Category Archives: Bike

Biking the Conotton Creek Trail

Biking the Conotton Creek Trail

Conotton Creek Trail


The Conotton Creek Bike Trail is a bike trail that goes between the little Ohio towns of Bowerston and Jewett. It is eleven miles long. I was somewhat in the *area* and wanted to get a long bike ride in, so off to Scio I went. Scio is the little town in the middle of the bike path.

Covered Bridges

Conotton Creek Covered Bridge

A nice feature of this bike trail was the little covered bridges along the way.

Conotton Creek Covered Bridge

Conotton Creek Covered Bridge
Conotton Creek Covered Bridge

Rough Surfaces

The bike trail is a bit rougher than I remember.  There was an article in the local paper about applying for a grant to resurface the trail. I thought this would be good training for the more rough C&O Towpath Trail.


It was a cloudy overcast day for my ride. I think it would get a tad bit hotter in the summer months. There are little shelters every five miles or so along the trail, a good place to duck out a sudden thunderstorm.

I met Mr Snapper on his way cross trail.

lt was a little warm out, from the looks of my red cheeks!  I kept expecting rain to occur, it was nice to dodge that bullet.



I have installed my rear rack and a water bottle rack! This was my first ride with these installed,  I need to see if they need torqued down a bit. I carried my Wisp pack, with water and snacks brought along! I did drink all my water from the Camelbak, and was happy to have a granola bar at mile 18.

Twenty two miles in the book for this bike ridge! It was a change in my original plan, due to the overnight rain, but where there is the will, there is a way to fit in the training!


My Longest Bike Ride Ever

First Long Ride

Longest Bike Ride Ever

I have changed the date of my 335 mile bike tour from October to August. Yikes! That’s coming soon. It is time to hop onto the bike and start getting some miles under my butt.

Bike Trail Route

Route: Park in Fort Laurens Park, Bolivar, Ohio. Ride two miles over the road to pick up the Towpath Trail.  Ride through the cornfields for about 1/2 mile, Bike Ridethen jump Rt 212 for about a 1/4 mile of sketchy road,  stop signthen pick up the Towpath Trail again.

Deer on Bike Trail

The Towpath Trail, in the south, is mostly crushed limestone, gravel in a few areas, pleasant to ride on. Nobody was out at 9 am on this cool spring May morning but me and the chipmunks, geese, and a few deer.

Towpath Trail Tunnel


The Towpath Trail grows through the small town of Navarre Ohio. Do you know what is also located in Navarre? Nickles Bakery! Baking bread since 1909 and in seven midwestern states. Do you know what smells sooo good riding through town? Baking bread!

Bakery Trucks on Trail

I continued north past all the great smells.

Trail under railroad track

Buckeye Trail on Traill noticed the familiar blue blazes of the Buckeye Trail on the Towpath Trail. These would be some pleasant non-road miles to hike on.

First Clipped in Fall

It happened! My first fall. It was a doozy. I was about two miles from Massilion, when a rock caught my eye. Yes, one of those painted rocks that is going around the internet. While I was thinking, “oh I should stop and pick that up” I didn’t compensate for the little slope I was starting up. I tried to shift, but already had lost momentum BOOM down I went.

First Clipped In Fall

I got a handlebar straight into my sternum. I heard my head hit the ground-thwock! OOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWW! Somehow I was unclipped and stumbled away. Knees were a bit skinned but the pain was in my chest. I walked it off for a few minutes.  I seemed to be okay, other than every time I took a big breath-it hurt!

Oh yeah, here’s the rock I picked up! 😳 Rock on Trail


I kept trying to decide where to turn around.

I knew there was a break in the trail. I was hoping the bike shop was on this side of the trail. (It wasn’t). I made the logical decision to turn where the Sippo Trail started.

Turn Around Trail



The bike ride went well. I carried my running pack, since I have yet to figure out how to attach the water bottle cage to the bike.  My private parts only got a bit sore, and I had less numbness in my hands. I think I need to move my handlebars slightly. The next day, nothing is sore except my STERNUM which is hugely painful.

I forgot snacks. I was tired near the finish. I thought I had left some gels in the back, nope!


The  Towpath Trail will be good training grounds for the C&O Canal Trail. I am going to have to download audiobooks and podcasts to deal with the long green tunnel on this for August.

What’s your longest bike ride?

Things I Don’t Understand About Biking

Things I Don't Understand About my Bike

This could be a long laundry list of things I don’t understand about  bikes and biking. Where to begin?

How to install water bottle and bike kit? Where do I carry the tire inflator and spare stuff? I don’t see how this fits on the bike.

What is the best way to fix a flat? I’ve only changed the tires twice. Both at home, not on the road.

How often do I need to clean my bike and oil the chain?

When do I need to replace the brake pads? Am I breaking too much going downhills?

What is a power meter and do I need one? Is a power meter the same thing as a bike computer? Do I need a bike computer? How will it help me?

How do I know what kind of brakes I  have? When do I need to replace the brake lines?

Why do my brakes squeak? Should they squeak?

How often should you replace your helmet? I do know to replace after a crash. I haven’t crashed. I think my helmet is about five years old.

Got any answers for me?





Embrace The Bike: My BHAG 2017


Embrace the Bike

BHAG is Big Hairy Audacious Goal. I need to have something BIG to do, something new, something fun, something outside. Since I’m not supposed to run with my arthritic knee, I’m turning to biking. Since I’ve never been fast but have endurance, I’ve become interested in long distance biking.  I first set the goal of a century ride (100 miles) in 2017, but as that idea percolated, more ideas came to mind.

