Author Archives: Kim

A Late Summer Bike Tour of Northern Ohio

Late Summer Bike Tour Northeastern Ohio
I wanted to get in a bike tour on the last hurrah of summer. (It’s still summer people!!!)

My friend Jim lives about one mile from the Western Reserve Greenway. Since I was going to be at his house after volunteering at the YUTC, it made sense to travel up this Rails to Trails to visit a part of Ohio that I haven’t really experienced.

Out and Backs

I don’t like out and backs. That is where you run/bike out a route, then turn around and retrace your steps. Boooring.

Created a Loop

I created a loop. I looked for the most bike trails I could find in the north eastern Ohio area.

How to Map a Route

I used a few resources for this. Rails to Trails Conservancy website will show you all the trails in the area you wish to bike. The State of Ohio has created an interactive trail map. Ohio Bikeways  was another source of trail intel to consult. Once I found all the off-road trail segments, it was time to consult “Ride with GPS” to make a route.
Ride with GPS is a good resource. It can show you elevation, print a cue sheet, print out your route, send your route to your phone, etc. You can look up other people’s routes and “pin them” to your account and ride their route.

The Route as Planned

The route is bike the Western Reserve Greenway almost to Ashtabula. Hop off the trail and ride roads over to Geneva-on-the-Lake. Spend the night with my Warmshowers hosts,  Carol and Pat.  Ride my made up route over to Painesville, where I will pickup the Maple Highlands Trail. This trail, albeit in about three segments, totals about 18 miles. After that, it will be road riding back over to the Western Reserve Greenway, back to my friend’s home.

Mileage

Day One About 50 miles. Originally I was going to ride the road portion first, but I want to get to my Warmshowers home at a decent hour. That will leave 72 miles for Day Two.

Considerations

Weather-will the remnants of  Florence hit Ohio by then? The forecast looks like warm weather, what about first thing in the morning? Will it be colder up by Lake Erie, what about wind? I don’t want to carry anything extra. Can I make it to this donut shop before it closes at noon on Monday?

Tune in for my next episode when I recap my ride!

Buckeye Trail Miles Tappan Lake Edition

Buckeye Trail Miles Tappan Lake

Buckeye Trail Miles

Today was a Buckeye Trail hike in the Bowerston area, hiking around Tappan Lake. How did I know about this hike? It’s on an App called “Meetup“.  Meetup makes it easy for you to see activities that you might want to attend.

I attended a section hike close to me, Point 13 thru 16  in the Bowerston area.

Tappan Lake

Tappan Lake

Tappan Lake takes its name from the former community of Tappan, which now resides under the lake. There was also the community of Laceyville that disappeared with the creation of the lake. 🙁

Tappan Lake

Tappan Lake is huge! 2350 acres in the Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.

Tappan Lake

Good Off Road Section

This is a good off road section! By “good” I mean hilly! There are at least three good climbs around the lake shore.Tappan Lake

There were seven stalwart hikers out on this humid first day of September. Dale organized the hike, he only has 200 miles to finish hiking ALL of the Buckeye Trail! Joy was one of the hikers, we had worked in the same hospital a few  years ago! It was great to see her again.

Sometime you need to look up to see the great views!

Dale and Jacob checking on the trail register to see who has been enjoying the Buckeye Trail.


I would think this would be fairly self explanatory, but perhaps not.  ◔_◔

The section was advertised as 6.99 miles but my Garmin registered 8.14 miles. Oh well, my Garmin is usually off a bit, but I would guess this was closer to 7.5 and 8 miles than 6.99. However, it’s not like the Buckeye Trail was ever “wheeled” for accuracy.

Despite the humidity, it was a good day to be out in the woods. I need to do more hiking!

Art Journal Prompt Week 35 Spaces

This week prompt was “spaces”.

First thoughts were “wide open spaces”. These were some pics I took of some wide open spaces.

 

and “white space”.

Unfortunately, that was the end of my creativity for “spaces” for the week. Oh well, if the prompt doesn’t kick any stimulus off, so be it! Onto the next week!

First Bike Ride on the Montour Trail

Biking the Montour Trail

 

I traveled over to Pennsylvania  to scope out parts of the Montour Trail. Soon I am going to ride the “Steel City Loop” as I call it. I was curious to find the trail, and see about a tricky section over the Ohio River.

Quick Silver Parking

It was a loose plan. Park at Quick Silver, bike to mile zero, then see about the road section which would lead me over the Ohio River. The preferred route, over Neville Island, was closed due to bridge work.

I was a bit surprised to see the Montour Trail was crushed limestone. For some reason, I thought it would be paved. The trail was in very good shape despite the heavy thunderstorms that hit the night before.

Overcast days don’t make the greatest pictures but it keeps the bikers happy!

A tunnel! I didn’t know about! It’s called the Enlow Tunnel, short and very well lit.

The traffic noises increase and sure enough I’m biking by the Mall. No time to go shopping, there is mile zero to find.

This is Montour Run, which parallels the trail.

Mile Zero

Short Attempt at the Connector

The recommended ACA crossing I loaded onto my phone with Ride with GPS. I turned onto Hassam Road from the Montour Trail-and immediately started a climb up a steep hill-there was a U-Turn switchback for pete’s sake. There was no berm. I made it maybe a 1/2 mile up before I hopped off and started pushing the bike-that was safer than me wobbling along in my granny gear.

