A couple bike along Highway 23 west of the segment that needs to be built and paved to connect three trails with three communities. submitted photo
A couple bike along Highway 23 west of the segment that needs to be built and paved to connect three trails with three communities. submitted photo

     Twice during his retirement years, Doug Lyke knocked on strangers’ doors.

     Both were losing efforts. ...

     The second was as a Ripon Noon Kiwanian, visiting folks who lived west of County Road PP to see whether they would allow a bike trail to be built behind their homes and farms that would link the Northwestern Trail to the city of Green Lake.

     Folks told dad and other Kiwanians they didn’t want to forego their hunting and snowmobiling land and their backyard privacy. Some even were polite.

     After that experience, and before he died 16 years ago this fall, Dad never knocked on another stranger’s door.

     Yet he held out hope that one day, someone would figure out how to connect Ripon and Green Lake  in a way that would safely convey non-motorized two-wheelers. ...

     It looks like Dad’s vision, shared by many others, is about to come to pass.

     A three-mile long trail segment — with the cooperation of the state departments of transportation and natural resources — has been pre-engineered to run parallel to Highway 23 between County Road A in the town of Brooklyn to County Road PP in the town of Ripon.

     When completed, this link will connect Green Lake (west of the city, actually) to Berlin via Ripon.

     As of this month, more than three-quarters of a million dollars have been raised via donations and grants.

     All that’s needed is $200,000.

     A lot of money, true, but an opportunity for someone to leave his or her name on a paved bike path that will be enjoyed for decades by generations of area residents and visitors. ...

     Perhaps it’s time, once again, to knock on a few doors.
                              —Tim Lyke  

    To read the entire editorial, see the July 12, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.