Bicycle touring is defined as any overnight trip where you travel by bicycle. You can travel light with a support crew carrying your baggage for you, or you can tour self-contained, carrying all of the clothing, camping, and cooking gear that you need on your bike.
Our staff has thousands of miles of personal bicycle touring experience all over the world. We carry a wide selection of touring bikes, racks, panniers, handlebar bags, fenders, and other bicycle touring gear in our stores. Whether you are a first-timer or an experienced touring cyclist, stop in or call us for expert advice on gear, routes, and planning your dream bicycle trip!
Century Cycles is a Member Bike Shop of the Adventure Cycling Association, whose nonprofit mission is to inspire people of all ages to travel by bicycle for fitness, fun, and self-discovery.
We've helped many of the touring cyclists that have stopped in our stores (such as those pictured here) with emergency repairs, supplies, directions, and sometimes, even a place to sleep for the night! To see more photos like these of people who have stopped into our stores during their long-distance bicycle tours, see our Bicycle Touring Photo Gallery page.
Bicycle Touring Routes
You can take a bicycle touring trip using any route you like, but there are many established routes here in Ohio and across the country that many bike-touring enthusiasts have used. Three of the most popular routes pass by one or more of our stores.
The Northern Tier Bicycle Route is published by the Adventure Cycling Association. It starts in Anacortes, Washington and ends in Bar Harbor, Maine. Through Northern Ohio, it uses Lake Road along the shore of Lake Erie for much of the way, just a couple of blocks from our Rocky River store and not far from our Shaker Heights store.
The Underground Railroad Bicycle Route was published by the Adventure Cycling Association to memorialize the Underground Railroad, a network of clandestine routes by which African freedom seekers attempted to escape slavery before and during the Civil War. Beginning in Mobile, Alabama and ending in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, the route passes near our Medina store and right by our Peninsula store on its way through Ohio.
Ohio to Erie Trail
The Ohio to Erie Trail begins on the Ohio River in downtown Cincinnati and ends on the shore of Lake Erie in Cleveland. It is not a "trail" per se, but a route comprised of a collection of trails and roads for a total of 326 miles across the state. About 89% of the route is on dedicated bike trails (as of Fall 2022), with more trails being added every year. The Ohio to Erie Trail route follows the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Massillon to Cleveland, passing by our Peninsula store on the way.
Bike Touring Resources
- Adventure Cycling Association
- Home page: www.adventurecycling.org
- Routes & Maps: www.adventurecycling.org/routes/
- Bike Overnights: www.bikeovernights.org
- Bike Travel Weekend (first weekend each June): www.biketravelweekend.org
- Bike Your Park Day (last Saturday each September): www.bikeyourparkday.org
- U.S. Bicycle Route System
- Options for Camping along the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail
- Camping gear rental: CampRents
- Popular routes:
- Ohio to Erie Trail - Cincinnati to Cleveland
- Great Allegheny Passage - Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD
- C&O Canal Towpath Trail - Cumberland, MD to Washington, DC
- Ohio-based touring shuttle services:
- Long-term parking in Cleveland (while riding the Ohio to Erie Trail)
- PNC Center Garage, 750 Vincent Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114 (216) 357-2634 - Self-service; open 24 hours.
- Great American Bike Tours, LLC - Beginning in 2023 offers guided trips on the Ohio to Erie Trail
- Two Wheel Travel: Top 5 myths about bicycle travel and how to dispel them
- Warm Showers: www.warmshowers.org
- Couch Surfing: www.couchsurfing.org
- 5 Tips: Preparing for and Riding in a Multi-Day Bicycle Tour
- Article from Ohio Sports & Fitness: S24O: Sub 24-Hour Overnight
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