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On the trail

August 31, 2020

On Saturday morning I was biking on the trail between Angel View and the camp ground, and I was struck (not literally), by the large number of fellow cyclists and walkers with babies and or dogs that were using the trail. Exercise patterns in Fredericton have definitely changed.

In the old days, and that means before my knees gave out at the turn of the century, I was out running nearly every day. Getting into shape for marathons or shorter races. This required a variety of routes, generally organised to end at a bar for a beer.It was easily done in the summer, but in the winter it was more challenging, so I would go cross country skiing instead.

Most of my running was on the roads, the trail system had no comparison to what we have today, particularly on the south side of town where I live. In those days we often ran the two bridges as a route choice, the Princess Margaret Bridge and the Carleton Street Bridge. One of them is no more and the other does not permit biking, let alone running. Now of course you can run the train bridge as it is a walking bridge, and there is a pedestrian path on the Westmoreland Bridge. It was theoretically possible to run out to Lincoln from the Experimental farm on the railway line, but the sleepers (I am referring to the things that supported the rails, not dozing citizens) were still there which made it quite challenging. In the days of the abandoned line still being there, there was generally a wilderness between the gardens and the river with just a few notable horticultural exceptions. Since the official establishment of the trail, the majority of the homeowners have taken their property between the trail and the river more seriously, and in many cases attractively.

Not everything is perfect though despite the best efforts of the city. One would think that the concept of a speed limit was totally foreign to cyclists with drop handlebars. They speed along thje trails, and the walking bridge at speeds exceeding twice the limit which is 15 kmph on most of the city trails, and 10kmph on the bridge, terrifying senior citizens, parents with young children, and dogs. Sadly many of them do not even have a bell or any method to alert others of their imminent whizzing past.

One thing cannot go without mention, the combination of a brewery and the city have made a great improvement to the North end of the Walking Bridge, particularly for those who need access to beer!

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  1. Wow, you do have a long history of pre-trail running, Tim. Our trail system has definitely added enormously to quality of life for many in our city. I completely agree about cyclists who either don’t have or don’t use their bells.

  2. Duncan MacDonald permalink

    Hi Tim

    I have been biking to work all summer

    Agree completely about the speedsters‎. Bell or no bells

    I have a bell. A lite ding. I note others appreciate it almost without exception

    Great to be biking again.

    No beer post biking. But a great idea

    Cheers and best wishes


    Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Bell network.

  3. Robin Andrew permalink

    Are you sure that isn’t a spelling mistake in the last line. Are you sure you didn’t mean “For those who need access to bear” ?

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