Category Archives: Girl Power

Biking the Greenbrier River Trail Day Two and Three

Day Two Marlinton and Cass

sign to marlinton

I was so happy to wake up alive in the morning. I was happy to roll into Marlinton, and have breakfast at the Dirt Bean Cafe. Dirt Bean Cafe MarlintonThe Cafe is both a coffee shop and a bike shop!

Cass

I made it up to Cass! It was a very hot day.  I got to see the Cass Train. It was small. I guess I was remembering the Silverton/Durango Train. I felt sorry for the engineers shoveling the coal into that engine on this hot hot day.  I didn’t stick around Cass very long, I was too eager to ride some miles back down the trail and get camp set up for the night.

Campsite Mile 70

Mile 70 campsite greenbrier trail

How far can I bike today. I biked 40 miles to Cass, how much farther can I go? The further I go south, the less I will have to bike on Saturday. But I don’t want to kill myself either. I decided to stop at Mile 70, at 615 pm. I biked about 50 miles. Again I am exhausted!

Saturday Day Three

I wake up kind of refreshed. That’s a lie. I was sore and tired. Ugh. Maybe I’m not cut out for a Tour Divide ride when I can’t even handle a flat little rail trail.  Shut up Kimba, and drink some coffee, you got 70 miles to go.

early morning greenbrier trail

 

My breakfast this day is a Mountainhouse spicy mac and cheese. This isn’t exactly my first choice, but I surprise myself by eating it all down. I get on the trail about 730am and resolve to not make any extended stops.

I am a 1/2 mile out of Marlinton when I feel it becoming harder and harder to bike. Guh!! A flat! BUT I am a 1/2 mile to Marlinton-and the Dirt Bean Cafe, which is also a BIKE SHOP. I resolve to just add air to the tire and let the bike shop fix my flat. I can fix my flat, but I know a bike shop pro can do it quicker.

Back to the Bean

The proprietor of the coffee/bike shop is able to fix my tire. She shows me the tiny brad that I managed to pick up on the tire. Yes, I said SHE. I regret not getting her name. Thanks Dirt Bean Cafe for the yummy scones and my tire fixed!!!

More Food for the Road

I got more food for the trip south. 3 scones, a chocolate chip cookie. I know I am going to stop again at Seebert, at mile 45, for more drinks and food.

Seebert

 

A hot day. I buy Payday bars, Sour Kids, potato chips. I’m debating buying a beer but then I see the Code Red Mountain Dew-yes, that has the caffeine and calories that I need!  The last 30 miles were a bit of a slog. All I wanted to do was finish. Ugh. And bathe. And get a hotel room.

The Finish

I did it! I coasted back into the parking lot at 615 pm Saturday. I felt much better!!

Conclusions

The Greenbrier is a great little trail. It is not as secluded or remote as I thought. You do have to plan your water and food supplies. But the trail is *only* 78 miles long, you could bike it all in one day. Or you could meander up and down the trail, stop to swim or fish. There are nice locations to stop and camp out on the trail. I did notice there are now cabins and Airbnb’s available. I’m sure there are rentals in Marlinton. Cass has lodging available in case you don’t feel like camping in a tent.

Fall would be a great time to bike the Greenbrier River Trail!

 

Biking the Greenbrier River Trail

Biking the Greenbrier River Trail

The Greenbrier River Trail Day One

My Loose Plan

I had a very loose plan for my trip. Start at North Caldwell, bike north for some miles and camp overnight. I knew it would take me four hours to drive to the trailhead. I didn’t know how fast I would be able to bike, weighed down with all my gear.

My Ride

This was my experiment with tent camping and hauling.

Thursday Day One

I got on the trail about 11 am.  The southern end of the trail was hard hit by the 2016 floods. The trail has been repaired and in great shape.

I was a bit surprised by all the summer cabins along the trail. In all my reading about the trail, people mentioned the remoteness of the trail.  There are cabins up and down the length of the Greenbrier River. There are probably cabins about 70 miles of the 78 mile trail.

cabin along the Greenbrier Trail

Campsites

I felt fine cruising by mile 13, then 26.  There was water around mile 28, and I was evaluating where I wanted to stop for the night.   Should I stop at mile 38? I decided to go on to Mile 40 campsite.

