Cedarville to South Charleston

October 22, 2008

I needed to see some new trail, so I drove down to Cedarville, south of Springfield.  I’ve done a portion of this Ohio-to-Erie Trail before (Xenia to Cedarville), and knew it was going to be flat trail through mostly farmland.

By the time I drove down there, the sun was already setting.  This meant that most of this 22 mile ride was going to be in the dark with the cold setting in quickly.

I had a tough time getting psyched up for the ride and kept trying to talk myself into turning around before reaching South Charleston.  One of the ways I stayed interested/distracted was to attempt to ride the road bike with no hands.  It was something that I used to do all the time as a kid, but didn’t feel confident attempting with my road bike because the steering has a very nimble/twitchy response.  There was one point where I traveled about a 1/2 mile off the handles.  It was definitely a nice way to use different muscles.

As I rode along, the  urge to turn around was strong because I could tell it was going to be a clear cold night.  I was barely able to make out a water tower in the distance as the final vestiges of sunset swept over the horizon.  I didn’t realize that the water tower was actually in South Charleston a few miles away, so the extra motivation/goal worked nicely to get me there.

When I reached South Charleston it was pretty cold, but the energy bars and gels were kicking in pretty good and I felt strong.  After a visit to the park restroom, I took my pack off and changed to my balaclava to keep my neck and face warmer.  Heading back out of town, I felt really good on the return trip…. that is… until I realized that I’d left my pack with wallet, keys, and cell phone hanging on the door in the restroom…. D’oh!!!!  I sprinted back about a mile and it was still there fortunately!!

The sky seemed so clear and bright that I opted not to turn on my lights.  It was a bit thrilling to cruise down the trail with no lights… and see the rabbits zipping along on the side of the trail darting away.  This was all great until I heard a huge crash in the brush next to me as some started animal, either a deer or groundhog, scrambled away from me without regard for what was in its path.  I nearly came out of my skin and decided that I’d had enough fun for one evening and turned my lights on.  What was cool is that I’d already cruised 6 of the 11 miles back on the return leg of the trip… Sweet!!!!

My toes were toe-cycles by the time I reached my Jeep.  The last couple of miles very very uncomfortable… I’ve definitely got to solve the foot warmth issue so that I can continue riding in these Fall nights unabated!


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