I can resist a great many things, but not the temptation of a really good path.
I mean a good path. A really good path. Not some urban ramble of a couple of miles of sidewalk. Not some ambling squiggle though some downtown park where you never really get out of the sounds of traffic and car horns. That’s pretty much what I think of as commuting. And while commuting by foot is good for you, it’s not inspiring to the soul. It requires headphones and podcasts to distract you. It is the brussels sprouts of the offerings on the plate of hiking and biking.
Some folks really like brussels sprouts. If that’s your thing, then more power to you. But I can always look at them and say, no thank you.
Even if you cover them with cheese.
A really good hiking path is surrounded by pines, and scrambles across rocks. It has a nice spot or two to just sit in the sun as the wind blows past and allows you to look down on a valley or river. It switchbacks when the grade gets tough, and gives you a nice spot or two to stop and look around while you catch your breath.
A really good bike path is mostly gravel or chat. It can give you some pavement, preferably asphalt, just to make you appreciate how smooth and beautiful it can be. Just enough to make up some time and get closer to lunch while you listen to the thrum of your wheels along it as you kick it up a notch and cover ground. But mostly, it needs to crunch as you go.
It needs to connect something. A town or two, a good picnic spot, a nice overlook or lake to sit by are preferred. It needs to have character. The really long ones that can string all of that together are what I like best. If you can add in cool air and the crunch of leaves under your wheels, then you get bonus points.
And if you can throw in a good spot with a mean burger or tasty pizza along the way, well, I’m sold. I can’t resist it, and if you’ll excuse me, I need to be on my way.
Temptation of the path