Borrowed my sister’s sweet Orbea tri bike for an out and back cruise on the Neuse River Greenway Trail. Bucolic beauty, tame riding (flat), and deer sightings along the river and over 7 bridges (2 suspension bridges) through wetlands and countryside. (I coaxed the little guy out of the brush so he could join his peeps on the other side of the path.) It’s an easy, paved, multi-use, 27.5 mile trail. I turned around at the 25 mile marker as I had to get back. This trail is part of Raleigh’s Capital Area Greenway System, and notably, also a portion of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a 1,150 mile hiking trail that crosses North Carolina through the Great Smoky Mountains and concludes in the Outer Banks. (Perhaps something to add to my “to do” list though from the little I’ve seen, my preference would be to bike it over hiking it…)
Posted trail speed limit is 10 mph, which is ridiculous for road bikers. I went on a weekday afternoon when there weren’t many walkers or casual bikers so I broke the rule. If I lived there, it would drive me nuts not to be able to ride the trail at realistic road bike speeds. Of course, safety is of the utmost importance, but how can you have a decent mileage path that allows bikes and expect people not to exceed 10 mph? (Heck, I ride 14 mph on my mt. bike on the road.) It’s a big deterrent to this cyclist. Perhaps the sentiment is if you’re a real cyclist, you’ll ride on the road. I don’t know about you, but I get more than my fill of riding on the road in California so anytime I have a chance to ride and not worry about cars, I’m all over it. I’d be working with city council and bike advocates to change the rule or adopt some measure to establish designated times or days when road cyclists can ride at speed. All that being said, once you get the 25 mile marker, the roads look very rideable with minimal car traffic. You could probably make your own century ride out of it.