Dec 3, 2011

Is this what you humans call hope?: A ride on the Topsfield Linear Common

All who worked to establish Topsfield Linear Common, bless you and thank you for all your hard work getting a bike path built.

In the past I've complained once or twice about New England's rocky, rooty trails and the fact that you can never have an easy non-tech ride.  I never really thought I'd find it other than on a paved road.  Maybe not even there.

I was AMAZED by the TLC.  I don't think I've EVER seen a trail so straight, level, and smooth.  Is it a fun mountain bike trail?  No.   But that is exactly the point.  This isn't an amusement trail, it's a real transportation corridor.  It doesn't make a loop in the woods (not that there's anything wrong with THAT) but actually connects places people need to get to while staying (mostly) away from roads where cars present- let's face it- real danger. Especially when connected with the Danvers Rail Trail (the connection is seamless and unnoticed) an equipped cylist can go from Rt. 114 (Loews/ Olive Garden/ Trader Joes/ Walmart/ etc.& the North Shore and Liberty Tree Malls with a little road riding) {Not to mention that from North Shore Mall, the Peabody Rail Trail goes clear to West Peabody}to Downtown Danvers (A few different nice restaraunts, pizza, Peabody Institute Library, Cakes For Occasions, and Western Cycle) to the Topsfield Fair, and on to Topsfield Cycle and downtown Topsfield.

All of that is no joke- that is a serious amount of errands that can be done by bike.  That gives a serious range of places you could meet friends while arriving by bike.  Not as "wow, look at the weirdo who rode a bike to get here", but as a common-sense, practical way to get from one place to another.

But just as I was writing adventure off (relatively- as I said, it's still a beautiful path) I saw a small trail and followed it.  And here's what I found (it wasn't a TOTAL shock, I've been there before by kayak, but still...) and it looks different from the bank.  Still flat (and I'm not saying that's a bad thing!) but look at it- and it feels like a canal in Amsterdam.

I'm telling you, to ride from Danvers up to Topsfield, and then take the trail to this little ditty, while bringing along lunch or something would be just golden.

I should also add that Topsfield Cycle is RIGHT on the TLC-feet away.  Good bike shop, handy if you need something.

This may feel a little like some sort of link-fest, but it's not meant that way.  I just feel a welling up of hope in that I never thought I'd see an actual sort of network of bike trails in this area, such that a person could begin to think of using a bike in place of a car...

Thank you again to all responsible for these trails.  You are heroes, even if no one sees that yet.

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