Joined: 09 Sep 2005
|Posted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 1:12 pm Post subject: Email on the Dawkins RT project from a Fleming Co. supporter
|(This email was sent in support of the Dawkins RT project by Steele Hinton, a resident of Fleming County, a KRTC member and a RT supporter.)
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 1:38 PM
Subject: RE: meeting tonight at 6:30 in Saylersville
.... To the citizens of Magoffin County and nearby areas: I am a native of Fleming County, also on the Licking River and have lived there most of my five-plus decades.
I have also bicycled most of that time, getting serious enough the last few years to ride a couple of thousand miles annually. I am down from 215 to around 190, sometimes less. Right away, you see one benefit of cycling. I ride mostly on public highways, but the fear of cars keeps many people away from roads. Rail-trails are a boon to those seeking to improve or maintain health, whether by bike, foot or horseback.
I have ridden on rail-trails in Ohio, West Virginia, and Alabama, and walked trails in Washington DC, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. All were trails that were long enough to make the drive to get there worthwhile. The Dawkins line could be one of the first, if not THE first, in Kentucky to allow a cyclist to ride for several hours. Such a trail will attract people, nice people, who will be seeking a B&B, motel, or maybe just some ice cream ( Ice cream sells well along trails.) Less than weeks ago, with my wife and friends, I was in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania. The year-round population is 77, but there were a couple of motels, some B&Bs, several places to eat ( though some had closed until spring) two or three places to rent bicycles -and a really nice rail trail. (All the way from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, Maryland) There were other attractions: white water rafting, trout, and a waterfall, but my point is the place was alive! Even on a Tuesday morning in late October.
My wife is from Elkins, West Virginia. A rail line which not so long ago was active now connects to Parsons, WV, 21 miles away. On a weekday summer morning a couple of years ago, I made the round trip on my bike and encountered a variety of people. A woman walking a dog, and another. Fitness walkers and just walkers. College-looking cyclists. Maintenance crew. A man who looked to be at least 76 who, weather permitting, said he rode from Parsons to Elkins and back every day. A father with a boy and girl who looked about 7 and 9, slowly going south to be met by Mom at the end ( There's parking at several places along the way.) Two "tween" girls out on their own, not venturing their bikes much past town. Over twenty in all. Trail use by such people is evidence of a feeling of safety, and a deterrent to anyone who would think a rail-trail is a good way to access places to burglarize. On the contrary, a rail line abandoned to undergrowth is a backdoor for criminal types.
If a rail trail were planned in my stomping grounds, I would immediately seek to buy land as nearly adjacent as possible, before property values went up. I just would like a place to ride when perhaps the hills get to big for me in twenty years or so. Some people would see the value of a business (see ice cream, above). Some may only walk-it's amazing what you find on these trails that carbound folks do not know about. Try it, please, you'll like it.
Thank you, Steele Hinton
Posted by Dixie Moore, Secretary KRTC