Monday, August 04, 2008

Ohio 2

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On Tuesday I took the chance to get away and ride my bike some. Xenia has really embraced becoming a cycling destination. Once a rail hub, it is now a rail trail hub, and part of the network of over 300 miles of Miami Valley Trails. Nice.

I started by going downtown to visit the Xenia Station. I was looking for more info on the Jamestown connector trail, but it had not yet been brought all the way into town. I opted instead to ride out towards Cedarville on part of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail. After a bit I left the trail for some of the nice quiet low traffic roads in the county. I was trying to do part of a route I did 10 or so years ago connecting the county's remaining covered bridges.

Although there were a few sprinkles as I started, the clouds kept the day cool, perfect for cycling. I also have to say that the area was perfect for fixed gear riding. There was some rolling terrain, but the climbs were all gentle and not too long.

I soon found the first bridge. Ten years ago Ballard Road bridge was closed and a modern bridge bypassed it. It was good to see it restored. However the road now ends as a cul-de-sac with the new freeway (Rt. 35) cutting it off. So I turned around and went back the way I came. On the way I found an huge apple tree along the road and was just able to jump high enough to snag a tart apple for a snack.
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One thing I wondered about riding here was if the proximity of the rail trails would lead to under-utilization of the wonderful country roads. I need not have worried. Although I didn't see any other riders while on my ride, there were a huge number of road marks laid down for club rides. from what I have observed, it seems like this part of Ohio has a greater portion of the population taking part in recreational bike riding than in Maryland.

I followed the quiet roads over towards Cedarville again. When I say quiet, I really mean quiet. Except for in the towns, I probably didn't see 20 cars all day. Just east of Cedarville I got back onto the railtrail, then off again in town to explore. My great-grandparents once managed the Cedarville hotel, and I was hoping I could find it. I might have, but the building I thought from memory was the correct one was not, so I only caught the edge of what I now think is the right one in my photos. After a bit of exploring It was back onto the trail moving towards Xenia.

20080728_33Then off again to check out some more covered bridges. Riding down into these stream valleys is the only elevation change you get around here. Just enough to make you work. The Stevenson Road bridge is now closed, with a modern bridge next to it, 20080728_41which is also the opposite from my ride 10 years ago. Just past that bridge is the farm my paternal grandparents were living on when my grandfather passed away. I took a couple of photos and rolled on. 20080728_46Soon I was back in Xenia and almost home. While waiting for a light, I struck up a conversation with a couple of young ladies out for a ride to Yellow Springs. They had come in to town on one spoke of the hub and were going out on another. It might have been nice to ride with them longer, but before I knew it I was back at my parent's home, and ready for lunch.

Full Flickr Photo Set Here.

3 Comments:

Blogger David Gorsline said...

When I was in high school, we would drive through Xenia (perhaps best known for the big tornado that blew through in '74) on our way to the Little Art Theater in Yellow Springs. Surprisingly, the cinema has outlasted Antioch College.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Hjalti said...

Yeah, its a shame about Antioch. Yellow Springs is a neat little town. My other grandparent's house was destroyed by the tornado. There is a K-mart there now.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Tom at miamivalleytrails.org said...

Dear hjalti:

Thanks for the "plug" for my website; "Miami Valley RailTrails." As you know, I have a webpage for every one of the 320 miles of multi-use trails in the Miami Valley. I have every parking place, water stop, restroom and ice cream shop on every trail with thousands of pictures. So Again THANKS!

Thomas J. Recktenwalt
Webmaster
Miami Valley RailTrails
http://www.miamivalleytrails.org
Your Guide to the Multi-Use Trails in the Miami Valley (Ohio)

2:53 PM  

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