scouts-l Mail Archive for August of 2000: Re: Cycling Merit Badge
Brian Nielsen (brian.nielsen@TCS.WAP.ORG
Wed Aug 16 2000 - 15:49:05 CDT
on 8/16/00 10:15 AM, Jan Mussler at mussler@SPOT.COLORADO.EDU wrote:
> For those of you who counsel this merit badge, how do you interpret the 50
> mile ride in 8 hours? Do you eliminate a lunch break? Must the hours be
> We have the problem around where we live of terrain. It's not possible on
> most of our local rides to make the 50 miles in 8 hours.
> Is anyone familiar with Rails to Trails conversions near Colorado?
> Perhaps that's a solution.
I have always interpreted the 8 hours as TOTAL, including breaks. Where we
live this is generally a very do-able, slow pace. For several years now I
have been doing one of the annual, local Multiple Sclerosis benefit rides
which includes 150 miles over a weekend. Even in my weakest training year I
managed one day's 75 miles in 7.5 hours, including breaks. Granted I don't
expect even that pace of my scouts, but 50 in 8 is definitely do-able.
I can appreciate your situation in Nederland though -- 50 there is
COMPLETELY different than 50 here. I have wondered if and when the BSA will
re-write cycling as they did in changing Skiing into Snow Sports. Mountain
biking is SO BIG these days (particularly among the scouts -- personally I
still prefer road riding), but the cycling merit badge is not at all geared
(no pun intended?) to Mountain biking (other than acknowledging the
different bike style). Our troop did a 10 mile mountain/single-trak ride
this spring that was undoubtedly more demanding than any of our 25 mile road
Regarding Rails to Trails conversions, check the web pages for the
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy - www.railstotrails.org or www.traillink.com.
The TrailLink site lists 21 Colorado trails, most of which are too short.
Give consideration though to #19 - the "Ten Mile Canyon national Recreation
Trail". Admittedly I'm a bit confused comparing the trail name with its
reported length of 24 miles, but assuming all is correct an out & back trip
would bring you so very close to 50 miles, and given that they describe it
as a wheelchair accessible asphalt trail it may be quite do-able - even in 8
Hope this helps at least to some extent. Good luck! I'm running a group
from our troop through the badge this summer and looking forward to the 50
miler finale in early September...
ASM - T1946