Runtrails' Web Journal
Previous       2012 Journal Topics       Home       Next



"Happiness is a state of activity."
~ Aristotle
Aristotle spoke our language.

Jim and I don't like physical inertia. We are happiest when we're active, both mentally and physically. At our age our bodies simply feel better when we're moving.


A case in point is the knee Jim injured in a bike wreck a year and a half ago.

Despite surgery, rest, rehab, one type of visco-supplementation (Euflexxa) that didn't work very well, if at all, pain meds, and sleeping pills, his knee continues to hurt when he's sedentary, especially when he's sleeping.

But it doesn't hurt when he's cycling! He's not able to run any more or even walk for exercise but just being up and moving around is better for him than sitting still.

Jim rides on the new section of greenway; close-up below.  (4-29-12)

Jim has gotten a series of Orthovisc injections while we've been in Roanoke. This is the first time he's tried that particular type of visco-supplementation; there are about six different kinds that lubricate the knee.

After the second injection he could already see some improvement in his knee. Yay!!

He got the third and last injection yesterday. We have our fingers crossed that the Orthovisc will allow him to walk farther for exercise and to sleep more comfortably this summer. Our insurance won't pay for more injections for at least six months. I just got my fifth series of Orthovisc, which works great for my knees (I'm bone-on-bone from osteo-arthritis).


Both Jim and I got some good aerobic exercise most days in the past six weeks while at our house in Virginia.

Jim did lots of bike rides on the paved Roanoke River Greenway and a few on the crushed rock and dirt Wolf Creek Greenway. He did a little bit of walking but his bum knee still doesn't permit much walking for exercise.

Pretty irises in a park along the river greenway; the bridge
in the background was opened about a year ago. (4-29-12)

A scenic section of the river greenway  (4-29-12)

I rode my bike once or twice a week on the greenways, too, but I did more hiking than cycling. I prefer walking to cycling, and Cody-pup needs exercise. We don't have a bike for him. <wink>

Cody and I hiked three or four times a week at Wolf Creek, Stewart's Knob, Explore Park, Chestnut Ridge, or Mill Mountain. On days I didn't drive 10-20 miles to those venues we walked in our rural neighborhood.

We often see ducks and geese along the river greenway.  (4-27-12)

Debris (above arrow) remains on the greenway a couple days after this bridge was under water.
 Jim rode his bike through several inches of water the day it was flooded!   (4-27-12)

This entry showcases photos I took this spring from the greenways and trails in the Roanoke area. I'll begin with the greenways.


Each year a few more miles are added to the various disconnected segments of the greenway system in Roanoke. Currently about 17 miles have been built.

Greenway sign:  the green areas are parks. The largest is Mill Mountain.

When we got back six weeks ago we were happy to discover a new two-mile section has been completed that links the Tinker Creek Greenway with the Roanoke River Greenway, shown in this detail from the diagram above:

The Tinker Creek Greenway is green. The Roanoke River is blue. The River Greenway
is red (new section to the right). The purple line is residential streets connecting the paths.

We knew they were working on this section last fall. It includes a very long Z-shaped bridge across the Roanoke River at the confluence with Tinker Creek.

Here are several photos of the new bridge from a rainy day and a sunny one:






That gives us about nine miles in one direction of continuous paved greenway, although the new part includes half a mile through a hilly residential area.

The new part includes two steep, curvy hills that challenge cyclists more than runners and walkers:



I'm really impressed with the engineering and construction of this section of the greenway, from the long, handsome bridge to the ironwork, brickwork, and wooden fencing on the difficult hill climb shown in these photos.

I don't know if the half-mile section through the neighborhood will ever be rerouted onto a real greenway or not, but we're hoping it will.

A couple weeks ago Jim discovered another new section of greenway at the far end of the path we usually ride. It continues for an unknown distance beyond Memorial Bridge Park. It isn't quite ready to be opened:

View of the new, unopened section of greenway from Memorial Bridge  (5-7-12)

Jim tried to ride it but had to stop at a locked gate when he got to another new bridge across the river.

The one time I walked this new part of the path I just kept going past two landscapers (truck in photo above) who were adding mulch to newly-planted trees.

When I got to the new bridge a couple hundred farther ahead, the gate was open. Ah, ha!


Curiosity got the best of me and I went across the river.

I continued about a quarter of a mile before turning around. The trail curved in the distance and I couldn't see how far it continued. None of the signs along the greenway show this new section yet.

I turned back because I had a dental appointment nearby and didn't want to get stuck on the wrong side of the river if the landscapers re-locked the gates on the bridge. It would have been a long detour (or a very wet one!).

Returning over the bridge.

View of Memorial Bridge in distance from the new greenway bridge

This section should be open in a few days. We'll have to wait until fall to see where it goes.

Jim did several rides of 11-22 miles on the greenway system while we were here this spring. It's the safest place for him to ride in the Roanoke area. The Blue Ridge Parkway is risky because of vehicular traffic and area trails on the east side of town are pretty gnarly.

Here comes Jim!    (Roanoke River Greenway, 5-2-12)

It'll be nice when the greenway system is extended farther east toward the parkway so we don't have to repeat sections to get the mileage we want in long rides.

Continued on next pageWolf Creek Greenway, Stewart's Knob Trail, and trails at Explore Park, Chestnut Ridge, and Mill Mountain

Happy trails,

"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the ultra Lab

Previous       Next

2012 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil