Celebrate the Gwynns Falls Trail / National Trails Day Saturday, June 7

Please join us on Saturday, June 7, starting at 9 AM to celebrate the recently completed construction of the Gwynns Falls Trail to the I-70 Park & Ride facility on the City/County boundary. Come run, bike and walk on this new section of Trail through Historic Franklintown and on to Middle Branch or the Inner Harbor . There will be a professionally timed foot race as well as walking and biking with our guides or on your own. Travel to Middle Branch Park and learn to row with the Baltimore Rowing Club. Go as far as you want on this 15-mile Trail that travels through 2000 acres of stream valley parks that links 30 neighborhoods together.

The Gwynns Falls Trail is now 15 miles long traveling from the Inner Harbor visitor Additional information at <a href="http://www.gwynnsfallstrail.org">http://www.gwynnsfallstrail.org</a>; or call 410-396-0440 or 410-448-5663 x 113

by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/bb_nutrition/ ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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Gwynns Falls is the feather in the hat of the Baltimore park system. Gwynns Falls is almost a jewel, but the 'hat' of a system is nowhere near a crown.
Take a look at the Baltimore Park system [http://www.ci.baltimore.md.us/government/recnparks/parks.php ]
Click on the parks. there is a header and some text that few will read.

Now look at the Minneapolis Park system [http://www.minneapolisparks.org/home.asp ]
Look at the pull down menu of parks and recreation centers. And on top of the front page is a link for Maps, where we could actually see where a park is and whether we want to go there. Check out the Mississippi Byway District. Notice how it connects with the Minnehaha District, the Chain of Lakes District, and more. Many, many miles of contiguous trails for walking, running, rollerblading and bicycling.

Minneapolis is a good example for Baltimore. The web pages have easily accessed maps and that is the first information that people want and need. Baltimore's trails for bicycling are so very underdeveloped compared to Minneapolis, a city with continuously freezing temperatures from November through April. Baltimore kids are relegated to bicycling within a few blocks of home, where heavily trafficked streets hem them in. Bicycling in Baltimore, a city with long springs and autumns, is not very safe in this virtually trailless town.

Even New York has bicycle lanes painted on the streets, and New York is a fairly built up and crowded city. What is Baltimore's excuse?

As I said at the beginning, the Gwynn Falls Trail is the feather in the hat of Baltimore's Park system. With a little imagination, maybe some private companies could help fund trails and have commemorative signs along those trails, similar to the adopt-a-highway program. Is the will to build a real metropolitan bicycle network really there?