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The website seems to be talking about all the great infrastructure instead of how cyclists are getting hurt and ignored. I'll take that as reflecting change "on the ground", which is great news.

Thanks for highlighting RTC's efforts in this part of the country. For the 3rd year in a row, my son (age 7) and I will be joining the RTC Sojourn for a 4 day ride from Parkersburg to 75 miles to the East, where the current red line on the above map now terminates. The past two summers, the Sojourn was on the GAP trail, which still had a few gaps in it that have now been filled. The goal is to bring attention to the fact that off-road tourists are of all ages, but tend to be those in the category of people who spend money.

RTC sponsors several different of these tours, which are all lot's of fun. http://www.railstotrails.org/experience-trails/sojourns/2016-rides/
The first year I took my son on the back of our cargo bike - great for him but not so much for me. Last year and this year we will be riding our tandem, but because the trip is out and back, I have challenged him to ride his bike for as far as he can go alone, and then I will lock his bike and have him ride on the tandem. Great bonding family thing and we get to camp out, something hard to do as city dwellers.

When I rode the trail last year I asked a business owner how the trail had impacted her community (Confluence. PA)

She started ticking of business after business that had been created since the trail opened. I think I stopped her after about a dozen. And this is in a very very small town.

That trail network has even greater potential than the map shows - there is also a route in the works, with substantial portions complete, that links Cleveland to Cincinnati.

Bikes are good for business. The greatest ROI on public infrastructure investments.

Topically, the newest issue of Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac (BA 43-500) contains "Ten Best Things About Biking the C&O Canal and GAP from Washington DC to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania" by Adam Perry.

Sounds like these trails are doing something similar to bike lanes in the city: stimulating business.

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