Teri Vance: Muscle Powered leads hiking, biking programs

With the weather warming (at least it was until the last couple of days), I think a lot of us have been feeling the urge to get outside and into the sunshine.

We’re so fortunate to live in this place where nature is so accessible, where great open spaces are literally within walking distance.

However, I’m sure there are still some people who either don’t know where to find some of our awesome trails or are a little intimidated when it comes to venturing out on their own.

Some others may just enjoy the company of others or like a schedule to use as motivation.

That’s why the group walking, hiking and biking program offered by Muscle Powered is such a great idea.

“They’re geared so people can start slowly and work their way up,” said Donna Inversin, Muscle Powered board member. “If people are afraid to get out there and exercise, this is a good opportunity to do so.”

Walkers meet each Tuesday evening for a one- to two-mile jaunt that last about an hour each. This month, they’ll be walking the central portion of the Mexican Ditch Trail and the Ormsby Fire Road, among others.

The easy hikes are between two to four miles, often with some elevation gain, but no more than 500 feet. They’ll usually last an hour and a half.

The easy hikes typically take place on Thursday afternoons with a couple of special hikes scheduled for Fridays, such as a tour of the Capitol on April 7 and a tour of the Legislature on April 21.

The conditioning hikes take place Tuesday evenings and are usually on single-track trail about four to six miles with an elevation gain sometimes more than 500 feet.

Hikers will complete trails in Ash Canyon, C Hill and Carson River Canyon this month.

Inversin said more hikes or walks can be added if there’s a need.

“If anybody doesn’t find a walk at the right time or the right level, I’m more than happy to start another program,” she said. “If I had my way, there would be two hikes a day so everybody had a chance to participate.”

However, she warned those who are going out solo to check the trails section on carson.org before heading out as this winter has left many trails in the area damaged.

“If people find a trail barricaded, don’t try to go around it,” Inversin said. “It’s dangerous. It could also break things down and make it harder to fix later.”

For those who prefer two wheels to two feet, there are also guided bike rides at 9 a.m. Sundays. They normally consist of two loops, which are 10-15 miles long each. The ride pace will vary depending on rider level, but will usually be about a 12-16 mph pace.

Cyclists will meet at Fremont Elementary School, 1511 Firebox Road.

Whatever your preference, Inversin said participants will find an inviting atmosphere.

“The leaders are more than willing to work with people and help them get started,” she said. “Everybody’s friendly. Everybody’s helpful.”

For more information about the bike rides, email shane@shanetrotter.net. Email donnanv1@gmail.com for more information about the hikes and walks. To report damaged trails or to volunteer to help repair them, email jeffpotter@musclepowered.org.

Teri Vance is a journalist, freelance writer and native Nevadan. Contact her with column ideas at terivance@rocketmail.com.


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