By Kristen Nowak Winn
5 necessary accessories
- Padded shorts. Hello, comfort.
- Bicycling shirts. The best way to absorb moisture. Who wants to feel super sweaty?
- Cycling shoes.
- Gloves. They’ll help you absorb shock. “Sometimes spending money on buying a better quality glove can make a big difference in your ride,” said Bob Macak, one of Cuyahoga Valley National Park’s volunteer Trail Blazers.
- Helmet. Always, always, always wear one.
5 trails for bike riding
- Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail — This trail spans more than 30 miles of continuous trail along the Towpath River, 20 of which are in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. “Just being on a trail attracts a lot of people,” said Bob Macak, one of the park’s volunteer Trail Blazers. “You can spend the day and enjoy your family and friends.” Cyclists can “Bike Aboard!” by biking the trail in one direction and riding the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad back for $2. www.nps.gov/cuva
- Metro Parks’ Bike and Hike Trail — Families will love the Metro Parks’ Bike and Hike Trail, which follows the old course of the ABC (Akron, Bedford and Cleveland) Railroad. www.summitmetroparks.org/ParksAndTrails/BikeAndHikeTrail.aspx
- Chippewa Rail Trail — For a great fall ride, head out on the Chippewa Rail Trail, a 2.4-mile long stretch purchased by the Medina County Park District in 1992. www.medinacountyparks.com/Pages/ChippewaRail.html
- Lester Rail Trail — Experience the wildlife on the Lester Rail Trail, a 3.2-mile jaunt from Abbeyville Road to Lester Road in York Township. www.medinacountyparks.com/Pages/LesterRailTrail.html
- Hinckley Reservation — Don’t forget to go back in the spring when the buzzards return. www.clemetparks.com
5 safety tips
o Wear a bicycle helmet every ride.
o Ride with the flow of traffic.
o Ride behind one another when multiple cyclists ride together.
o Watch out for potholes, cracks, rocks, wet leaves, storm grates, railroad tracks or anything that could make you lose control of your bike.
o Obey the rules of the road.
(Compiled by Kristen Hildreth, the Director of Health Promotion at the Medina County Health Department.)
5 tidbits you didn’t know
o The Medina County Bicycle Club (www.medinabikeclub.org) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The first official club ride in January 1983 was known as “A Bi-Cycling Dandy Excuse for Getting Hybernated in January” (ABCDE FGHIJ) and went from Huron to Medina’s Public Square.
o This summer, Century Cycles in Medina sold a bicycle for $14,500. The customized Santana Beyond tandem, purchased by a couple in Berea, is the one of the most advanced tandem bicycles. It uses double-butted carbon tubing with co-molded titanium ends.
o The Bicycle Museum of America is located in New Bremen, Ohio.
o A.I. Root owned one of the first bicycles in Ohio, a velocipede. He paid $100 for it and spent hours in a private hall learning how to ride it.
o You can see a velocipede, an early version of the bicycle, at the Medina County Historical Society’s John Smart House, 206 N. Elmwood St., Medina. INFO: 330-722-1341
5 things to carry with you on your ride
o Portable pump
o Patch kit
o Sun protection
o Rain gear5 cycling clubs to join
o Medina County Bicycle Club. The touring club offers a weekly ride schedule (Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings), monthly meetings and events throughout the year. At 6:30 p.m. Aug. 26, the group will meet at the Medina County Career Center to ride. On Tuesday nights in September, they’ll meet at the Buckeye Woods County Park on state Route 162. The park is also the meeting place for the 8 a.m. Sunday rides. Annual membership to the group is $20. For more information, call Shawn at 330-421-1987 or visit www.medinabikeclub.org.
o The Lake Erie Wheelers. This Greater Cleveland area group participates in all types of cycling — touring, racing, mountain biking, fitness and recreation. Upcoming events include the Scoop-a-Loop Invitational Ride and a Hawaiian shirt ride. Membership is $23 per person or $28 per family. For more information, visit www.lakeeriewheelers.org.
o Akron Bicycle Club. The club’s calendar is full of various cycling events, including a weekly mystery dinner ride, a Deep Lock Quarry ride and a Tuesday night ride. For more information, visit http://akronbike.org.
o Lorain Wheelmen. During the summer months, you can find this dedicated group of cyclists out most Tuesday and Thursday evenings and weekend mornings. Evening rides start from Prospect School in Oberlin and City Parking Lot No. 3 in Amherst. In the first half of the year, the group has logged more than 20,000 miles. Membership is $15. For more information, visit www.lorainwheelmen.org.
o Cleveland Touring Group. With an emphasis on fun and fitness, this group packs the summer and fall months with plenty of opportunities to ride. Membership is $20 per individual and $25 per family. For more information, visit www.clevelandtouringclub.org.
