Promoting the bicycling lifestyle in The Buckeye State
Category Archives: News
If you follow this blog on a regular basis, whether it’s through a news reader, RSS feed, or just the old-fashioned way by going to the URL, you may have noticed a few new posts lately that have photos and other information about stuff that happened a long time ago. Don’t worry; you’re not in a time warp.
I’m in the process of reorganizing my blogs–switching domain registrars and web hosts, and straightening things up in general. As part of this, I’m moving (slowly but surely) any bicycling-related posts from my personal blog to this one.
So, bear with me, and enjoy the walk down Ohio bicycling memory lane…
Last week, during an extended bike ride, I made my way to the Bike & Hike Trail, part of the Metro Parks Serving Summit County. The northern stretch of this trail runs about 10 miles, from Boston Township (near the intersection of State Routes 8 and 303) up to Alexander Road, which marks the border between Sagamore Hills in Summit County, and Walton Hills in Cuyahoga County.
There has been about a 1-mile stretch in the middle of this trail where you must follow an on-road route. Traveling north, the trail dead-ends on Brandywine Rd; you make a left on Brandywine Road, go down a hill (which includes a bridge over Interstate 271), past Brandywine Falls and the Brandywine Inn, then back up a hill, before reconnecting to the trail on the left side of the road to continue north. This is not a problem for experienced cyclists, but it keeps many novice recreational riders from enjoying this whole section of trail.
Earlier this year, Metro Parks Serving Summit County announced that work would begin to fully connect the trail, bypassing the on-road route. This work is being done with the cooperation of the National Park Service, since some of the trail route falls within the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
Throughout most of this year, my view of the progress on this trail was while driving on I-271, seeing the evolution of the concrete supports for the new dedicated bridge span over I-271. During a bike ride I took through the area in early September, I saw a gravel path showing the eventual location of parts of the trail. During last week’s ride, I got to see, as well as ride on, almost all of the completed trail.
This photo shows where the norhtbound trail formerly ended at Brandywine Road, with the new asphalt trail continuing parallel on the west side of the road:
I proceeded north on the new trail, until just before the bridge. Here, you can see (partially obscured by the telephone pole) where the new trail bridge is being built:
I continued on Brandywine Road. After the I-271 bridge, I made a left toward the Brandywine Inn, where I could see where the new trail continued. Outside the frame of this photo (roughly facing west), Brandywine Falls is to the left, and the Brandywine Inn is to the right:
The new trail loops around behind the Brandywine Inn, through a wooded area, and up a not-so-gentle slope that some novice riders might still find a little challenging. After it levels out a little, the trail runs alongside Brandywine Road again. It goes over a few short wooden bridges. At the time of my visit, crews were working to complete the last of these bridges, which sits right at the end of the new trail, just before it re-joins the original trail:
Here’s the other end of that bridge, looking south from near the end of the original trail:
So, essentially all that remains is completing the bridge over I-271 to make the Bike & Hike Trail an even better resource for those cycling for both recreational purposes and for transportation through northern Summit County, Ohio.
The long-awaited arrival of spring weather in Ohio has been accompanied by several recent articles in the news that have given many suggestions and encouragement for cyclists to get out and ride. Here are just a few.
A Mansfield News Journal columnist talks up his favorite bike trails in the Central and North-Central regions: http://bit.ly/ie6NsY
A Dayton Daily News story highlights the many bike trails in the Miami Valley region: http://bit.ly/gWu0p0
The Dayton Business Journal notes how the availability of trails and other facilities has made bike commuting a popular and viable option for many in the city: http://bit.ly/gAVD6U
An internal Defense Department article describes the daily bicycle commuting regimen of one of their Cleveland staff: http://bit.ly/hbF5J5
The Plain Dealer of Cleveland notes how it was likely the good weather, and not so much the continued availability of park staff, that brought cyclists and other trail users out in Cuyahoga Valley National Park gets its day in the sun after federal budget crisis solved: http://bit.ly/icKHHl
The National Bike Summit has just concluded yesterday, where hundred of cycling advocates from around the country visited our representatives in Washington, DC to talk about the benefits of cycling. This kind of work is slow to see progress, but I’m glad there are people out there who have the time and dedication to do it.
If you’re like most people, you’re probably thinking, “I’d like to help, but who has the time?” Fortunately, there are two things you can do to help, even if you don’t have the resources of a full-time, or even part-time advocate:
- Join your local bicycle advocacy organization or cycling club. Even if you don’t have the time to devote to be actively involved in the organization’s activities, the act of your joining means one more name on the roster, and numbers mean a lot to local officials when they make decisions. Plus, the 15 or 20 bucks of your annual membership fee helps a lot for all of the organization’s little expenses that add up, like web hosting fees and photocopying. And who knows, you may end up making a new friend or riding partner in the meantime.
- Sign the Pledge at peopleforbikes.org. This organization hopes to raise the profile of cycling on a national level by showing the world just how many people care. You are welcome to sign the pledge whether you ride on the roads, or are a mountain biker, commuter, or ride just for fun. Over 200,000 people have already made the pledge. It’s easy, it’s free, and it makes a difference.
In last year’s State of the City address, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman outlined his ambition to make Columbus “Bike City USA.” In this year’s address, the mayor reiterated that commitment, with references to past accomplishments and future plans for bicycle-friendly infrastructure. You can read the full text of the speech on NBC4i.com.
Two stories in this week’s news highlight the efforts of two Ohio communities to improve their bicycle-friendliness.
Cleveland Heights is working to obtain two grants to improve bicycle and public transportation access to neighboring University Heights and the rest of Cleveland. More details can be found in this article in the Sun Press.
The city of Riverside is working to complete a 3.6 mile section of bike trail through the city, completing connections to existing adjacent trails and communities. Funding is in place, but construction cannot begin until easements from several property owners are obtained, along with approval from the city council. A public input meeting is scheduled for February 7. Full details are in the Dayton Daily News.
Cleveland, Ohio-based bicycle frame builder Dan Polito made a big spash after winning the Best of Show award at the 2009 North American Handmade Bicycle Show. A new builder appears to be dipping their toes into the frame-building business. Rust Best Welding Company posted pictures on their blog of a prototype bike polo frame called the Marco Polo. The group also builds custom furniture; see more info and photos at: http://rustbeltwelding.wordpress.com
The Vineyard Community Church of Springdale, Ohio provides fee refurbished bicycles to members of the community through its Healing Center program. Some of the program volunteers were recently interviewed by Associated Press reporter Cliff Radel; the story can be found on the Dayton Daily News. Contact information for the church can be found on their web site at: www.cincyvineyard.com