Category Archives: Bike

Next Adventure Ohio to Erie Trail

Next Adventure Ohio to Erie Trail

I wasn’t going to concentrate on my next adventure, the Ohio to Erie Bike Tour, until the Buckeye Trailfest was complete. I turned the calendar page over to May-and there it was, staring me in the face-about three weeks away!

The Ohio to Erie Trail

A primarily off-street recreational trail from the Ohio River to Lake Erie, the Ohio to Erie Trail spans the state of Ohio from Cincinnati to Cleveland for the most part following lands formerly occupied by railroads and canals. The collection of regional trails connects four of Ohio’s metropolitan cities, a dozen large towns and numerous small villages – all done on easily accessible, paved trails that are primarily separated from highways and automobiles.  The entire Route 1 is complete. The total distance as of  June, 2017 is 326 miles.

Just Do It

I procrastinated last fall and lost my days off opportunity to bike the Ohio to Erie Trail. Then I felt quite bummed about it. I decided I would bike the Ohio to Erie Trail-henceforth known as OTET-in the first quarter of 2018.

Biking Miles

I have a local bike trail which is 7 miles long. This is my training trail. When I returned to it last week after Trailfest, I was pleasantly surprised to see SPRING had arrived. Everything is greening up nicely.

Bike Trail

I’ve been getting out there as much as I can. Yesterday was my longest ride to date, 34 miles. Given that my daily mileage is gong to be about double that, I’m a bit leery of the commitment I have made to bike the OTET in five days.

Greenery Spring

Solo

This is to be a solo adventure. I can’t see the husband hanging out every day in Ohio when we live in Ohio. I hope he joins me for the last night, then wanders around northern Ohio as I bike to Lake Erie.

Credit Card Camping

I am going to stay in hotels/friends homes for this trip. I don’t have to then worry about carrying a tent and everything that goes with camping outside.

Itinerary

Cinti to Cedarville

Cedarville to Columbus

Columbus to Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon to Massilion

Massilion to Cleveland

Next up, What to Bring on my Five Day Adventure!

Day Late for Opening Day for Trails

greatguernseytrailapril

 

I fully planned on getting outside on Saturday for “Opening Day” promoted by the Rails to Trails Conservancy, yet I woke up to this!Snow in April

Snow in April

It wasn’t going to warm up and I wasn’t going to fight wet clumpy snow on the Towpath, so I bailed. My Opening Day would have to be postponed.

A Day Late

Sunday I was determined to get training accomplished. It was going to be a high of 40, but nice and sunny outside. I drove to my local Great Guernsey Trail, a six-mile now seven mile bike trail!

greatguernseytrailapril

Two Laps

With our constant spring snow and cold temperatures, our landscapes are still very much brown. Hence not much to look at while you bike along. I listened to podcasts. “Chasing Creativity” “The Hamilcast” accompanied me today.

greatguernseytrailapril

Very few folks out this sunny Sunday, a few walkers, two runners, and at the end of my ride, two bundled up cyclists.

I was starting to get rather cold at the end of my ride, but I managed to get a solid 24 miles in. I’m planning on riding the Ohio to Erie Trail at the end of May, so I need to get time in the saddle in!

greatguernseytrailapril

#RTCOpeningDay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Biking the Panhandle Trail

The Panhandle Trail

Panhandle Trail

The Panhandle Trail is a Rails to Trail stretching from Weirton West Virginia east to Carnegie, Pennsylvania, about 29 miles long. Weirton WV is about an hour drive for me, so that was my starting point.

West Virginia Start

Panhandle Trail

It was easy to find the trail head in Weirton. I got all my gear assembled. I only forgot my chapstick. Off I went! The WV portion of the trail is limestone/dirt. The first mile was a bit muddy, as there had been a good rainstorm two days ago. Panhandle Trail  I knew the trail had a gradual uphill incline in this eastward direction. I still felt kind of sluggish. It started out being a nice bluebird blue sky ride.

On to Pennsylvania

There was the photo op at the state border.  Panhandle TrailI was pleasantly surprised to see the asphalt begin!  I started biking a bit quicker.Panhandle Trail

How I Fared

It was a good ride. It was a bit cold, yet I could feel myself sweating. There seemed to be a headwind both ways, how does that work?

