I am conflicted:
What you see here is the Cedar Valley Nature Trail north of Cedar Rapids—approximately mile marker 10 for those of you familiar with the trail—where the pavement ends and the crushed limestone begins. This year, the trail will be paved from this point through Center Point to a point somewhere just outside of town.
I am excited that the trail will be paved because it will give me a longer ride to the north that is an option when it rains and the unpaved sections are too soft. I am also excited that it will get more people onto the more remote reaches of the trail. I see a lot of people stop where the pavement ends and turn around for the southbound trip. Anything that gets more people out on more sections of trail is a good thing for those of us who love trails.
I am a little bummed because the beginning of the gravel section is where I really started to get the trail to myself and my bike seemed to come alive. Selfishly, I do not want to share any more of the trail with oblivious recumbent riders and hordes of RAGBRAI teams blasting out their sonic stylings on a rack mounted Bluetooth speaker.
Who knows what summer will bring?