Car Less Ohio

Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State

Monthly Archives: January 2011

Winter Cross-Training

In years past, I’ve done a fair amount of winter riding. This year, however, I can’t seem to get the motivation to bundle up and get out on two wheels, so I’ve not been very good at promoting going by “car less.”

Not that I have any shortage of bikes to ride, but another thing distracting me from my off-season riding is this year’s round of winter bike projects. Each winter, I seem to go through a set of changes to the configurations of my various bikes; not that any of these changes are really necessary, but it’s just something to do to keep things interesting. The problem is, the bike projects are inter-connected, e.g. I can’t finish Bike A because it needs the handlebar from Bike B, which needs the wheels from Bike C, which needs the old crankset from Bike A, etc. I feel like I need a project manager to keep track of it all, but on the positive side, there are worse problems to have.

I’ve been pretty good about putting in some time on the indoor trainer to stay in shape, but yesterday I got out to do some of my favorite cross-training activity, cross-country skiing.

The temperature was about 31 degrees when I left home; I figured that would be perfect, as it was still cold enough that the show would not be wet and sticky, but a relief from the bone-chilling cold in the teens and single-digit temperature ranges that we had over the past weekend.

I drove up to Punderson State Park, in Newbury in Geauga County, Ohio. I skied the Huron Trail (1.3 miles), the Cayuga Trail (2.2 miles), and the unofficial unmarked loop around the perimeter of the golf course (I’m guessing about 2 miles). The snow was in good condition as I had hoped. There were some tracks from previous skiers, although it looked like the last traffic had been before the latest dusting of new snow that had fallen. The only other person I came across was a guy on a snowmobile, which helped in a few cases, as his track packed down the snow in a few spots where the ski track was not well established.

There’s a Sports Center building on the left side of the park access road, but the trails mentioned above (and most of the other trails) are on the right side near the golf course. The Sports Center has a sledding hill, and I’m guessing they probably have snacks, restrooms, and a warm place to hang out and change if you need it, but the web site doesn’t list their hours or services. If you don’t need any of that, then it’s easiest to just park at the golf course (follow the signes) and hop right onto the trails from there.

Public input sought for Towpath Trail route in Tuscarawas County

The Akron Beacon-Journal reports that the Akron-based Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition is holding two public meetings on January 24, 2011 to solicit public feedback on proposed routes for the segment of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail between Zoarville and New Philadelphia. The first meeting is at 6:00pm in the pavilion at Tuscora Park, 161 Tuscora Ave, New Philadelphia. The second meeting is at 7:30pm in Memorial Hall, 410 N. Wooster Ave, Dover.

Two of my favorite Christmas gifts

I have not been motivated to do much outdoor riding this winter, but I received two Christmas gifts that may help get me motivated. Here I am giving them a quick driveway-length test ride:

A company called Bar Mitts makes a product like the hand warmers shown; they come in versions specific for road drop handlebars with Shimano or Campagnolo brake/shift levers, as well as for flat handlebars. Mine actually came from Cabela’s, and are intended for the Quad ATV set, but when you’re using then on a mountain/hybrid handlebar, they’re essentially the same thing as the Bar Mitts version. The only drawback to either is that they won’t play nice if you have bar-end extensions.

As for the wheel light, it will complement the multiple headlights and taillights that I’m already using, but when commuting in the dark, you can never have too many lights.

On a side note, this is my first post in the Post a Week 2011 campaign being promoted by (which is the service on which this blog is hosted).