A few people I work with at Century Cycles (Neil from the Medina store and Krista from the Rocky River store) get together each week to ride anywhere from 50-70 miles in a different location of Northeast Ohio. Many of the rides they choose are directly from author Stan Purdum's book 'Cycling to Lunch' (http://centurycycles.com/product/the-university-of-akron-press-pedaling-to-lunch-bike-rides-and-bites-in-northeast-ohio-3522.htm), which documents a variety of amazing bicycle routes Stan has created in and around the Western Reserve area. On this week's ride, Neil and Krista planned to combine one of Stan's rides with a route of their own. I decided to tag along. A fourth person, Ron, who is a close friend of Krista's (and a Pulitzer prize winning photographer, as I came to find out afterwards) also joined our merry little band.
The plan today was to kick out around 55-60 miles and hit several locations circling around the rather expansive Ravenna Army Ammunition Plant in Ravenna, Ohio. Our tour started off at 9:00am out of Mantua on roughly 8 miles of rails-to-trails pathway...and I do mean rough. In fact, the amount of paved path we encountered over this 8 mile jaunt was exactly...zero! Riding on a pair of road slick 700x23's over this kind of terrain made me a bit nervous, but the ol' Giant Defy Alliance held up just fine.
Our first photo-op was a small military monument in the village of Garrettsville, Ohio. The monument's various carved stones paid tribute to fallen soldiers from each of America's wars, from the Civil War through Desert Storm.
|War memorial in Garrettsville, Ohio.|
|Civil War canon, Newton Falls, Ohio.|
|Action shot of Neil somewhere between Here and There.|
Just glad I didn't wipe out while turning around to snap the pic!
At the 25 mile mark, we stopped for lunch at the Old Dutch Mill golf course in Lake Milton, Ohio. We were truly out in the sticks now, and this was our best shot at food for miles in any direction! The restaurant actually had a nice little menu and decent food. It hit the spot for sure.
Our final photo-op was in and around the West Branch State Park, located a few miles south of the Ravenna Ammunition Plant. Here, water and beachfront dominated the landscape.
|West Branch State Park, east.|
It was a great afternoon and a great ride. Thanks much to Neil and Krista for inviting me along. I look forward to future rides!