Archive for April, 2009

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Buckeye Trail – Oakwood to Defiance

April 27, 2009

The Buckeye Trail around the state of Ohio crosses through Oakwood, a small town in NW Ohio.

I decided to follow the trail up to Defiance. Along the way, I started to see the famous “blue blazes”.

One of the cool things that I quickly came up on was a lock with an intact prism along side of road T-163.

After collecting a few shots, I continued on up to the community called “Junction”.  This is where the Wabash-Erie Canal joined up with the Miami-Erie canal and then proceeded on up to Defiance, then further to Lake Erie.

It was cool to observe these remnants of history, that formed the transportation corridors through Ohio just prior to the railroad age.  Many of the artifacts are now gone, as are the towns and villages that once blossomed next to these transportation hubs.  This none more apparent than the village of Junction, Ohio, said to have once rivaled Ft Wayne in size and growth in the 1800’s, but now nothing more than a collection of homes, trailers, and debris.

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Cycling from Kingsview Industrial Park to Morrow Loop

April 18, 2009

Because today was such a gorgeous day, we’d planned a much longer ride, but life gets in the way sometimes, and we had to take care of some other things that are tough during the work week…. in fact, we ended up adding something extra to the day as well.  We took a drive out into Clermont County to look at a home that come on the market.  We love the setting and have an appointment to look inside of it tomorrow… but anyway, I digress!

By the time we got all settled out for the day, it was about 5:30pm, so I told Penny that I wasn’t real spunky, but a nice relaxing ride would be in order.  Once we got loaded up, we decided to head up to Morrow and then back.  The evening was still excellent, but the clouds were starting in, hinting at the rain projected for Sunday.

The first leg of our ride was non-spectacular, aside from the small child that tried unsuccessfully to ride head-long into Penny’s path (you could hear the parental tongue-lashing of the child as we rode past).

The pace was relaxing… I think we barely got above 12mph most of the time.  When we arrived in Morrow, we stretched, enjoyed 1/2 of an energy gel packet that Penny found tucked away in her gear bag, took a couple of pics, and then lazily rode back toward the vehicle.

Somewhere around Morrow-Cozaddale Rd, I was chatting that this is a nice area to pick up the pace since we have to stop at Stubbs Mills Rd anyway.  No sooner than saying “Keep up if you can”, we were off like a shot… well… for folks in their mid-40’s anyways… lol… and were holding over 25mph with Penny tucked into a nice draft behind me.  She made some smartass comment about hardly having to work at all behind me.  Looking up, I saw the stop sign way up ahead for Stubb Mills, so I hammered it, giving it all I could in my mid range chain ring.  I felt like a hamster in a cage as I pulled steadily away from Penny.  Seeing almost 30mph on the computer, I started slowing for the stop sign, and Penny quickly caught up with me.

We sat at the sign for a minute or two before resuming our ride, and I was pleasantly surprised by how quickly we caught our breath from the “sprint”.  I guess all the CrossFit workouts are paying off!  Resuming a cadence around 100rpm in a lower gear, I figured I’d keep the blood moving in my quads, as they signaled their presence… in a dull ache sort of way.  After I zinged another smartass comment at Penny, I heard her pace quicken as she bolted past me. Fortunately I was already in a low gear and started turning even faster to mitigate her pulling away.  Before I upshifted, my calves started informing me of their presence too, but I quickly pulled even Penny.  I joked about feeling it in my calves, and she grunted in response and pushed a bit harder.  Crap!  I didn’t feel like staying beside her, so I tucked in behind as she pulled along a very slight uphill grade at between 18-19mph.  She kept up this pace until we reached South Lebanon.  That girls got some legs!!

She joked that after my smartass comment she was going to show me what to do with my “relaxing ride”, ’cause she knew she could keep the pressure up and I would be too stubborn to be dropped….lol…. Oh… she’s a gem!! 🙂

We did finish out the last mile at a benign pace so that our legs wouldn’t “setup” when we got in the vehicle…. all in all… a nice evening to go cycling on the trail!

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Kingsview to Loveland on the Little Miami Trail

April 4, 2009

Today we had a great ride from our normal starting point at the Kingsview Industrial Park down to Loveland.  Penny was full of spunk today right out of the gates, so we were off the races right away.  There’s no easing into the bike season with her… she “all go, all the time”… lol

I was also experimenting a little bit.  Normally we wear our Camelback backpacks on the rides, no matter what the length, to carry different clothes for layering and such.  However, prior to Christmas, I’d purchased some waterproof  panniers.  Figured I ought to give them a try just to see how they feel.  I chose to use the left one only, and shoved a couple of jackets, gloves, and pain reliever into the bag.  The first thing I noticed was that my heel hit the pannier, so I had to adjust it back about an inch or so to get some clearance.  From there, it worked out great.

When we got to Loveland, the park was filled with parents and children getting ready for an Easter Egg hunt.  I started sneezing immediately since I’m allergic to children (just kidding!).

We noticed a lady with a recumbent bike and soon struck up a conversation.  She called herself “Wacky Macky”, was a real pistol and a hoot to talk with. We spent about a 1/2 hr chatting with her and looking at some of her cool tattoos.  She had them all over her body, but some she couldn’t show us… not because she was shy, but she said she didn’t want to traumatize the kids or the parents in the park doing the Easter Egg hunt… I was bummed… lol

A great new friend!

A great new friend!

She said she liked recumbent bikes because she had a knee replacement and it felt good on it. She’s 61 yrs old and rides several thousand miles a year, so it must work out pretty well for her!

Great day and great ride!  And it’s wonderful to meet new friends!  Turns out she’s also a member of the Friends of Little Miami State Park Group, so we’ll probably see her at the next meeting on April 26th.

17.5 miles; 1hr 20 minutes