Panhandle Trail

I greatly under fueled for the ride. I am actively trying to follow Weight Watchers, and only brought a string cheese and some Vanilla Wafers as fuel. As in running, I saw more folks close to where the trail heads were.Panhandle Trail

The sun disappear and the skies clouded over. WIth the bit of wind that picked up,  I was glad I had worn what I had: a tech shirt, a long sleeve biking jersey, with a stretchy blue jacket over that. I swapped out my sweaty buff on the way back for my wool buff. I did use of my paniers to carry my bike repair, spare bottle of water, too little food, and my spare buff. I was glad to have my full biking gloves on.

Panhandle Trail

The Panhandle is a very nice trail. It is out in the open, so I could only imagine it’s hot in the summer.

Panhandle Trail

I biked 15 miles out and back, 30 miles is my biggest effort for the year-so I am a bit tired now!

Lessons Learned on the Fat Bike Today

Today I finally got my butt outside and rode Helga! We went around the block, 7 miles. It took me less time than I expected. I’m more out of shape than I thought.

Lessons Learned on the Fat Bike Today

Lessons Learned in the Fat Bike Today

Get correct size cycling booties

The temperature was about 36F when I started my ride. I decided to try out my neoprene shoe covers, similar to these Pearl iZUMi Pro Barrier WXB MTB Shoe Cover 
to see if these would keep my feet warm. I believe I did not buy the right size, even though I bought a Large. I couldn’t get the shoe covers to attach in the back. Walking up the first hill, the left one pretty much detached and flopped along. I took it off and stuffed it in my pocket.If I can’t figure out if these are the right size, I’m going to take my friend’s advice and wear plastic baggies over my feet, under my sock. Same principal and cheaper. (The ride warmed up and it wasn’t even applicable.)

Wear Protective Lenses

As I rode down my first hill, I noticed the mud spattering all the way TO MY FACE! I knew I would get muddy, but didn’t expect to have mud on my face, in my mouth-and then-SPLASH-mud in the eye!

Why didn’t I wear my biking (safety glasses) or at least sunglasses with my contacts? It wasn’t sunny, so I didn’t see the need for them. Now I do!  Glasses will keep mud out of your eyes! And bugs!

Fenders Can Be Beneficial

I knew I was going to get muddy, but I didn’t anticipate HOW muddy I would be. Fenders are looking like a very good purchase for Helga in the very near future.

Lessons Learned on the Fat Bike Today

Get Something to Cover your Water Bottle With

I ride a muddy township road. We live among the Amish who also travel these roads. The Amish drive buggies, powered by horses. Horses leave their road apples everywhere. So that mud splashing up on me is not just mud, it’s mixed up with horse manure. Which led to me looking at my water bottle:

Lessons Learned on the Fat Bike TodayEw! I tried wiping off the little nozzle and just squirting the water into my mouth, not touching it to my lips. Next time, I think I might cover the top with a plastic baggie, therefore keeping the spout of it clean for me. Better safe than sorry.

I Need to Get Outside More

I had fun out there even with the mud splatters and pushing my bike up all the hills. I was pleasantly tired after, which means I need to go bike more!

Biking at the Beach

I finally went outside today! It’s the first time since about the first of the year that I opted outside!

Biking at the Beach

I was all set to do this great hike at Caesar’s Creek on my birthday..but the negative temperatures and unfamiliar terrain made me pause. Then it seemed the weather was wicked on my days off, and I was too wimpy and lazy to go outside. If I was still running, I would have been outside 5 days out of 7. Because that’s what ultra runners do. Since I no longer run, I no longer have a great training goal which gets me outside.  I need the outside, people.

Plan IT

Today, my day off from work, I planned to take Helga out. I settled on Salt Fork State Park, the home of many trail runs for me. I decided to go ride Helga on the beach, as I really haven’t spent much time on the beach area of the park.

Biking at the Beach

Juggling Clothes

Being a cyclist is much different than being a runner. I’m still struggling with what to wear biking versus running. The wind chill can be greater on the bike, and I have to think about feet staying warm biking.Biking at the Beach

No Wind

I lucked out today. It was about 24 F, but with little wind. The cold wind off a body of water can be killer cold.  I biked around the beach area.

