I wanted to get one long last ride in before my CO Gap Adventure. I decided to travel to Wheeling West Virginia to ride on the Wheeling Heritage Trail.
Wheeling Heritage Trail
The Wheeling Heritage Trail consists of two trails, the Wheeling Creek Trail and the River Trail. I parked at Elm Grove, an easy to get to lot, and started biking west. The trail is right beside the highway, a bit noisy.
Wheeling Creek Trail
There are signs telling you what section of Wheeling you are travelling through.
There is poor signage through here. The only signage is a bike and the words “BIKE LANE” stenciled on the street. Most of these are very faded. As I bike through this sketchy neighborhood, I keep looking for these stencils.
I get to the downtown area and the stencils have disappeared. I know the bike trail continues as the “River Trail” so I take a leap of faith and just bike to the riverfront area. Now there is an asphalt bike trail again.
If you are riding the River Trail, I wouldn’t recommend biking south, unless you need to get the miles in. It is an industrial area and not very attractive. You do go by the Mailpouch Factory, which explained the Snuff Building. You don’t see that every day.
I bike past the little downtown riverfront. There are not many people around. Mini rant: It must be a thing in this area not to say hello or acknowledge a human being. In passing or encountering people, I always say hello. I would guess I got an acknowledgment of about one person in thirty. It was like I was invisible.
The River Trail was much better to bike on. It alternated between a semblance of rural and then biking right beside a road, then four lane highway.
I did pass the Pike Island Dam and Lock. I guess there is no unfettered traffic on the Ohio River.
The highlight of the bike? The deer encounter. I rode right up on her. I starting calling to her, wanting to scare her left back into the woods rather than out on the road.
The RIver Trail ends with no fan fare, there is no signage up at the north end of the trail. The Brook County Trail begins. This is a 7 mile trail which will end in Wellsburg. I don’t go that far, when my watch clicks off 20 miles I decide to turn around. I will end up with about 40 miles.
Gear Crisis Averted
I’ve been having trouble clipping out of my right shoe. I stop and take the shoe off. For the third time, I’ve lost a screw and now the cleat is sideways.
Success! I have brought my spare cleats AND the hex key to use. I center the cleat, use a new screw, crisis averted! Bring your tools and equipment on every ride!
Back in the downtown area, I again follow the almost non existent bike stencils past the now open soup kitchen. The signs completely disappear, but I remember the funeral home on the corner and make the correct turn.
Things I learned today
Mailpouch was made in Wheeling.
There are locks on the Ohio River.
Other than this, I see no reason for a revisit for the Wheeling Heritage Trail. I did get in about 37 miles, my last long ride before CO GAP 2017!