When the weather is cooperative, a trek through the outdoors is one of the most beautiful things one can do on this Earth. As cliche as it sounds, it’s true. We’re constantly connected to our hand computers and to wifi and to bluetooth and to smart watches and FitBits and all of the other man-made devices and contraptions that we need/don’t need.
Escaping the digital screen and actually getting outside to experience nature is something that we’ve now taken for granted. Walking around or riding a bike outside, detached from our digital shackles, is something that now takes an effort.
There’s beauty that we fail to recognize in East Central, IL. While we’re driving in our cars East to Indiana or West towards Missouri, we encase ourselves in a bubble that still keeps us from experiencing the beauty of the Midwest.
We’re lucky that the Champaign County Forest Preserve District and the Vermilion County Conservation District understand the importance of an existence outdoors. They teamed up and purchased the Kickapoo Rail Trail in late 2014 and are in the process of turning the retired railroad corridor into a an outdoor trail that can be used for walking, biking, skiing, and snowshoeing. The corridor stretches from Urbana to the Vermilion County Fairgrounds for a total of 24.5 miles. The bottom line is that this project is going to be a fantastic resource for those interested in getting out and experiencing East Central Illinois in a way that hasn’t really been possible without extensive planning.
The catch is that the Kickapoo Rail Trail needs funding for construction. You can donate here, of course, and that’s all well and good. But a more inventive way to help fund this trail is by connecting with local bicycle enthusiasts in the area at Champaign Cycle on Saturday at their 7th annual Community Used Bike Sale.
You can sell a used bike at the sale through Champaign Cycle and 20% of the sale prices will go towards the trail or if you’re so inclined, you can donate your bike to the sale and 100% of the sale price will go towards the trail. Champaign Cycle is not receiving any money from any of the sales of the bikes that are donated.
What Champaign Cycle is essentially doing here is inspecting used bikes and giving residents a medium to sell their bikes to other residents in the hopes that they will raise more money to help fund this trail. Champaign Cycle will be accepting bikes for the sale through April 30th, and then will be inspecting and selling them on Saturday May 2nd. You can get more information on how to participate here.