Posts Tagged ‘little miami trail’

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Testing Driving A New Brooks Flyer Saddle

April 10, 2010

I got a nice Brooks saddle off ebay, and Penny gave it a 15 mile test ride while I tweaked the adjustments. Plan B was to put it on my mountain bike… I don’t think she’s going to give it up though…. LOL… Now she has a shiny black Brooks Flyer saddle and she was loving the springs when riding over the bumps.

Absolutely gorgeous day for a ride.  Outbound, we intentionally kept the speed below 10mph and gawked around at the scenery.  We even got passed by a Dad with two kids on their own bikes…. I tried to convince Penny that it was absolutely empowering to not react to that and lay the hammer down…. LOL.

We turned around in Morrow, but not before I tweaked the nose down on Penny’s new seat.  She immediately felt the positive effect of that change.

On the way back we started off relatively slowly, and at one of the stop signs got passed by three guys on mountain bikes, one of them with full suspension and large knobby tires, no less!  I commented to Penny that the guy with the full suspension was expending lots of energy.  Sure enough, he dropped back to the point where we were nearly drafting off of him.  I felt kinda bad because we were hardly putting any effort into it at all despite having our heavy steel touring bikes.  We kept creeping up on him and finally I told Penny to drop in behind me as I decided to pick ’em up and put ’em down.  We quickly passed all three and Penny caught the “speed fever” and bumped our speed to almost  18mph…. nice cruising speed, but not sustainable for our unseasoned legs.  Despite that, by the time we reached South Lebanon and looked back, the 3 guys on MTB’s were no where to be seen.  I could tell she enjoyed that! 🙂

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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!

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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!

 

 

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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.

 

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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!

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Google Maps and Little Miami Trail

October 18, 2009

Google Maps, and MapMyRide, which uses the Google mapping engine, now has incorporated the Little Miami Scenic Trail.  What’s really cool is that on MapMyRide, the auto-route feature can be used to create routes on the trail.  For the past year I’ve had to do this manually.

Kudos to Google Maps!

Here’s an example of using Google Maps from Loveland to Corwin on the Little Miami Trail.  I had to select “Walking” and manually move from the roads to the trail, but it’s only a matter of time before the Trail is incorporated automatically into the routing for walking and/or cycling.

Google Maps is also polling for suggestions of trails to send their “camera” trike.  These pics will be added to the Street View of those trail routes.  Vote for the Little Miami Scenic Trail!

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Cycling from Yellow Springs to Springfield

October 3, 2009

We needed to head up to Yellow Springs to change over a stem on Penny’s Surly LHT she bought there, and I also wanted to check availability of a trunk bag for the rear rack. Before heading to the bike shop, we stopped in to the William’s Restaurant so that Penny could try the Peruvian cuisine.

When we finally got over to the bike shop, we didn’t arrive empty handed, but came in with the shop owner’s favorite beer, Pilsner Urquell… a Czech libation.

Penny got a short handlebar stem and also got an adjustment on her rear derailleur to return it back to index mode.  Currently, it’s been jumping/missing gears, so she was using friction mode to allow incremental trim shifting.  A short time after we got underway on the trail, she found the chain jumping back and forth on her rear cassette again, so she returned to friction mode.

Although the skies were menacing and overcast, the ride up to I-70 was pretty uneventful.  Also, we mostly had the wind at our back on the way up, so we wondered if it would be a challenge on the way back.  However, the wind had shifted just enough that we didn’t need the relative protection of the trees on the trail, so we actually decided to take Rt 68 from Springfield back to Yellow Springs.  There are splendidly large shoulders on this state route, and in fact, a few signs indicating “Share the Road” with cyclists.  It was a busy stretch of highway, but never once did we feel crowded by vehicles.

Upon returning to the bike shop, the owner worked on Penny’s bike again, making adjustments, replacing the cassette, and then installing a third cassette and new chain.  We knew that some of the components installed on the Penny’s Surly LHT frame had been used when we bought it, but he was happy to replace the necessary components to “make it right” and get it working smoothly.  Perhaps the fact that we came in bearing his favorite beer today didn’t hurt either. 😀  Now, Penny has a rear cassette that is 11-32 versus the 11-28 that she did have.  This should also benefit her on any particularly difficult hill climbs in our future.

Now that Penny has had the opportunity to ride the Little Miami Trail from Yellow Springs to Springfield, she has now ridden every mile of the trail from Newtown down in Cincinnati up to Springfield, where the paved trail becomes a shared road access and connection to the other trails in Springfield, a distance of over 70 miles of paved trail.  Because I have worked in Springfield on a regular basis, I had the opportunity to ride on the entire trail last year.