Ever since the idea of moving to Kimberley was first planted in our heads, at the very top of our 'THINGS WE'RE LOOKING FORWARD TO DOING' list was getting on Rails To Trails.
I mean, how great is it that a former railway line has been turned into a paved 26km bike path that connects Kimberley to Cranbrook, with great views all around you and no cars breathing down your neck while you cop a look at said great views? I'll tell you what it is… it is f*cking great. I haven't felt so blissfully zen riding on a bicycle since riding around in Copenhagen with barely a car in sight.
Possibly the greatest thing of all the great things about Rails To Trails is that the grades are mostly under 2%. Which is another way of saying that there isn't any really steep hills to attempt to peddle up and then realize you're too out of shape to peddle up so you have to get off and push your bike like a failure. Not that getting off your bike and pushing makes you an actual failure, it just feels that way when you are doing it. And nobody wants to feel like a failure, even if it's just for a little while.
To be totally honest, we only got us far as the 17km marker* (another nice thing: there's km markers the whole way!), but unless things get really crazy for the last 10k of the journey into Cranbrook, this is a totally doable bike ride no matter what your skillz/healthz levels are (ps - if you're wondering "if it is so doable, why didn't you make it the full way?" well, we had to get back to Marysville to feed some dogs we were babysitting). Here's a few pics…
Without a doubt, Rails To Trails is something we are going to be doing again and again. Well, we have to get our own bikes first as the bikes we used in our maiden voyage belong to the owners of the dogs we had to get back and feed, but once we get those bikes, we'll be back. Again and again. It was a total "10/10: would ride again".
A couple extra notes:
- Put on sunscreen! Even if it is a little bit overcast, don't think that you won't end up with a tank top sun burn so bad you won't be able to take your shirt off at your nieces pool party the next day. I know, that's a very specific example, but consider yourself warned.
- The ride from Kimberley to Cranbrook has a lot more 'take your feet of the pedals and shout "WHEEEE!" as you accelerate without any effort' moments than the return journey. But, again, 2% grade people. So it's never really too bad, just less "WHEEEE!" the one way.
- For any extra / detailed information about anything R2T™, swing by their website
*JULY 14 2016 UPDATE: we have now gone the full 26km to Cranbrook (and the full 26km back to Kimberley)… so I can now officially confirm that it's totally doable. Although, it is 52km, so even though it never is super hard, you'll definitely be feeling it on your way back. I totally would have gave up my bike for a cold beer and hammock around the 40km mark, if that opportunity had presented itself.