Tuesday, December 3

Back in the Buckeye State

The somewhat semi-annual but not really evenly distributed on any known calendar trip up to Ohio to see The Boy and his family.

I always bring my bike.  The area of Ohio in which he resides would be ideal for a road bike, mebbe even a garvel bike.  I see recreational riders constantly coming through town and stopping at the quaint coffee shop across the street (as road riders are apt to do) when the weather is decent.  I just stare out the window like a cat watching traffic go by.  I am perhaps jealous.  I cut my cycling teeth riding the rural Ohio back roads on a skinny tired noodle bar bike, so my member berries get all excite.

But I have dumb bikes.  Single speed mountain bikes.  A single speed beer fetching bike.  A tarck bike with no bottle bosses.  None of those get me overly excite for a long day in the saddle.

So I grab my Vertigo Meatplow V.7, gear it with a 32 X 18, and head out on the long greenway that passes less than a half mile from my son's place.

This time, with a goal tho.

I'd found some trails about twelve miles from his house almost right off the greenway (okay, I had to jump on the real road for about a mile).  There was also a brewery just off my route by a bit.

Out I went.

What's strange is that these were the kinda trails that you might find on one popular app but not another.  They're not anything official, but they are there, so that's that.

Hard to believe I racked up almost twelve miles to get here and only less than 30 feet of elevation to find some sort of paradise.

Only three trails were on the app. 

I found like eleventy four.

I ran into a guy on a giant Pivot Firebird riding in jeans.  Another guy on an e-bike with his dog, and then later with a group of guys all about my age or (prolly) much older.  There was stopping.  Talking.  They weren't worried about sharing their gem of a trail system with an outsider.

I do sorta miss these kinds of trails.  Back in the early '90s, this is what we had in Ohio.  I had to drive over an hour if I wanted to ride anywhere "official" with the possibility of "trail maps" or some sort of markings or signs.  It was mostly just riding patchwork trail systems that probably saw way more motorcycle and ATV use than anything else.  The old guy on the e-bike told me that's how all this started all those years ago, but they've succeeded in chasing the motos out of the woods.

I have to admit, I was "lost" at one point.  I mean, it's pretty hard to get "lost" on most of the east coast.  We've done a great job over-populating it and encompassing all the natural spaces with roads, strip malls, and houses.  Yet when I was running short on time and finding myself on a trail that wasn't on my app (putting me in some random no-man's land), I had to just start walking and riding randomly through the woods trying to get back on a known trail, as I was trying to get to the brewery when they opened at 3:00PM.  Oddly enough, it reminded me of one of the first times I rode a mountain bike, literally just forcing my way through the woods... no trail... nothing.  Just riding around through the sticks and leaves and trees with no real direction other than relatively forward.

Stickle not Stickel... so close.

Homestead Brewing.  There are times that I lament the saturation of our landscape with breweries everywhere. 

This was not one of those times.

A couple beers with The Boy (who met me out there), and then back to the greenway grind back home before dark.

Things to see and whatnot.

Moots Run Rd...

so between Moots Run Rd and Stickle (not Stickel) Funeral Home, I just need to find a Vassago Landromat and a Misfit Blvd to cover 95% of my most recent single speed mountain bikes.

Not for nothing, but I can't wait to come back (when it's a bit warmer) and explore the area a whole lot more.  There were a bunch of spurs that I didn't take, and the elevation out there was nasty.  I was off my bike and walking more than once.  The one guy had told me about some "downhill lines," but I could only find the bottom of a couple and the tops of none (leading to another moment of just randomly riding my bike down a hill through the woods.

Ohio.  I miss exploring.  I miss brown dirt.  I the smell...

Enough to visit from time to time.

I also did "family stuff," but this is not a "family blerhg," so you get this:

Yeth, I'm wearing pants for the cutting down of (and also the lugging of) a scratchy Christmas tree. Get over it.

1 comment:

TIM said...

You also seem to be "wearing" a cane. Had me worried for a second.