5 cycling events you won’t want to miss
o Now through Aug. 30 — Akron Bike Week. The first Akron Bike Week began Aug. 22 and continues until Aug. 30. Each day is full of activities, and cyclists are encouraged to bike to work. For a schedule of events and more information, visit www.akronbikeinfo.org.
o Aug. 29 — Night Rides on the Towpath. A guided 15-20 mile bicycle ride through Cuyahoga Valley National Park starts at 8 p.m. and is open to all skill levels. Meet at Century Cycles, 1621 Main St., Peninsula. In case of bad weather, call 330-657-2209. Other upcoming rides will be held Sept. 20 and Oct. 11.
o Sept.1 — Ramble Around Medina: the fourth annual low budget century ride. This is a 100-mile unsupported ride around Medina and into northern Wayne County. The ride starts at Plaza 71 on state Route 18, just east of Interstate-71, then heads to Brunswick. It includes a rest stop in Liverpool Township, breakfast in Litchfield Township, ice cream in West Salem, a ride through the Cedar and Clear Creek valleys, followed by lunch in Lodi, more ice cream in Seville and Wadsworth, them back to the start. Bring money or food. Maps are provided, and helmets are required. INFO: Dave Polycn at 330-723-2831 or email@example.com.
o Sept. 13-14 — Sparx Gallery Tour. Here’s your chance to get in some exercise while taking in the culture in several of Cleveland’s art districts. Highlights include the Tremont Arts Fest, Cleveland Museum of Art Chalk Festival, the Galleria Arts District, the St. Clair Superior Arts Quarter, Little Italy’s Arts District as well as children’s arts activities at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital. Ride at your own pace during this free event. Sponsored by the City of Cleveland and Walk + Roll Cleveland. INFO: www.walkroll.com or call 216-870-0057.
o Oct. 26 — Highland Community Bike Tour. The bike tour encourages families to get fit on the challenging 35-mile ride through the Highland School District, the 10-mile ride around scenic Cleveland Metroparks or the 3-mile family ride located entirely within Hinckley reservation. Families can register at www.active.com for the family rate. Register by Oct. 10 and receive a T-shirt. INFO: www.highlandschools.org or call Barb at 330-721-8009.
5 bike shops
o Century Cycles, 1079 N. Court St., Medina. Also has locations in Peninsula and Rocky River. Hours in Medina: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. INFO: 330-722-7119 (Medina) or http://centurycycles.com.
o Medina Bicycle Shop, 229 Harding St., Suite A, Medina. Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays. INFO: 330-723-4027
o Bike Authority, 7979 Broadview, Broadview Heights. Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. INFO: 440-546-9966 or http://bikeauthority.com.
o Eddy’s Bike Shop, Locations in Montrose, Akron, North Olmsted, Stow and Willoughby Hills. Hours: Vary per store. INFO: http://eddys.com.
o Ernie’s Bicycle Shop, Locations in North Canton, Massillon and New Philadelphia. Hours: Vary per store. INFO: http://erniesbikeshop.com/index.cfm.
5 Web sites to visit
o www.highwayengineer.co.medina.oh.us The Medina County Highway Engineer’s Web site contains downloadable bicycle maps with color-coded routes within the county for each skill level.
o www.ohiobikebuddies.com Looking for a buddy to ride with you to work? This Web site will help you find other bike riders with similar commuting routes.
o www.clevelandbikes.org ClevelandBikes advocates and promotes bicycling in Northeast Ohio. By working with public policy and legislation, the group vies to make the area a better place for cyclists. The Web site has links to maps, events and other resources.
o www.ohiobike.org This Web site contains additional resources and updates on movements in legislation.
o www.2milechallenge.com The Clif Bar two-mile challenge Web site takes an environmental approach by encouraging people to bike to work, school or to do errands just once a week, as a way to fight climate change. Type in your home address and a map shows which routes fall within a two-mile radius. You can also search for businesses within the area, so it’s easy to see what’s just a bike ride away.
