Apple Valley- Not a Bicycle Destination

Posted by Doug Shidell, August 24th, 2010

Apple Valley is an old suburb designed during the the era when cul de sacs and large feeder roads to distant malls was considered the ultimate in suburban living. Bicycling was an afterthought and, for the most part, still is. There are plenty of bike paths in this sprawling city, but most run in the right-of-way of heavily traveled, noisy thoroughfares like Pilot Knob Road and Lexington Ave. The trails, built 15 to 20 years ago, are showing their age.  A spiderweb of weed-filled cracks run the entire length of some of the trails.

During one brief flurry of building activity Apple Valley developed a suburban style “downtown” with plantings, colored pavers and other amenities designed to create a central gathering spot for city residents. The effect is more pleasant than a typical mall, but the auto is still king and getting to “Downtown” by bike is a chancy endeavor for all except the most experienced and traffic savvy riders.

That said, the city is negotiable by bike. By combining indirect residential streets and the trails mentioned above, you can get close to almost any part of the city. I saw a surprising number of riders during a mid-August weekend. Most were riding the weedy trails mentioned above. Apple Valley has a few short trails running through parks, but they are mostly access trails and not worth seeking out for a recreational ride.

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