Book Excerpt – NBG in its Highest Art Form

What follows comes to you from the re-write I am doing of  “How America Can Bike and Grow Rich“. It is an almost final draft excerpted from the American River  Parkway section. The Lynn to  which these words refer, is Lynn LePage, the recreation manager for the city of Folsom.

NBG in its Highest Art Form




Handsome and fit, with a large view of the future, Lynn also saw the big picture of the National Bicycle Greenway. As an enthusiastic supporter of our mission and our yearly trek up the American River Parkway, he saw the NBG in its highest art form; what will happen once we get all of America’s bikeable roads and paths interconnected.


He and I have spent many hours talking about the NBG over the years. Lynn envisions a corridor similar to his Parkway  that celebrates the natural, as well as the urban wonder of each of the areas though which it passes to connect the coasts. From his Parkway, he foresees rail trails joining hands with old logging roads and abandoned highways and the like  to explore America’s forests, mountains, lakes, and even deserts as it moves across the West. 


In his mind’s eye, he saw, as the Lincoln Highway people did back in 1912 (see appendix), the reality of a red line on the map calling for a travel route from ocean to ocean. While the dream they fulfilled was for cars, Lynn knows the right of way from San Jose to Boston our annual Mayors’ Rides are helping us determine, will one day make quiet, vehicle free cross county trips possible. This as we extol all the natural and man made simplicity and wonder that meet our path.


Interpretive in nature, the historical background of mountain passes such as the Mormon Immigrant Pass (discussed in detail later in this chapter) ahead, as well as those found in Nevada, the Rockies, the Appalachians and etc, will all be marked with tasteful signage that will make them fun to experience for those moving slow. The wonder of America’s bread basket will be explained. Even the Platte River Basin’s contribution to taming the West (talked about in the Omaha chapter), instead of being thundered through at interstate speeds, will be greatly savored by all those who use their own bodies to travel. The natural features we want to celebrate on the route we foresee are endless


Where the NBG passes through all the urban areas in between wide open America, there would be wonder at hand there as well. Once again, signage and information kiosks would be hard at work. In populated areas, they would tell NBG bikeway users where to go for food, lodging, fun and points of interest along the way. This as the route we will have chosen to most directly get across each of the cities in question will establish the character  that sets them apart from one another. In order to do so, the National Bicycle Greenway will work to make sure our route will  take in as much of the best each city has to offer as we can. This in the way of attractions, parks,  neighborhoods, traffic tamed shopping villages, places of learning, and whatever natural assets there are to be discovered, etc.


The 2011 Mayors’ Ride schedule is due out soon….

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