Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rail Biking

Last night I posted that I went rail biking yesterday. Rolling quietly through the woods was so peaceful. Well, until my squeaky brake startled three moose that were below me by a creek. The thunderous crashing as they ran away sounded like they were destroying everything in their path.

Rail Biking In The Inland Northwest from hank greer on Vimeo.

I started off as the first rider so I could get ahead of everyone and get some shots with my camera. After everyone went by I put my bike back on the tracks and shot from behind for a bit. Then I asked if we could stop so I could place the camera on the tracks and get everyone as they rolled over it. We stopped and I dismounted. I walked around to the front and got my camera situated. Then I walked back to where my bike was, um, supposed to be.

I was flummoxed. "Where's my bike?"

At that moment I remembered we were riding up a grade. It was so slight I didn't even notice it. Plus, I now learned, the strap that was hanging on the right side of the handle bar was there for situations just like this to tie down the rear brake so the bike wouldn't roll away. I looked backed at the long bend we just came around. No bike in sight. And the longer I stood there the farther away it was getting.

I took off like Forrest Gump.

After rounding the bend I saw the bike off in the distance, looking like an invisible person was pedaling, steadily rolling it backwards. If bikes could laugh, this one would be complaining of stomach cramps. I caught up with it after about a quarter of a mile, which is a long way to run on railroad tracks.

You can get a good workout from rail biking, but it's your own fault if you do.


Anonymous said...

That's freaking cool.

Wileydog said...

looks fun. i've seen a book at the library or Aunties by a local author on rail biking - anybody from the ride connected to it? bonus points for the most appropriate old Harrison song.

Hank Greer said...


I'm not sure about the book so I can't say. And I'm glad to see someone appreciates the music.


Wileydog said...

Turns out I was thinking of a book called Railbike - Cycling On Abandoned Railroads by a California author named Bob Mellin. Published in the '90's. (Think I mixed it up with a Rides of SW/SE Washington book and combined them in my head.) Anyways there's a section on a Coeur d'Alene man named Richard Smart who held a patent on a rail bike.


good video, too.