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Plain Dealer: Two bikes. Two days. One towpath.

August 30, 2015

Plain Dealer reporter Tim Warsinskey and artist Ted Crow took a 2-day bicycle trip the entire length of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail from Cleveland to New Philadelphia, Ohio. The trip was chronicled in an article for the newpaper. You can read the full article here.

Along the way, the duo stopped by the Century Cycles store in Peninsula and spoke to manager Doug Charnock about how the village and the surrounding Cuyahoga Valley National Park has become a "bicycle boom town."

Bike rentals are available at several shops near the park, the busiest of which is Century Cycles in Peninsula, which has more than 50 bikes available. We had not planned to visit the shop until my front derailleur bent out of alignment and was in need of repair, as it happened, just outside of Peninsula.

I have visited the postcard-worthy town all my life and have never seen it more vibrant than in recent years. During most weekends, the streets are full of hikers and bikers who hop off the trail and come into town, or begin their journey there.

"We have seen growth every year because of the towpath," Century Cycles manager Doug Charnock said as he straightened my derailleur. Charnock has worked there 17 years. "The towpath is getting more and more popular.

"It's an easy park to get to. It's safe. You don't have to do an epic, 12-mile hike to see something really cool. Brandywine Falls is a short hike, and so is Blue Hen Falls, but you can do long hikes if you want to."