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Good News on Epic Bike Trail Stretching Coast to Coast Across USA, as Cycling Popularity Soars During Pandemic


In 2019, we shared the news of an exciting new trail designed to allow bicyclists and hikers to travel 3,700 miles across the United States from coast to coast.

Coen Van Der Broke

the Great American Rail-Trail will eventually run from Washington, DC to the coast of Washington State and connect more than 145 existing roads. Over 1,988 miles have already been completed.

Once the trail project, which is led by the Rail-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), is complete, it will serve a large number of Americans as 50 million live within 80 km of the trail.

For cycling fans, here’s a look at how rail trails have benefited people in the pandemic, and a look at the growing popularity of cycling and long-distance trails around the world.

COVID-19 lockdown proves rail trails are invaluable

Rails to trails

Rail trails, roads built on disused railroads, and other recreational routes have proven to be invaluable respite for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing alternative transportation routes and space for people to exercise, often close to built urban areas.

“This year has shown how vital projects like the Great American Rail-Trail are to the country. Millions of people have found their way abroad on trails as a way to cope with the pandemic, ”said Ryan Chao, president of RTC.

“As the Great American Rail-Trail connects more towns, cities, states and regions, this infrastructure serves as the backbone of resilient communities, while uniting us around a bold, ambitious and impactful vision.”

Cycling is increasingly popular during a pandemic

While the multi-use trails can be used by anyone from runners to horsemen, cycling has become particularly popular during the confinement as a form of exercise and a method of transportation. Bicycle sales skyrocketed around the world as people sought to avoid public transportation.

There are the obvious health benefits of cycling. Not only does it provide an aerobic workout and activates the body’s feel-good chemicals, endorphins, cycling is also gentle on the joints, builds muscle, increases bone density, and helps with daily activities. Cycling is also seen as a way to manage pollution levels after a pandemic.

Paris is just a place planning to become a “15-minute city”, where everything you need is within a 15-minute radius on foot or by bike.

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Milan is implementing a similar program, while Buenos Aires has introduced free bike rental schemes. Europe has spent a billion euros on bicycle infrastructure since the pandemic began, according to the European Federation of Cyclists.

Cycling routes around the world

At around 5,955km, the Great American Rail-Trail may be particularly ambitious in terms of scale, but it is one of many innovative cycling projects around the world. The 4,450 km EuroVelo 6 route crosses 10 countries as it crosses Europe between the Atlantic and the Black Sea.

The 346 km Transpennine Trail through the north of England, which opened in 2001, uses disused railroad tracks that were left empty after the decline of the coal industry and passes through city centers, heritage sites and national parks in its I walk between the coasts.

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Last year, the UK launched the 1,300km Great North Trail that runs from the Peak District in northern England to John O’Groats in the far northeast of Scotland.

In the Belgian province of Limburg, the water bike route allows cyclists to cross the Bokrijk ponds. The 200-meter path is at eye level with the water, allowing cyclists to glide across the lake.

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Meanwhile, the 7.6 km Xiamen Bike Path is the longest elevated bike path in the world and runs over the Chinese city’s road network. It seats about 2,000 cyclists during peak hours, and much of it is suspended under an elevated bus lane, providing shelter from the weather.

Source: World Economic Forum

Be sure to share the good news with your fellow outdoor enthusiasts on social media …


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