Biking at the Beach

I wandered down a few mowed areas that I had never been to before. They weren’t very long.

Biking at the Beach

Nobody was out on this Tuesday noon, but I did see tracks that someone had been afoot lately.

Biking at the Beach

I was glad I broke my inside streak and opted outside. I love being outside and experiencing new places. I just need to plan my outings, to make sure I actually get out and do them!

Biking at the Beach

Bike Tours 2018

Bike Tours 2018

It’s time to plan some adventures for 2018! I have come up with four bike tours for 2018. I hope to make all of them happen!

Steel City Loop

This is about an 82 mile loop around the city of Pittsburgh. It will incorporate the Montour Trail, Three Rivers Heritage Trail, the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, and a little road riding. I could do this all in one day, but I may make a two day ride so I can stop and sight see around the trail. I hope to do this in the early springtime, maybe April.

Ohio to Erie Trail

The Ohio to Erie Trail goes from Cincinnati to Cleveland, 326 miles. I am going to ride this in the spring quarter before it gets too hot here in Ohio. I don’t know yet how many days I will take or which direction I will bike.

Northbend Trail

North Bend Trail is a trail located in northern West Virginia, spanning from Parkersburg to Clarksburg, 72 miles. From what I  have read, it’s a rather rough trail. I am planning on riding the fat bike on this trail. Fat Bike

I am planning on doing this in two days so I am not too rushed. Given that some of the trail  has mud sections, I am planning on riding this trail in midsummer when the mud should be dried out.

Greenbrier River Trail

Greenbrier River Trail is in southern West Virginia, 78 miles long. It appears that the trail has been repaired after the big floods that occurred.  This is more of a tentative plan, as the drive would be five or six hours to get to that corner of the state. But wouldn’t it be awesome to ride in October in the peak of fall foliage?

Any long bike trails you can recommend to me? Most of these are planned due to they are the closest to drive to, but I am always up for new ideas!

The New Biker Experience at Camp Tuscazoar

New biker

 

I bought a new bike! Meet Hellga, from Specialized.

Hellga

I’d been curious about fat bikes. Or rather “fat tire bikes” for some time. I wanted a bike to ride in the winter, on my back roads around here, when my hybrid bike is up on the trainer. I had done some reading, and decided to just bite the bullet, and buy a bike.

The fat tire experience is different than my hybrid bike. The tires do “float” over objects,  like gravel. I would have never even thought about taking my hybrid into one of our pastures to ride there.

I was excited to be off work Monday and I headed to Camp Tuscazoar at 8 am! I’ve blogged about many experiences at Camp Tuscazoar. There has been many improvements to the trails there over the last few years.

East Side Trails

East Side Trails Camp Tuscazoar

On the East Side of the camp, there are newly built mountain bike trails. These are for the beginner rider. I helped out in the spring doing some trail maintenance.

 

Skills and Thrills

The trails are very well marked and signed. I was going to stay away from the “Skills and Thrills” until I read the description. It was for the youth and total beginner! That’s me!

You start off with a downhill (gulp) but it levels out. The trail is wide and there are no big ups or downs.

At the skills section, you can ignore all the skills and just ride through. Or you can practice going over a log; rocks; hopping off a bridge, both wide and narrow; biking on a log. I did just the very basic skills. I hopped off the little bridge, rode the bridge with the little hill. I did not try anything like biking on a log or trying to go over two logs at the same time.

This route is about 0.6 miles long. I think I rode it about five times before I ventured to the next upgrade, Hilltop Trail.

Hilltop Trail

This had many more ups and downs than the Skills Trail! I used my brake quite a bit on this. I am a total newby mountain biker.

I rode this trail again, then decided to add the North Slope. This trail had big switchbacks and berms!  There was much braking on this trail. I had to hop off Hellga and push her in a few places. I don’t have gearing quite mastered yet for this new bike.

After this, I rode the Skills Trail again and called it a day. I was tired! Hopefully I won’t be too sore tomorrow. These are excellent mountain bike trails for a newby!