5 ways to donate
o The Boy Scouts at Camp Manatoc need slightly used or brand new donated helmets for their cycling merit badge program. Bring them to the registration table at this year’s Big Valley Race at Camp Manatoc, Sept. 6 and 7. Or, drop it off at Solon Bicycle, 6291 Som Center Road, Solon; or Bike Authority, 7979 Broadview Road, Broadview Heights. INFO: www.bigvalleyrace.com/content/helmets.shtml.
o Ohio City Bicycle Co-op: The nonprofit organization is in need of volunteers, bikes and other resources for its cooperative bicycle education center. INFO: www.ohiocitycycles.org or 216-830-2667.
o Walk + Roll Cleveland: The nonprofit needs funds to help make Cleveland a healthier, cleaner and more vibrant city. Donate online at www.walkroll.com or make a check out to “Walk+Roll Cleveland” and mail to 2306 Forestdale Ave., Cleveland, 44109.
o Cross Country Cancer Conquest raises money for the Center for Survivors of Childhood Cancer at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland. This year’s stretch started in St. Cloud, Minn., and will end in Cleveland. For more information about the group and to watch their progress, visit www.cross countrycancerconquest.org. To make a donation, mail a check to Cross Country Cancer Conquest, P.O. Box 19097, Cleveland, 44119. Or, donate online at www.uhgiving.org/NetCommunity/SSLPage.aspx?pid=466&srcid=466.
o Miles 4 Melanoma Pan-American Ride: The ride from Cleveland to Ushuaia, Argentina, raises funds for melanoma research. The group’s goal is to raise $20,000. For more information and to donate, visit www.firstgiving.com/miles4melanoma.
5 reasons why you should bike to work
o You get free coffee. On Aug. 29 and Sept. 26, the nonprofit ClevelandBikes sponsors “Bike to Work” rides, where cyclists headed to work, school or other activities can zip on over to participating coffee shops from 7 to 10 a.m., show them their helmet and receive a free treat. Participating coffee shops include: Phoenix Coffee Shop (locations in Cleveland, Cleveland Heights, South Euclid and Lakewood); AJ Rocco’s Espresso Bar, 819 Huron Road, Cleveland; Dewey’s Fair Trade Organic Coffee Shop, 13201 Shaker Square, Cleveland; Arabica at University Circle, 11300 Juniper Road. For more information, go to www.clevelandbikes.org and click on events.
o Your co-workers will be jealous. You know you’ll have the most defined calves in the office.
o You’ll save on gas. Take that extra money and go on a much-deserved vacation.
o You’ll be more energized for the day. Unless you like those keyboard imprints on your face from falling asleep at the computer.
o Although you still have to pay attention on the road, you have more time to take in the scenery.
5 rules about signals
o Bicycle riders must make a turn signal at least one time, but it need not be continuous.
o The bicyclist is not required to signal if the bicycle is in a designated turn lane.
o Left turn: extend left hand and arm horizontally.
o Right turn: Extend left hand and arm outward (with forearm extended upward) or extend right hand and arm horizontally to the right side of the bicycle.
o Stop or decrease in speed: Extend left hand and arm downward.
5 ways to maintain your bicycle
Don Barnett, the service manager at Century Cycles in Medina, offers tips for maintaining your bicycle. Additional tips and how-to-guides, like how to change a flat tire, can be found on Century Cycles’ Web site, http://centurycycles.com.
o Lube the chains anywhere from once a week to twice a month, depending on how often you ride.
o Always check your tires’ air pressure before you start a ride.
o Pump air into your tires once a ride or at least once a week.
o Every one to two years, have your bike serviced.
o Keep brake pads clean and free of debris.
(Source: Ohio bicycle laws, sections 4511.39 and 4511.40)
Winn may be reached at 330-721-4053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.