What a great experience at James Long Park.
On Tuesday evening, I met with John and Keith for a ride on the trails of James S. Long Regional Park. John had asked me about the trails at the park and I told him I would be happy to show him the layout. Of course, this would be a different experience than most of the rides I embark upon as John and Keith were both avid Mountain Biking fans, and Shelly, the Quarterhorse I rode, had not experienced bicycles before. Turns out, horses and bikes get along just fine on the trails.
The hot day was sunny, but cool and breezy back in the woods. Shelly and I led the guys on the trails, taking advantage of the trail system design where Shelly and I jumping the few trees that had fallen over the trails, and John and Keith able to easily ride around the trees on the diversion legs built for avoiding them. We rode up and down the inclines, over the rocky areas, through all four creek crossings, and paused at the far opening for some pictures. We then decided to reverse course with the horse following the bikes. And again, Shelly did a wonderful job showing no worries about the biking action in front of her. I maintained at least two lengths behind the second bike, but could have easily been closer without causing Shelly concern.
As with many of my experiences these days, I am happy to see that bikes and horse got along on the trails, dispelling the myth that many of us had been led to believe by others. We had a great afternoon riding on about six miles of some of the best multi-use trails available in Prince William County, surrounded by hardwood trees with views of the creeks running below.
I encourage more of the citizens using public and private trails to experience the same. You will have fun and the experience will truly introduce you to new opportunities, and new friends.