Rolling in Style
for 80th Birthday
fter decades of plan-
ning surprise out-
ings and celebrations for
her own family, Dottie
Yoder’s loved-ones decided recently to
turn the tables and surprise Dottie on
her 80th birthday. What better way
than with a rail-trail ride on the back
seat of a recumbent tandem?! Dottie
was chauffeured by her son-in-law,
Daryl Yoder-Bontrager (above), a Rails-
to-Trails Conservancy member from
Pennsylvania. With a large contingent
of Dottie’s children and
ey hit the
l and the Conewago
both located in
south-central Pennsylvania. The family
below) rode into the lovely borough of
Mount Gretna, famous for its charming
Victorian houses. Although Daryl was
a tandem novice, all went well until the
last mile of the return trip when, trying
to restart after an intersection stop, he
lost his balance and dumped grandma
gently onto the trail! The spill didn’t
change her opinion about the ride. “This
was the best birthday ever,” she said in
typical live-life-to the-fullest fashion.
I want to do this again in 10 years!”
pathway lined with native plants and
sporting two pedestrian bridges over a
ravine. The city council approved the
new look and construction began.
Other trail segments soon followed,
all bearing the Coastal Rail Trail’s dis-
tinctive blue and gold signs. The town
of Oceanside, which caps the trail at its
northern end, finished a half-mile seg-
ment in 2005 and has another section
under construction. South of the city is
Carlsbad, where a trail section just shy
of a mile long has been built and several
more are planned. In Encinitas, two
miles of trail are in the design phase with
four more miles slated to come.
Although originally envisioned to be
completely off-road, routing constraints
will push the trail to on-road bike lanes
in some areas. One of these is in Del
Mar, where the railroad’s path along
a narrow coastal bluff would make an
adjacent trail unfeasible. South of Del
Mar, the trail will end in San Diego,
which is committed to constructing a
substantial, 20-mile section. Alignment
for the first half—10 miles on the city’s
north side—is currently being finalized.
A long, multi-jurisdictional trail
like this is can serve a wide variety of
purposes,” says Barry Bergman, manager
of trail development at Rails-to-Trails
Conservancy’s Western Region Office.
Most people are not going to travel
its entire length, but by connecting to
major destinations along the way—
beaches, downtown areas, local busi-
nesses, schools—the trail is valuable for
short trips as well. It’s something that
can be used by local residents, tourists,
and commuters.”
John Ross says, “We wouldn’t have a
nice civilization without bicycle paths.”
This idea is finding fertile ground in
San Diego County. According to Chris
Carterette, SANDAG’s Coastal Rail Trail
project manager, “Our philosophy is to
give people transportation choices, with
riding a bike being a key transportation
For more information on the project,
It’s always terrific to see what
our members have been up
to, when they’re not taking it
easy reading
Rails to Trails
mArlisA yoder-bontrAger
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