Great Allegheny Passage

The Great Allegheny Passage is 150 mile trail from Pittsburgh PA to Cumberland Maryland. I thought this would be a good goal. There are no motorized vehicles on it, and this would fulfill my goal of a century ride-plus some!

Great Allegheny Passage  AND the C&O Trail

Where the GAP Trail ends in Cumberland, Maryland, the C&O Towpath Trail takes over. The C&O Trail goes from Cumberland to Washington DC. You can ride your bike from Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC.  This is 335 miles.  As I thought about this, it seemed like riding just “half” the trail would only be half complete.  I’m sure I would want to complete the whole trail-so why not do that from the start?

Amtrak is the key

Getting to one end of the trail could be tricky except there is Amtrak! It is a single train ride from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. They now have a new service where you just wheel your bike onboard for a small fee of twenty bucks-easy peasy!

Training Trails

I have a close bike trail to train on. It is the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail. Full length is 73 miles, which would give me great opportunities for long mileage off roads.

So here’s to my BHAG for 2017, embrace the bike!

Biking 101: Going Clipless

Going Clipless

My biking education and training evolves. Today I went clipless.  What does that mean?  “Clips” refers to the older style of making sure your foot stayed on the pedal, this was straps making a little cage for your shoe on the pedal-there’s a picture below of this. “Clipless” is the newer invention of affixing your shoe securely to the pedal via a little locking cleat mechanism


I upgraded my wind trainer to a CycleOps fluid trainer. Why? The wind trainer was noisy as hell. I literally couldn’t last more than fifteen minutes without going insane. AND I couldn’t hear the TV-a most important component on inside riding.Cyclops Fluid TrainerI bought a trainer tire. I successfully changed the tire on my bike-it involved me kind of laying on the tire in about fifteen or twenty minutes. Getting the cassette back on the bike moved me to tears and needed an assist from the hubs. But it was on!


I bought the clips-or the toe cages-for my bike back in the summer time.  Shoe in Clips One of the little screws fell out, and the cage has been dangling like this for weeks, but it still works to slip my foot into the cage.

Going Clipless

Yes, the cycling world is weird. The shoes that you clip into the pedal are referred to as “clipless”. There is a million variables of clipless pedals and shoes to choose from, which cost from thirty dollars to several thousand.  Being a total clipless newby, I don’t need 0.5 gram carbon fiber pedals-I just need something to try.

A friend via Twitter recommended these pedals to me, and it was good advice as any, so I bought them and shoes off Amazon. (Affiliate link for these!)

Since both pedals and shoes showed up, it was time to become a bike mechanic. This is why I haven’t become a Fred before this; I am not interested in fixing things. I’m not very good with mechanical things. But I am learning. I am embracing bike mechanics 101.

I did it! I’m Clipless!

Shimano SPD Pedals

I did have to get the hubs to come downstairs and loosen up the old “clip” pedals off the bike, but I installed the cleats on the shoes, the pedals on the bike.  I was able to clip in, and (after Googling) was able to clip OUT of the pedals.

Clipped in!

I didn’t stay on the trainer long, only wanted to feel these new shoes and pedals. I could already tell a difference, being attached to the bike on the upstroke as well as the down stroke. I hope to get comfortable clipping in and out on the trainer before the first spring ride outside.

Have you embraced new technology in your sport? How soon will I fall over on this bike this spring?

My 2017 Goals

2017 Goals

This usually, if I write one, starts out as “what races I am running” for the year.

This is going to be a different year, maybe the start of new me, or Kimba 2.0 as I call her.

I may not be running much. I have Grade 4 Arthritis on my right knee. I’ve seen the XRays (went to the doctor in December) where there is not a gap between my bones.  Knee Arthritis
Hence the pain on my knee. Running is the worst thing you can do for this.  Walking is good. Swimming, biking, hiking is good. Virtually every other sport under the sun is good-except for running.

It’s going to be a very flexible year that I will embrace.  (Embrace is my word of the year!)

Hiking: I’ve become interested in the Buckeye Trail. I received several map sections of the BT for Christmas and I would like to cover these in 2017.  I would also like to do some overnight camping.

Biking: I’m going to ride my bike this year. I need to find trails or roads without lots of traffic. One of my goals will be to ride a century, or 100  miles.

Swimming: I am learning to swim with my face in the water. I think it will be fun and out of my comfort zone to “try a tri” which is a swim, followed by a bike, followed by a run.

Volunteer: this is definitely on the calendar. I will be working at the following races Forget the PR 50K in April and Massanutten 100 in May.  I will be recruiting volunteers for a new adventure race here in southern Ohio, at Camp Tuscazoar in August.

What’s on your adventure/recreation/racing calendar for 2017?

I Want to Ride my Bicycle I want to ride my Bike!

How can anyone turn down a Queen inspired post title?


Today’s workout was a bike ride.

Since it was my day off from work, there was no time constraints to get out there on the bike. I was biking by 830am, as the day was already hot and sweaty!

abandonedhouseThis is the abandoned house on the corner. Over the years, all the windows have been broken out. The windows were then covered with plastic, which has tattered and torn.

bike scene

It is quite the bucolic scenery that I ride through.

I had a good bike ride. I don’t know whether it was because I had pre-planned my workouts for the week, or knew the route I was going to ride, but all went well. Even the “big” hill seemed just a tiny bit easier. Maybe I am getting a bit used to being in the bike saddle these days.


The best part about riding on these back country roads in the creek bottom is there is no traffic.  Like one truck passed me.  I’m still quite leery riding a bike with traffic.  Does anyone else mutter “please don’t hit me please don’t hit me” when a car needs to pass you?
green tunnelI did not get to my knee exercises (yet) today but substituted weeding and staking some pepper plants that needed the immediate loving care.

Did you get in a bike ride today?