Cycling Roundtrip from South of Morrow to Mathers Mill

April 4, 2010

After getting our condo prepped and listed on the market, it was finally time for us to get out and enjoy the wonderful weather and grab a relaxing ride.

We readied the Surly LHT touring bikes and started out at Stubbs Mill Rd… we’d never parked in that spot before, but passed it many times.  From here we cycled up through Morrow and then on to Ft Ancient, and finally Mathers Mill.  After enjoying a snack and soaking in the sunshine, we turned around and headed south.  We still had plenty of gas in the tank, but since we hadn’t ridden since that sunny day at the end of January, we decided to be prudent.

On the way back, we stopped at Ft Ancient to survey the work that had been done to stop the river encroachment under the trail.  The concrete abutment for the culvert under the trail, had been undercut by the river and partially collapsed into the river.  Subsequently, much of the earth next to the trail had slid down behind it.  Fortunately, a volunteer with the right connections and equipment did some temporary work and back filled the area.  Thanks to him, the trail isn’t in immediate danger and can survive until a proper remedy is executed.

Despite the benefit of a slight downhill grade on the return trip, there was a brisk headwind, so we kept the pace down and enjoyed the remainder of our 20 mile ride.  It was great to be out riding together again and a nice way to enjoy Easter Day outdoors!


Hiking at John Bryan State Park

March 16, 2010

Did a 3 mile hike at John Bryan State Park along the river on the Gorge Trails.  It was a great way to unwind after the 8 hour class today.  I love Daylight Savings Time!


Nope… I haven’t forgetten about this blog

January 29, 2010

While we had a couple of nice hikes over Thanksgiving (Caesar Creek SP and East Fork SP) as well as a mountain bike ride at East Fork SP on the easy trail, which I failed to record, most of our activities have moved indoors and resulted in a multitude of entries in our Quest for Fitness blog, which has entered it’s 2nd year.  Staying physically active, whether its cycling, hiking, Olympic Weightlifting or other, has been our most significant focus.

On January 23rd, we had a fortuitous break in the weather for January…. 50F and even a spot or two of sunshine…. so I threw the bike hitch back on and we loaded up to go over and ride on the Little Miami Trail.

Cycled 15 miles, 1:15, average pace was quite low, but leisurely.

Nice gentle ride… just out enjoying the wind in our face and the fresh sights after doing exercise indoors for the past few months.. even saw a deer and couple of small ani-mules.  There were over 20 cyclist out on the trail and road taking advantage of a rare January day suitable for riding.

Just as quickly as the nice weather appeared, it disappeared, and we’ve been mired in below freezing temps for the past week.  I’m glad I had the foresight to take the bike hitch back off the Jeep while it was still warm.


Grabbin’ another night ride

November 11, 2009

As the weather turned cooler, we’ve been transitioning from Cycling to a stronger focus on Olympic Weightlifting (if we can improve flexibility and technique, we may get to compete in a USAW meet someday).  Even so, it’s great to still work in a ride from time to time outside that doesn’t involve using the bike on the trainer indoors.

Tonight we loaded up the Surly LHT’s and rode 15 miles on the Little Miami trail from the Kingsview Industrial Park up to Morrow and back.  There is something extremely peaceful about night riding that reminds me of the serenity of cave diving…. almost like riding in a tunnel with only the immediate illuminated.

I tested out a new brighter Niterider light.  It was almost too bright, so I used the dimmer setting to dial it back a bit.  It was still brighter than my older Niterider light, which I stuck on Penny’s bike.  If the new light didn’t have a bright flash mode, I would be happy with another mini-Newt like my older one.

When we got to Morrow, we rode down to the far end of the soccer field at the Veteran’s Park (how appropriate for Veteran’s Day!) and covered our lights to just stare at the stars for a while.

Aside from one deer, we saw a couple of small red fox and other gleaming eyes in the bushes along the trail.  Very cool ride!




First Night Ride of the Season

November 1, 2009

The time change occurred last night, so it got dark at 5:30pm tonight.  Given the limited daylight, we chose to start our ride at dusk and ride down to Loveland and back in the dark.

We parked at Kingsview Industrial Park and headed down the Lebanon Trail toward the Little Miami Trail.  The temperature was dropping quickly as the daylight disappeared.  We had our cycling tights on, full finger gloves, wool shirts, wind breakers, and even a light polypro skull cap under our helmet.  Things were still a bit nippy as the temp dropped to the low 40’s.  Penny is going to use her warmer full finger gloves next time, and we are both going to go with warmer tights and slip on the shoe covers to keep the toes warmer.

This was an incredibly peaceful 20 mile ride, and the maiden night ride on our Surly Long Haul Truckers.  Much of the trail was covered in leaves, the moon was full, the wind was still, and there was basically no traffic.  It just doesn’t get better than that.  It was kinda odd that the only traffic was two law enforcement officers in cars, a ranger and a local policeman, investigating reports of a deer down on the trail.

Hopefully we can continue to fine tune our layering and get in a couple more night rides before the weather prohibits any more…. in fact… we’ve been toying with the idea of getting a Surly Pugsley built up with 4″ fat tires for riding in many additional conditions than we can with our standard mountain bikes.



Cycling Windy Flats, past Marshlands, and Muddy Michigan roads

October 28, 2009

My original plan for the evening was to just pedal in the hotel room with my bike on the resistance trainer, but the sun came out in the afternoon and it turned into a beautiful day.  There was a light wind from the NNW, so I headed a couple of miles west and then started a due north course (easy enough on square grid roads).  The trek took me past some marshy remnants of the Great Black Swamp.

It’s truly amazing to consider that pioneers suffered such harsh conditions to travel through and even drain most of NW Ohio to gain access to such fertile land.

On the way northward, I was stunned to see the paved road come to an end at the Ohio line and changeover to muddy roads in Michigan.  What a dichotomy!

I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out, but I concluded that 25mm road tires weren’t the best option for muddy roads.  Perhaps a cyclocross bike would have been more appropriate.  lol

It took a bit more concentration, but for the most part, the bike fared okay.

On the way back, most of the mud flew off, and I wiped the rest down before I brought the bike back into the hotel.

I grabbed a couple of pics on the Ohio Turnpike overpass just a short jaunt from the hotel.  This is about a mile west of turnpike exit 13.

And the obligatory self-portrait!

There was a steady 6-10mph headwind on the way north, not much, but I could feel it.  This was supposed to be an “easy spinning” night, so I had to keep dialing it back to keep cadence high and effort easy.  However, on the way back, the wind was a great boon, giving me a nice pace on the way back, so I did push it a bit harder than I should have.

My legs are yelling at me now for 5 days of cycling in a row, but there aren’t many days like this left in the year, so I had to take the opportunity!  Awesome night for a ride!


Checking out the Colors on the Little Miami Trail

October 25, 2009

We finally had the time and temperature to get out for a nice Fall ride.    The colors are a bit past peak, and the recent rains have pulled down many of the leaves prematurely, but there was still some enjoyment to be had!

We didn’t take time for a long ride, but hit the trail between Morrow and Oregonia.  We weren’t disappointed!