Prisonprison sign

I was surprised to see a sign for a prison, then I saw the gleaning of the barbed wire.  view of the prison from Greenbrier River Trail

Tired

Just a short distance, later I found my home for the night. It was a bit damp, as there was a nice babbling brook that fed into the river.

I was exhausted! It was a hot day out there, I wasn’t in prime biking shape, and I had been awake since 5am.  I was in the tent by 7 pm, and pretty much asleep soon afterwards.

Night Time Wake Up Call

I woke up at 115 am to the sound of a scream. Not one scream, but numerous screams. WTF is going on?? The screams are very much like the enraged zombie-like soldiers in the movie 28 Days Later.  Is there a convict loose from the prison? Is there a meth addict going crazy in the woods?

I am terrified. I know that sounds dramatic. But I was. I have no idea what is happening outside my tent. I glance at the phone and instantly make it dark. I do not want to attract attention to my green little tent…in the middle of nowhere…where there is a crazed individual SCREAMING in the woods outside.

What to do? I briefly think of jumping on my bike and riding down the trail. But I don’t know where “THEY” are. Are there guards hunting for this crazed individual? Is that voices I am hearing, or is that the babbling brook near by?

This is kind of what it sounded like:

It may have sounded again. Then it stopped. I am still sitting upright in my tent. I can’t sustain this until daybreak, so I lay down again. Now that my heart rate is dropping a bit (I hope) I think, well, maybe that was a screech owl. What do screech owls sound like? Maybe it was a bird. I’m right on a river, there are probably owls, eagles, loons all sorts of birds around that scream.

I fall asleep.

I live to face another day. It was a bit chilly at 6 am, so I donned my rain poncho just to keep the body heat in while I drank some coffee and savored being alive. Then it was time to saddle up Myka, and head on down the trail!

Project 219 Update

 

my project 219 chart

How is my Project 219 coming along? This was my challenge for 2019. Last year, it was my art journal.

Project 219

This was to do some sort of a work out daily, for at least 219 of the 365 days. In other terms, work out 60%, or 2/3 daily of the year.

So Far So Good

Out of the 151 days ,I had some sort of exercise work out on 89 days out of 151. This could have been a bike ride, ride on the trainer, walk at least one mile, or some sort of weight training for at least 30 minutes. In other words, doing a plank for 45 seconds does not constitute a work out.

Ways for Improvement

I don’t tend to work out on the days where I work  until 7am, drive home, sleep, then drive back to work at 730 pm. I probably need to not come home midweek  for my six day work week. ( I’m working six *midnight* shifts in a row, 9 pm to 7 am. My work place is 1 hour 15 minutes away.)

New Work Schedule

As said above, I have a new job, in a hospital, in another state. That makes it sound far away, but it’s not. I LIKE my new job! How many people can say that? I don’t really love the midnight shift, but that’s what shift was available.

My new job has a very nice work out room. Elliptical, treadmills, stairclimber, lots of machines that I’ve forgotten how to use. I’ve just dug out my old weight training book, with some print outs from 2006. What’s old is new again.

 

219 Workouts in 2019 Challenge

Work out 219 times in 2019

This year’s challenge is going back to the physical. I am going to work out 219 times in the year 2019.

What constitutes a workout? A work out can be a hike, bike, weights, kayak-anything that is out of the regular workings of life. Taking the dogs for a walk is not a workout. Washing floors does not count as a work out. If I end up painting the barn for six hours-well, yes, I will count that as a work out.

Working out 2/3 of the Year?!?

It’s not that difficult, people. It’s making the commitment. This would be working out five days a week. Need help with a schedule? Here’s a plan from Self Magazine.

Here are 19 moves you should be doing in 2019 from Stacked.com. It’s all about the core!

Keeping Track

I think I will make a calendar like I used to to record my work outs. That will help to keep me accountable. (I wish I could find this old school calendar software!)

Old School Work out calendar from 2004.

It’s a new year, a new breath of freshness. Someone noted online that this will be the last time we see a “teen” in our lifetime. Shall we make it the best teen year ever? Let’s go!

What are you going to do in 2019?

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!

My First Gravel Grinder Ride

My first Gravel Grinder Ride

This is my “Almost Week off Work” Vacation. Today I decided to travel over to the Woodbury Wildlife Area in Coshocton County and follow a “gravel grinder” route that I found on Ride with GPS.