A glance  up the hill. It still went UP! I gave up. It was going to be about 7 miles to the McKees Bridge, then I would have to turn around, and still have the bike back to my vehicle. Another day. At least I now know there are hills standing in my way!

Boggs

At Boggs Trailhead, there is a primitive camping set up. A hut, and  two established tent sites. There are picnic tables, fire rings, and Port-o-potties.

Now Heading South

Back to my vehicle, and decided to bike a bit farther south to the McDonald Trestle Bridge,

Panhandle Connector

I bike by the Panhandle Connector, it links up to the Panhandle Trail in one mile. I biked the Panhandle Trail in April. It’s 29 miles long and ends in Weirton, West Virginia.

McDonald Viaduct

Almost a 1000 feet long, the McDonald Viaduct is the longest bridge on the Montour Trail.

After a few scenic pics snapped, I biked back to Quick Silver, startling three large turkeys standing in the trail! Of course I wasn’t prepared to take their picture!

I biked about 38 miles on the west side of the Montour Trail. I’m still debating about how to go about my “Steel City Loop” with the detour over the Ohio River. I will figure this out!

Successful First Time Use of Slime

Successful Use of Slime

Oh No! Flat Tire

I was biking in the valley on my usual route. As I turned onto a side road, I felt then noticed my front tire going flat on me! Oh no!

First I just tried to add air back into the tire. LUCKILY I was carrying my tire repair kit with me. I was not having any success into just pumping air. I was inspecting the tire-as you should-to see if I could spot what caused the flat-nail, sharp object. Sure enough, there was a small piece of glass or quartz sticking up out of the tire. Okay! Maybe after removal, it will hold air. Nope!

Slime Easy Flat Fixing

I was only a few miles from home. I could have called the husband for extraction. (Or I could have swapped out the inner tube.)  Then I remembered the Slime.  Hey, this is a good opportunity to try Slime for the first time!

What is Slime?

Slime is a sealant that you import into the bike tube which will “seal up” punctures to 1/8 inch (per their website).

How to Use Slime

Using Slime to Fix a Flat

It was extremely easy to use! I followed the instructions on the bottle. The lid of the Slime Container has a core valve remover. That is step one, remove the core valve. My husband had given me one for the bike. I had no idea WHY I needed it. Now I do!

Core Valve Remover

Core Valve Remover

Slime comes with a tube that you fit over your valve and the container. You simply squeeze the tube and green slime flows into the tire tube. It’s kind of neat to watch.

Using Slime to Fix a Flat

My bike tire only needed a 1/2  bottle (4 oz, it’s stated on the bottle). You can then replace the tube back on the bottle and cap it up, no Slime all over the place. I then added some air, and rotated the tire around as instructed, to coat the whole inner tube.

Using Slime to Fix a Flat

I added the Slime, replaced the core valve, and added air back to the tire. Success! I pumped up the tire and completed my bike ride.

Bike Tire Kit

These are the components you need for a bike tire repair kit. Okay, you really only need the tire pump, new inner tube, and bike levers. This is what I carry in my bike repair kit. If you have a new inner tube, you don’t need the patch kit. Simply swap out that failed tube for the new one and repair later at home.

Bike Tire Repair Kit

Know how to change a Flat Tire!

I have said this before and it’s so true! Know how to change a flat tire! Take the tire off and put it back on! Yes, it’s not a fun job.  If you practice this at home, in the comfort of air conditioning,  changing a flat in the middle of a hot afternoon on a busy road can go much faster.

Success with Slime

Disclosure: This is my independent review of the product Slime. I was not compensated for this product. I just had my Slime encounter and wanted to pass on the knowledge on how it worked for me.

Time to Volunteer on the Buckeye Trail

 

The hubs and I set out this morning to volunteer on the Buckeye Trail. We are “trail adopters”. That means we maintain a portion of the Buckeye Trail.

Leesville Lake

What’s the Buckeye Trail?

The Buckeye Trail is a 1444 mile blue blazed trail around the state of Ohio. The Buckeye Trail winds around Ohio, reaching into every corner of the state. It is a large loop, from a beachhead on Lake Erie, to a hill top overlooking the Ohio River.

What’s a trail adopter and what does it mean to maintain a portion of the trail?

A trail adopter is a person/persons who cares enough about hiking that anyone hiking that section of trail with have an enjoyable experience on that section. This means the off-road adopter hikes the trail at least 3 or 4 times a year to ensure blazing is accurate and clear, and the trail is not obscured by greenery and briars.

Obscured Blaze

Hiking after a big storm is helpful to make sure deadfall is removed.

brokenblueblaze

 

What about road sections?

Some sections of the Buckeye Trail are complete roads. Sometimes the road can be more isolated than a trail section. Road sections should be hiked or driven once a year to make sure blazes are still clearly seen.

Good Excuse for a Hike

Maintaining a section of trail is a good excuse to get outside!  Our  trail in the Bowerstown Section, Leesville Lake South, is a beautiful off road section.   We encountered some homeowners as we passed through, and they thanked us for maintaining the trail.

Homemade sign

The summer storms have been kind to our section. We do need to return with a small handsaw to take care of some branches, but the trail is in good hiking shape through here. Come out and hike around Leesville Lake!