce donations are being siphoned off for phony 'feel-good' ideas.  Legitimate charity work like lobbying in statehouses and Congress to fund bicycling, transit and walking projects right here where people live!   Not out on the wind-swept plains of Wyoming and Montana, grading and developing a CONTINUOUS bike path that no one will use!

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy is rated a very worthwhile charity; their administrative costs are under 10% for instance.  But this is a stupid idea and a waste of scarce charitable funding for bicycle projects.

But then you’ve never met a trail that you’ve approved of. 

Sad but true...

i thought this would be a cool symbol, even if i only ever rode segments. Better than strapping on a pool noodle and hoping for the best! Plus, “this land is our land” so why should the rail companies just sit on it?

"The Great American Rail-Trail will be multi-use, with public trails available for activities such as cycling, walking, wheelchair use, inline skating, cross-country skiing, and horseback riding."

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