Biking the Zoar Valley Trail

Today was a training ride on the fat bike. Helga is my Specialized Fat Tire bike. This was an experiement to see how my body could handle riding the fat bike for hours in a day. The North Bend Trail is a more rough rails to trails, so I will ride Helga.

Zoar Valley Trail

The Zoar Valley Trail was a good excursion for the fat bike. This trail follows the Ohio to Erie Canal. It is much rougher condition than the towpath that exists in Stark County and north. A fat bike performs superbly well on it!  My NBT trip will be on mainly flat ground, it is another rails to trails conversion.

Fat Bike on the Fink Truss Bridge Zoarville

Zoarville Bridge

It’s always fun to go see the Zoarville Bridge, a cool looking Fink Truss Bridge in the middle of no-where! This is just one section of the bridge over Conotton Creek. The bridge originally had three sections which spanned the Tuscarawas River.

Fink Truss Bridge

Bridge pic from 2013

The Zoarville Station Bridge is a rare survivor of the earliest period of iron bridge construction in the United States.  German immigrant Albert Fink first developed this truss design for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early 1850s.

Zoarville Bridge
The bridge features the highly unusual Fink truss configuration. These endposts are vertical and utilize a modified Phoenix Column. Phoenix columns are also used for the top chord and vertical members. Phoenix columns were a special patented type of built-up member. Very few examples of them remain today.

Carrying on the Ride

 

I will be riding about 40 miles on Day One and 30 miles on Day Two. My only items to carry will be food, water, and bits of toolkit.  My two bags fit comfortablly on the front rack of Helga. I will also wear my backpack with a bit more water.

Water Bottles

My bike is not set up well for bottles. I have a holder for a small bottle, but I can’t put a bottle cage on the down tube (yes! I have learned some bike nomenclature!!!!) because that interferes with the Saris bike rack when I have to transport Helga. I did  buy a water cage which can go on the front fork (look at me, whee!!) so I will have to try that out.

 

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