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Archives for the day Sunday, June 20th, 2010

Many of you have read stories about park agencies across the U.S. facing the constant threat of budget cuts and staff reductions. I’ve read and seen the same disappointing stories, but there is still one project that keeps me excited. Each story I read about the 550-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail keeps me enthusiastic that such a beautiful trail is being developed.

Once completed, the Bay Area Ridge Trail will be able to support hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. Just 10 to 15 miles of trail are being opened each year, so my generation (people in their 20’s) will likely be middle aged by the time the trail is done. 

Most of the completed trail is on public land looked after by government agencies — but a lot of the proposed trail now sits on private property. It’ll be especially difficult to convince farmers and wine growers to sell or open their land for a park.

California has beautiful trails across the state.  Ted and I are most familiar with the trails in San Francisco, the East Bay, and the American River trail in Folsom. Despite the upkeep costs of these park facilities, it’s great to see new trails being constructed — helping the environment and preventing construction.

Although the project is still years from completion, some mountain bikers are already disappointed with Bay Area Ridge Trail restrictions. For example, the SF East Bay has about 70 miles of ridge trail open, but one-third of it prohibits mountain bikes.

I understand some of the complaints regarding mountain bikes on the trails, and the East Bay Regional Park is doing it more for safety reasons. In a recent interview, it was noted bikes are prohibited on most narrow trails, especially if the narrow trail is open to equestrians.

Trip Across the Country For a Cause

To help explore the country despite peripheral vision loss, James Frigo decided to embark on a 4,063-mile bike ride across 13 U.S. States. Along the way, James has his father James Sr. as the tandem are expected to ride for 40 to 45 days, but should be able to squeeze in time for sightseeing.

They’ve been on the journey for one week, and yesterday’s update said the duo were scheduled to ride from the Grand Canyon to Bitter Springs, Arizona. About $7,000 of a hopeful collection sum of $125,000 has been collected for the Foundation Fighting Blindness non-profit organization.

Just nine of 400 companies approached showed support, as one company loaned the pair an RV. Another sponsor bought two road bikes and necessary accessories and equipment for them.

These across country journeys are difficult and challenging, but riding or running for a cause helps many participants. Another inspiration endurance challenge is currently underway by Ashley Kumlien, who is running more than 3,000 miles across the United States for MS research.  Her blog is available here.

You can follow their progress on the ‘Frigo’s Big Challenge’ website on Facebook.

I’ve had friends complete events such as the AIDS Ride, and everyone only reported great things about the event. If you have the chance to help support someone like the Frigos or Ashley, then perhaps it’s something you’d consider in the future.