Just as I've started bike commuting, I come across this:
...A quickly emerging network of abandoned railway lines are being converted by regional governments into superb bike paths. In addition to offering very gentle grades that are ideal for bikes, many of these new trails are satisfying long. The longest rail trail is over 300 miles long, and the longest off-pavement bike trail in the country stretches 2,500 miles. On these bike roads you can cruise along for weeks without ever encountering a car, or worrying about being bumped off the white line by an oblivious motorist. These are not paved roads, but packed gravel or dirt. Many sport spectacular tunnels and bridges courtesy of the former railways. At the same time these trails pass through small towns affording local eateries and rural lodging, as well as the usual camping spots along the way. I tell you, there's nothing like arriving at the soft pillows of a B&B after a long day of pedaling.
Now if Houston could get on the ball and finally make the long-delayed SP/MKT trail a reality, I could bike to work through a park without having to deal with traffic.