Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bike & Hike Fall Ride - October 20, 2009

I must admit that this has easily been one of my most enjoyable cycling seasons to date.  Not only have I had the pleasure of making new friends on various tours, but I've also had the opportunity to cycle through some of northeast Ohio's most picturesque landscapes; from the aromatic, rolling hills of Geneva's wine country to the dramatic flowing river falls and cornucopia of vibrant Fall colors in the heart of Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Today's ride involved cycling yet another new route for me...the Bike and Hike trails of Summit County.  Organized by friends Joe and Bonnie Sears, this short afternoon jaunt would take us, in part, along what used to be the old Akron, Bedford & Cleveland (ABC) Railroad line, originally built in 1895.  Back in the day, trains on this route would transport hundereds of Ohioians between the cities of Cleveland and Akron for a mere 50 cents!  (By comparison, 50 cents today wouldn't get me from my living room to my bathroom.) This now-paved path (one of the first "rails to trails" projects in the country) mingles with some of the area's most scenic locations.

With 16 cyclists in tow, we set out for our first (and only) stop on this cool Autumn day; Brandywine Falls.  Boasting a 60 foot water drop, the falls are some of the tallest in Ohio.  A long, wooden boardwalk switchbacks its way down into the sandstone gorge to reveal this spectacular treasure.

After a few minutes pondering nature, we hit the bikes once again.  The rest of the afternoon continued to showcase Fall's seasonal palette of beautiful colors.

But, as with all good rides, the cycling must come to an end.  And with this group, it can only end one way.  Margaritas!!  Yes, a little old restaurant by the name of Tequila Pancho's was calling to us, so after 15 + miles of riding, we drifted into the parking lot of Pancho's, locked up our bikes, and took our rightful places at table for fiesta!!  I even used this opportunity to down a new flavor of beer...Dos Equis.  When in Mexico...!

So, once again, another great ride in the books.  The group plans to have one more Bike and Hike ride next week, so I'm already saving room for another round of burritos.  I must, of course, give a shout out to my pal, Dave Manning; If it wasn't for his 2005 Corvette WITH attached bike rack (I will give you a minute to let that visual sink in)...I would have not made it to this event at all. Thanks, Amigo.

And thanks to Bonnie and Joe for getting us together to celebrate the great outdoors and our passion for cycling.

Until the next ride, "Stay thirsty, my friends!"

(PS - For more info on the Summit County Metroparks Bike and Hike Trails, check out, and for more on Brandywine Falls, check out

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