Saturday, September 7, 2013

Kenai-Soldotna Bike Path

The other week I was up in Soldotna for a cross-country running race.  It was a gorgeous, sunny day--so warm I could wear shorts and a t-shirt (rare for this time of year!) and I decided to ride the paved bike path that runs from Soldotna to Kenai along Kalifornsky Road.  I love paved bike paths and consider them to be a major improvement to quality of life wherever I live.  My enthusiasm for the path along K-Beach Road, however, is waning as the trail degrades.

Large cracks running along the bike path
Large cracks in the trail make a bumpier ride, or an erratic one as I try to avoid them.  Worse than that, though, is the presence of 4-wheelers along the trail.  More than once I have been biking along peacefully when a 4-wheeler driven by a young adult (teenage boys most often; and not wearing helmets often enough) come careening at me, either on or right next to the path.  They veer off at the last second, but leave me choking on the dust.  Sections of the pavement have broken off where the 4-wheelers drive over, onto or next to the bike path.

The part that can't be avoided is all the businesses' driveways that cross the path.  The section of path that runs from Kenai to Soldotna along the Kenai Spur Road has fewer driveways and roads but has a couple very large hills (not so good for rollerblading).  If it were just the driveways it would be fine--I can stay alert and watch traffic though I'm not crazy about my kids biking it by themselves since they don't watch for turning traffic from both directions.  But the 4-wheelers and the big cracks in addition to the cross-traffic downgrades this bike path significantly for me.  Banning the 4-wheelers on the bike path side of the road would be a simple solution, but meanwhile it needs to be fixed up!

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