After spending nearly a decade as a reporter for The Indianapolis Star, Robert Annis finally broke free of the shackles of gainful employment to freelance full time as an outdoor travel journalist.
“The universe is monstrously indifferent to the presence of man,” echoed through my mind in Herzog’s soft-spoken German rasp, and arguably nowhere on the planet is that more true than this sparse, desolate desert.
Veins are popping out of Tim O’Donnell’s forehead, and the dreamy brown eyes that once melted the hearts of many a Cincinnati teenager in his youth now narrow into a frustrated squint. After spending hours trying to wire the two small LED lights into the split top tube of a customer’s city bike, the Shamrock Cycles owner couldn’t take any more. Snatching the light, he angrily winged it toward the wall of his 600-square-foot workshop. But instead of splintering into shards against the wall, O’Donnell heard an unsettling “tink!”.
The bike’s fork, freshly returned from the painter, sat in a vice more than 12 feet away. The tiny LED bulb chipped off a small piece of paint. For the perfectionist O’Donnell, that small flaw might as well as been a flashing neon sign.
When it comes to a relaxing bike ride, few options are better than a rail trail. Hundreds of the repurposed greenways have popped up over the last two decades, with many more in the planning phases.
But not all rail trails are created equal. Some things you might not notice right away, others you will – especially if it’s an amenity the trail is lacking. So what makes a rail-trail great?