Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Bicycling the Rail-Trails in North Idaho

When do you plan your summer vacation?  If you're already looking at 2020... put NORTH IDAHO BICYCLING on your short list.

I went in 2012, and again in 2015... and last week I hit it once again.

It wasn't quite as breathtaking the third time as it was the first... but only because I wasn't seeing that spectacular scenery for the first-time-EVER.  I hope I can squeeze it in every 3 or 4 years, until my kids declare that I'm too old to ride a bicycle any more... and then maybe 2 more times after that.

The Missus was kind enough to loan me the Family Truckster.  I drove from Boise to Pinehurst on Monday (Labor Day) where a tent spot was waiting.  I camped there 4 nights, and rode downstream to Heyburn State Park for the 5th night.
- Tuesday I rode up the Route of the Hiawatha in the morning, and back down in the afternoon.
- Wednesday I hooked up the trailer and dragged my camp to Heyburn, along the Coeur d'Alene Trail.
- Thursday I rode back to Pinehurst.
- Friday I rode upstream to Wallace, then back to Pinehurst.
- Saturday I was compelled to pack up and head for the flatlands.  (It's the only way I might get to use the Truckster again some day.)

(More photos can be viewed HERE.)

"Tireless advocate"? Maybe not so much any more...

The masthead on the "Bike Nazi" declares that I'm a "tireless advocate for the most efficient form of human transportation ever devised - bicycles!"

And that's how I started out, way back in 2007.

But I've grown weary.

For one thing, over those 12 years I've lost a bit of vim and vigor.  My average speed is probably down 3 or 4 MPH.  (I still try to ride as far... but obviously it takes longer.)

But in addition...
1) I'm retired as of March, so my "transportation" needs have changed considerably.  No more daily commute.
2) Considerably more people seem to be bicycle-transporting in 2019, at least when the weather's nice, than in 2007 or 1986 (the year I permanently and meaningfully embraced bike transportation).
3) There are more alternatives now, than there were in years gone by.  I'm thinking in particular of electric scooters and bicycles.  (I would never consider either, recognizing the value of getting some "bonus exercise" as part of the compensation package for riding a bicycle.  But I can understand the appeal of E-vehicles, especially if they're getting people out of cars.)
4) I have no idea if people are reading my blather or not.  And if they are reading it, are they finding it motivational?

The frequency of my posts has dropped off considerably... especially since I ditched the daily commute.  BUT - I still ride every day when I have a bicycle available... and I still do a lot of transportation cycling.  Nowadays it's running errands and such, rather than commuting to work.  So hopefully I'm still setting a good example.

Watch for me - I'll be the Hi-Viz Fat OLD guy on the bike!  (And if you're reading, I'll still try to do some word arrangements from time to time... when I feel like I have something to contribute.)