Bikes mean business, drawing visitors to lesser-known regions that they otherwise might speed by on the interstate.
Prior to tonight’s Vice Presidential debate, who had heard of Farmville, VA? It’s a town hours from anywhere. Located on the path of Lee’s retreat from Richmond, it might be of interest to Civil War buffs but most people would find no reason to visit this sleepy burg.
Unless you bike. Then you’ve heard of Farmville, for it is located on the beautiful High Bridge Trail, an old rail line that stretches more than 30 miles through the rolling Virginia countryside and crosses the Appomattox River on the aptly-named High Bridge, a historic landmark.
The prospect of this vista lured me from Washington, DC. I spent a couple hours biking the trail one rainy morning. I even stopped in the town of Farmville for a bite to eat.
Bike trails like High Bridge are an inexpensive way to bring tourist dollars to your region. In addition to the health benefits, bike trails are also an amenity that keeps people in the area.
If you’re a Democrat, you can support bike trails for environmental reasons. Republicans can support them for the economic benefits.
Will the VP candidates be asked about nearby High Bridge Trail at tonight’s debate? Doubtful. Which is unfortunate, because the spread of bike trails is something that both parties can agree upon.