Ohio to Erie Trail

The Pedalshift Project 157: Bicycling the Ohio to Erie Trail

The Ohio to Erie Trail spans 326 miles diagonally across Ohio, linking up Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland and everything in between. On this episode, we chat about the trail and the experience biking across Ohio!

Pedalshift Project 157 - bicycling the ohio to erie trail

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Check out the Cross-Florida by Brompton video over on YouTube! It’s 3 days of riding across central Florida jammed into a nice tight 15 minutes. It’s a great companion to the podcast because you get to see some of the things I mentioned in living color 4k goodness.
Next live show coming at you! When’s a good time for you? I’m doing a super quick survey – like 5 seconds, make your choice over at pedalshift.net/live. I’d love to get more in on the live part of things, so we’ll rock some voting this time.
  • Friday March 29 9pm ET
  • Sunday March 31 6pm ET
  • Wednesday April 3 6pm ET
Of course this will be recorded and available in video form on YouTube, and audio form on the pod for the 4/11 show, so no worries if none of the above is your answer! We’ll be doing the spring tour announcement and more. Polls will close midnight eastern time on March 20th and we’ll announce the live show date on the next episode!
Check out the new documentary, The Ride, exploring one of America’s most treasured biking destinations. Consisting of two connecting trails, the C&O Canal Towpath (Washington, D.C. to Cumberland, Maryland) and the Great Allegheny Passage (Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA), cyclists from all over the world are enjoying 335 uninterrupted miles of breathtaking scenery and fascinating history.
If you’re in the PGH area, WQED is airing this March 14th at 8pm ET. Everywhere else? We get to stream it from the 15th through the end of March at wqed.org/ride. I’m planning on watching this ASAP and will give it a review next pod!

The Interview: The Ohio to Erie Trail

In late 2015, Lisa Daris became the part-time Executive Coordinator, replacing Jerry Rampelt, who was in this role for 15 years. Lisa handles the day to day operations of the organization and reports to the board president and officers.  Lisa serves on the Community Advisory Committee for Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s transportation department. She is an active volunteer with Columbus Outdoor Pursuits and operates Olentangy Paddle, a pop-up livery service in Central Ohio. She is a graduate of Ohio State.

Jody Dzuranin is a Board Member of the Ohio to Erie Trail, serving as the Marketing Committee Chair. She Co-founded the Friends of Camp Chase Trail and is a past leader of the Ohio delegation at the National Bike Summit. She’s currently attending Ohio University for a Masters in Public Administration and holds a B.S. on Business Administration from Ohio State.

Ohio to Erie Trail: Questions

What’s the history of the Ohio to Erie Trail and how did the series of regional trails get knitted together over time into the cross-state network?
For someone looking to bicycle the length of the trail, how much is completed off-road surface and how much includes shared infrastructure on roads? What is the signage like in the “C cities” of the trail?
Is there a dominant direction cyclists choose (i.e. Cleveland to Cincinnati or vice versa?)
One fun thing you have on the OTET is the 326 Club – what’s the story behind that and how many people a year claim membership?
Is the typical through ride for the trail 5-6 days? On some trails we hear about endurance athletes completing rides in super compressed times – do you see that on the OTET at all?
Do you see 4-season cycling on the trail with fat bikes becoming more of a thing?
I grew up near Lake Ontario so I know all about lake effect snow! When would you say the trail is typically thawed out for the first spring riders? What’s the rough months for prime season cycling the OTET?
The trail goes through a ton of iconic towns on its route through the state, so lodging looks abundant… what’s the camping mix like for people who are looking to be totally self-supported? (i.e. public vs. private, location relative to the trail, etc.)
The OTET is one of the gateway trails for the recently announced Great American Rail-Trail. What’s it been like working with Rails to Trails Conservancy and how did you see the future of the larger network impacting the OTET? 
What’s the thing you’re most looking forward to on the OTET this year?
What can listeners do to learn more about the trail and the organizations that help maintain it?

Ohio to Erie Trail: Resources

Hat tip to friend of the show,  Preston Paige Piper for making the connection with Lisa and Jody!

Pedalshift Society

As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this winter’s Cross-Florida bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.

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