By Lawrence Walsh/Post-Gazette
Whether they’re doing it for health, camaraderie, an activity that’s easy on the joints or simply to get outside, more older people than ever are turning to biking.
In fact, recreational cycling among Americans over 50 jumped 62 percent between 2001 and 2009 and continues to climb, according to the latest statistics available from the National Household Travel Survey, conducted by the Federal Highway Administration.
“There’s been a steady increase in the number of cyclists, especially seniors, in the eight years we have been here,” said Cassie Isaac, 59, who operates the bike rental shop at Moraine State Park in Butler County with her husband, Walter, and daughter, Elizabeth.
The seven-mile trail at Moraine is one of the five lesser-known bike trails in Western Pennsylvania that I selected to highlight here, which I knew was sure to generate critical comments from the dedicated supporters of other trails.
But that was to be expected — and encouraged.
I called on a number of local bike trail enthusiasts, especially Mary Shaw and Roy Weil, authors of the soon-to-be-published latest edition of “Freewheeling Easy in Western Pennsylvania.” The draft is available online at www.freewheelingeasy.com. The final selection was mine.
I have ridden each of these trails. They are worth your time and energy. After your ride, go to the website and tell the trail group about your visit, especially if it could add more directional signage to its trailheads. And consider a donation of time and or money to help maintain the trail.
Now go for it.