I spent two weeks riding in Ohio in June and July 2011. With my time amid the Buckeyes coming to an end, I wanted to revisit the Bike and Hike Trail. I’d ridden it the week before with an online friend who had raced RAAM, gone into the redzone when I pushed myself to try to keep things interesting for him, and had dry heaves on someone’s lawn. I don’t like being pwnd, and I wanted to see the part of the trail I hadn’t ridden. So off I went from one of the trailheads on the north of the trail, headed over the bridge towards Peninsula.

After a roller-coaster descent I was on a mildly rolling trail. The most scenic portion of the entire ride was the railroad cut known as the Boston Ledges. I’m fond of railroad cuts, and the Boston Ledges were impressive. I sat on the bench on both the outbound and return trip to enjoy the shade and quiet. 

After several road crossings there’s a mile long on road section of the trail that was a complete mess when I rode it, featuring a steep descent and climb from a bridge.  I understand MetroParks Serving Summit County has since constructed a pedestrian and cycling bridge parallel to the road and trail on either side. I went through the mess and got back on the trail to face this for miles and miles…..Flat as a pancake, under the power towers. The surrounding views were pretty, but I was roasting in the heat on the exposed trail. Finally the Bike and Hike Trail ended at the juncture with a park path called the All Purpose Trail, five rolling miles leading to the Tinker’s Creek Gorge overlook and a waterfall. I stopped for lunch at a table at the shaded trailhead. Once fueled and watered, I started on the All Purpose Trail.  I rode partway, decided I didn’t give a tinker’s damn about Tinker’s Creek, and went back. 

I continued south past my starting point, down the section I’d had the problems the week before. After this set of rollers along the highway, I stopped at a TGIFriday’s for dinner. Fortunately it had an entrance on the trail. I propped my bike on the fence and downed three strawberry lemonade slushes while waiting for my order…… so much for any calorie burn on the ride.

Fueled, I continued on. My destination was Munro Falls MetroPark, about a mile from the trailhead in that area for the Bike and Hike Trail. I knew the parked closed at 8 PM, and I wanted to go for a swim. I pushed myself through the late afternoon heatI arrived at 7, changed into my swimsuit at 7:05, and jumped in the lake. What a refreshing end for 38 miles of riding in 90 degree weather. The water was warm, but so what? It was wet. 

Soon after the park closed my host arrived to pick me up. I felt I’d partly redeemed myself for the ride on the trail a week before. I hadn’t tried to be a RAAM racer, only myself. And I’m pretty good at being that.