We are having ideal trail weather this week. So of course I went on a mountain bike ride. And it truly was a mountain bike ride. It was in the mountains; I could see the mountains, and it was on a mountain bike trail.
But those of you who have read this blog know where I’m going with this. Yes, Kevin, we know… most trails aren’t mountain bike trails, but that’s the generic name given to all bike trails. Well not only do I drone on about that trail topic on this blog, but I also bore people with my opinions about it in person. So, of course, the topic came up again today.
But wait, the story takes a semi-bizarre turn for the better. When I got home and was checking my email, I discovered that those canny Brits have already solved this problem. Leave it to the Limeys. I was informed by a member of the Denver Bicycle Touring Club that in the U.K. they have a peculiar acronym for some particularly popular trails: MUP
I had seen MUP used repeatedly in some recent correspondence from a British biker who had been temporarily living in the U.S. Often times, in his emails, he referred to MUPs. So I queried as to what an MUP was. And it turns out that it’s a… (blare of trumpets)
Multiple Use Path
Holy cow, it’s so simple that it just might work. It’s not perfect; it doesn’t do a good job of describing a particular type of biker as in, “I’m a Multiple Use Path biker.” But it is a relatively useful & generic term for the vast majority of trails in this country. So what do you think? Should all rail trails, canal trails, urban trails, park trails, etc. be classified into the general heading of multiple use paths? To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart, “You know how to comment, it’s easy…”