Bicycles are almost as good as guitars for meeting girls.
—Bob Weir, Grateful Dead
Bicycling unites physical harmony coupled with emotional bliss to create a sense of spiritual perfection that combines one’s body, mind and spirit into a single moving entity. Bicycling allows a person to mesh with the sun, sky and road as if nothing else mattered in the world. In fact, all your worries, cares and troubles vanish in the rear view mirror while you bicycle along the byways of the world: you pedal as one with the universe.
Too often, the advocates of trails and linear parks along rights-of-way come up against officials who recognize only one kind of park–the squared-off kind that comes in chunks; and one kind of recreation–the supervised kind known as ‘organized sweating.’ Such officials refuse to acknowledge that there has been a change in US recreation trends, reflected in the phenomenal growth of hiking, biking, and horseback riding…
We believe that the place to start … is in our communities. Americans living together and joining in associations across the country–this is where the tremendous strength and vision of our people will be tapped. We recommend a prairie fire of local action to sweep the nation, encouraging investment in outdoor recreation opportunities and rededication to the protection of our great natural heritage.
— President Ronald Reagan's,Commission on American Outdoors, Americans and the Outdoors, 1987
Bicycle facility planning is commonly thought of as the effort undertaken to develop a separate bikeway system composed completely of bicycle paths and lanes all interconnected and spaced closely enough to satisfy all the travel needs of bicyclists. In fact, such systems can be unnecessarily expensive and do not provide for the vast majority of bicycle travel. Existing highways, often with relatively inexpensive improvements, must serve as the base system to provide for the travel needs of bicyclists. Bicycle paths and lanes can augment this existing system in scenic corridors or places where access is limited. Thus, bicycle transportation planning is more than planning for bikeways and is an effort that should consider many alternatives to provide for safe and efficient bicycle travel.
—AASHTO, Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities, 1991
The establishment of a nationwide system of trails will be an accomplishment worthy of a place beside other major conservation programs... The fundamental objective of a nationwide system of trails is to provide simple, inexpensive recreation opportunities for all people by having an abundance of trails for walking, cycling, and horseback riding near home, as well as providing some major historic and scenic interstate trails of national significance.
—Stewart Lee Udall, Secretary of the Interior