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Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State
Last Friday, May 20 was Bike To Work Day around the world. I happened to have the day off that day, so I decided to take a ride up to downtown Cleveland to check out the city’s official Bike To Work Day celebration.
I have ridden through and around the various roads and streets in the Cleveland area over the years, but I had never made the trip by bike from my home into the city. I did a quick check on Google Maps with Biking Directions the day before, and it did not seem nearly as long or as complicated as I expected.
I left home at 6:00am early in the morning. A thick fog covered the region, making visibility a little sketchy out on the roads, and requiring frequent wiping of my glasses, but otherwise, the weather was quite agreeable.
I stopped a few miles into the ride to meet a friend, and the two of us made our way into Cleveland from his house. Most of the route involved just following Miles Road west to Broadway Avenue, and then Broadway all the way into the city. I saw a few neighborhoods that I have never had the pleasure of visiting before, some of which were what some people might call a little “sketchy,” but at the 7:00-8:00am hour, they were nothing to worry about, even for a couple of middle-aged suburban white guys.
The fog burned off about halfway through the route, and the last few miles provided a new and spectacular view of the downtown Cleveland skyline. We arrived at the festivities, located near the Cleveland Bike Rack, the new bike commuter station, located just behind Quicken Loans Arena. The Bike Rack and event co-organizer ClevelandBikes had hoped to provided tours of the new facility, but the completion and opening were delayed. But, we were able to peek into the windows and see the rows of multi-level bike racks and rental lockers that will be available.
We enjoyed some coffee and snacks provided at the event, chatted with some other attendees, and checked out the other bikes. Then, we headed over to the Tremont neighborhood to get some breakfast at Grumpy’s Cafe. After enjoying some delicious pancakes, instead of re-tracing our original route back to downtown and home, we just dropped down to the end of W. 14th Street and hopped on the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail through the Steelyard Commons shopping plaza. At the end of the plaza, we took the Jennings Road/Harvard Road connection to get back on the Towpath proper, until we jumped off the Towpath and onto Alexander Road, which led us back to our respective home neighborhoods.