Woodbury Wildlife Area

Woodbury Wildlife Area in Coshocton County is the largest public hunting and fishing area in Ohio. Their 19,000 acres is operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources specifically for wildlife recreation. This area was strip mined back in the 70’s.

What’s a Gravel Grinder?

Gravel grinders are gravel road races and rides that combine riding on surfaces such as asphalt, gravel, dirt, some singletrack trails and maintenance or B roads. Like county roads or township roads in the country.

Ride with GPS

I stumbled upon a FB Group called Ohio Gravel Grinders, who had recently completed a ride at Woodbury. I had never thought to go ride there! It’s all deserted country roads, not as hilly as my neighborhood-that’s a good place to ride! I downloaded their Ride with GPS route and set out for a bike ride.

Issue One

My turn sheet mentions turn on Township Road 70. This definitely says 

Township Road 62. My map is not detailed enough to discern (later, this road does become Township Road 70, as 62 branches off, clear as mud..)

Down the road I go. It’s quiet, except for the critters chirping, no noise in my headspace. I am pleasantly surprised to find woodland here in Woodbury! I thought it was going to be all open space due to the strip mining.

 

The ride is going okay. I’m breaking HARD on the downhills-the loose gravel makes me nervous, I don’t want to crash my bike. Maybe I need to look at disc brakes instead of the more traditional caliper or V brakes that I have.

I Lose the Phone

I am still following my planned route when I stop to double check on the phone. Doh! The phone has disappeared! Luckily, I remember where I last checked it. Back UP the hill I just coasted down.

dropped phone

Now I’ve doubled back a mile or so. I decide to make the turn instead of continuing my planned route. I don’t feel up to a 32 mile ride on gravel today.

I am keeping on eye on my phone battery power. Since I’m now relying on the Google Map, I don’t want it to die on me. It is amazing that I have cell phone coverage in Woodbury. This is a desolate area. Cell phone reception has come a long way.

My route goes well, the road turns appear as they should. My last road is County Road 17, which is asphalt-YAY! Asphalt makes for a nice change of pace from gravel.

I don’t like the two little (BIG) hills that I have to bike up in my littlest gear to get up. At least I didn’t have to walk it. Note: I did walk up a few hills on gravel. A few were too steep for me, and one had gravel that was loose and I wasn’t getting traction, the rear wheel was sliding around. Not safe enough for me.

It was a good ride. I will ride over at Woodbury more often.

BHAG Bike Tour Announcement

BHAG Bike Tour Announcement

I finally have a BHAG about biking. This post was first penned as “Dream Bike Tour Announcement” but it’s not going to be a dream it’s going to be a GOAL.

goal

This bike route has intrigued me from my first reading of Jill Homer’s book “Be Brave Be Strong” when I didn’t know anything about biking. I thought it was just a good epic read of an adventure.

Accounts of the route would drop into my reading space every now and then, they would always be interesting for the huge suffer fest that the riders experienced. A friend just rode it this summer, and I followed along via FB posts.

Great Divide Mountain Route

I have decided I want to ride the Tour Divide.

The Great Divide Route is the world’s longest off-pavement cycling route. It travels through Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico (map). By route’s end a thru-rider will climb nearly 200,000 feet of vertical.

It’s Not Happening Anytime Soon

The goal is to do this in my 60th year or sooner. That gives me seven years to get in some sort of buff biking shape. Hey, I dreamed about running the Hardrock 100 for years before I actually got to do it.

It Sets Me up with More Short Term Goals

I have much to do and learn before attempting. Let alone figure out how to get that much vacation time off.

Learn all those parts on the bike and how they work

Yes, I finally am going to get interested in my bike and figure out how the parts work together.

Learn how to fix my bike

The only reason to learn all those bike parts is to be able to FIX my bike when it breaks down. This is a good goal to have regardless of where you are biking.

bike stencil

Become a better Biker

I’m now interested in becoming a better biker. I need to learn how to ride hills, gravel, dirt roads..which is good, because I have all of that available to me! I ventured out of my comfort zone just Thursday. Instead of riding my local seven mile flat asphalt trail out and back, I chose a route which turned that ride into a loop. Unknown to me, that meant taking a road so steep I had to walk the bike in two spots. But I did it, instead of turning around back to flat land!

I am now interested in different types of bike rides instead of looking for easy flat tours. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a focus in training. This is a good goal for me.