The pathway system in Jackson Hole is expansive, with over 42 miles of pathway in Teton County and an additional 14 within Grand Teton National Park. One of the great outreach initiatives of local non-profit Friends of Pathways is promoting access to this expansive network among multiple user groups. With the upcoming Access August event (see poster and information below) on Sunday, August 3rd, we decided to get out on the pathways and explore some of the incredible ways in which people are use them.
This led me to get out for a fun ride on the Grand Teton National Park pathway network with Nikki Thompson. Nikki is a Jackson native who was born with Spina bifada, a congenital disorder of the spine. As an active person, Nikki rides a hand cycle, which does not require the use of her legs. Nikki is pictured below demonstrating her hand cycle on the pathway near Moose Junction.
Nikki has been out riding a few times per month this summer, including group rides with Teton Adaptive Sports. She has been getting back into riding this year after recovering from a wrist injury that kept her off the bike last season. Her favorite section of pathway is from Wilson to the Stilson Parking Lot (check out a pathway map here).
Nikki shows me the in’s and out’s of the hand cycle. The bike has three gears but Nikki likes to stick to one gear while riding. All in all it’s a smooth ride and the pathways provide a great riding experience free of vehicle traffic.
This section of pathway is a “false-flat” heading north, meaning that it seems flat but is actually at a slight uphill grade. The benefit of this? Once we completed our riding to the north and turned around, we had a really fun cruise back to our starting point. Pictured below, Nikki opens it up and enjoys a fun ride down the pathway with the Grand Teton in the background.
Join Friends of Pathways on Sunday, August 3rd in celebrating access in two ways:
1) Walk or Wheel from Windy Point (turnout in Grand Teton National Park, south of the Bradley-Taggart Trailhead) from 1-2 pm, and/or
2) BBQ and Music at Dornan’s from 2-4 pm.
Nikki and a lot of her friends from Teton Adaptive Sports will be out on the ride as well. See you there!