The Pedalshift Project 167: DC to Cincinnati – Ohio to Erie Trail North

Part three of the DC to Cincinnati ride, covering the northern half of the Ohio to Erie Trail from Cleveland to Columbus. A new trail brings new adventures crossing the entire state of Ohio. But will detours and headwinds put a snag in my plans?

The Pedalshift Project 167: DC to Cincinnati - Ohio to Erie Trail North

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DC to Cincinnati – Ohio to Erie Trail North

For a preview of the ride, check out Pedalshift 162.
Part 1 on the C&O towpath – Pedalshift 165.
Part 2 on the Great Allegheny Passage – Pedalshift 166.
Part 3 on the northern half of the Ohio to Erie Trail – Pedalshift 167.
Part 4 on the southern half of the Ohio to Erie Trail – Pedalshift 168.
Part 5 on takeaways coming soon.

Curated photos over at Instagram. All photos here.

Pedalshift Society folks! Stay on the bonus feed and you’ll get a special bonus pod with each episode… kind of a summary of my thoughts on that part of the route! If you join Pedalshift Society at any point in the run, you’ll get access – pedalshift.net/society. Also, I’m riding the Oregon coast a bit soon, so I might record some audio out there… look for it in the feed!

Podcastpalooza - June 14, 2019 - Portland, OR

Mark your calendars – Pedalpalooza – Friday, June 14th in Portland, OR. Details coming soon and also at pedalshift.net/events. Sprocket, Joyride, Go Dig a Hole and more of your favorite shows repping on bikes with mics!

May 8

 
  • Hotel night was the right call – it wasn’t a full recharge but it was necessary to pull off this morning’s moves.
  • Had to do some client work at the hotel and get it all in before the WiFi totally went down. Got lucky!
  • Lows were in the upper 40s which is the real comfort limit of my sleeping gear… not sure if this is going to continue but we’ll see
  • My route from the hotel brought me by the closest of my assessed wild camping spots – turned out to be swampy and totally unsuitable. Google Earth can only tell so much!
  • Kent State is a gorgeous campus – really wish I had had the energy to hang out in the town. I like many college towns and the vibe.
  • Bus stop at the student center was totally unmarked but I took the chance to start unloading and then a rider came by.
  • Very thankful for the heads up from the KSU alum! The bus had no rack and I would have freaked out had I not been told they let bikes in the back.
  • Really cold in Cleveland – I was fine but my mindset has been more summery conditions and this tour has been anything but that.
  • Rolled out of the city center toward OTET MM 0 and discovers Cleveland Bagels. They were legit for this Empire State native who had a favorite bagel shop in law school called “Hot Bagels.” Was nice to have a view of Lake Erie while I had an everything bagel and a cup of coffee.

  • Was excited to see a bike station with a pump and it managed to just deflate my tire – oh well, hand pump to the rescue..
  • Getting out of Cleveland was so-so. It’s signed at some points but could use some more “HEY! This is a trail that goes to Cincinnati! Also, turn here cause the trails not done yet!”
  • One downside to my go go go schedule is I’m missing out on spending time in cool places. Future tours will be much more about hanging out I think
  • Stopped for a second breakfast and the place was playing You Are the Girl by The Cars (an oddly deep cut that’s not even on their greatest hits album) so I played a bunch of them as I headed south. The. Nirvana unplugged because I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately.
  • Wow is the trail through Cuyahoga Valley NP nice! Very compact (if rutted in parts) and effortlessly fast. Reminds me very much of the Erie Canal towpath near where I grew up.
  • Big detours throughout with huuuuge steep hills.
  • And then… a closure with no detour! Thanks to PSS member Lisa Hart for bailing me out… I figured out a way around but since I was staying with her and her husband tonight they graciously offered to pick me up at the outage and take me to the next trailhead.

south of Akron detour

  • And then I had a wonderful evening chatting biking with Lisa, her friend and fiancé- super appreciated!
  • Tomorrow I’m ten miles behind on what was supposed to be a 65 mile day. Audibles will be called…

May 9

  • Super great breakfast prepared by Lisa’s fiancé then a drop off where I could resume after the closure
  • Summit County Trail was great… quality drops a bit in Stark County, but not that bad
  • Headwinds!
  • Missed getting ice cream (closed) in Canal Fulton, so pressed on to Massillon for food. Michigan guys are on the road route between trail segments so I anticipate running into them midway?
  • Still unsure on destination- going to my original camp isn’t out of he question but the impending rain may have something to say about that.
  • Stealth camp!
Stealth closeup
Stealth from a distance
Neighbors (headstones)

May 10

  • Rain came down relatively hard for a few hours overnight – unlike Confluence I didn’t have the condensation issue and I was happy and dry.
  • Stealth spot was close to perfect. There was a little exposure to the cemetery side if I stood up and my head came above the pile of downed trees, but the park side was perfectly camouflaged. It was clearly a drinking spot for locals so I cleared a bag full of cans and bottles, leaving the space better than I found it.
  • It takes me up to 40 minutes to break camp and I think I need to figure out a quicker system. The trick is I need access to most panniers and two dry bags, so I essentially need to totally unload. Also getting the bags inside the tent is a good idea since they’re so damn ORANGE 👍
  • Hit the closed Wendy’s for WiFi so I had a full podcast load, then went to the gas station to get breakfast and coffee. They had a nice cafe set up so I could sit inside and not feel rushed.
  • I was about to cycle Amish country so I’m starting to see men with the signature hats, beards and suspenders. I’ll talk more about that as I cycle the trails south of here – there’s a unique setup!
  • Only 50 miles and cool cloudy weather so the plan was to eat, relax and tackle the road portion early and casually. Midpoint of the ride was Millersburg and I heard good things about the Millersburg Brewing Co.
—-
 
  • Had a very weak signal so this might not get posted until the 11th buuuut…
  • Forgot to mention the road route from this morning – it’s really not bad at all. Rolling hills and maybe a steep one here or there but not intimidating at all.
  • Contrast that with the road route later after Killbuck which was really meh in comparison. No real views, a non-existent shoulder and a terrible headwind. I was happy to get back on the trail. It continues the “all paved day” theme but had an interesting topographic layout – a long 3 mile uphill followed by a sloping multi mile downhill. Kind of a nice change of pace.
  • Called ahead and left a message regarding camping at Bridge of Dreams. It’s no nonsense – patch of grass, a picnic shelter and a port a potty. But great for me! I made dinner using my cool kit for the first time the entire trip. Was low on water but I’m pretty sure there’s a town close by tomorrow to supply up.
  • Back to the suburbs and the city tomorrow as I hit Columbus!

May 11

  • Fell asleep well before sunset and woke up a few times… once to the sound of a buggy rolling by and the other around 3:30 when the real cold set in. Was able to sleep again here and there til about 7. Feel really refreshed.
  • Trails are super fast and all paved here. Great riding!
  • Aired up the tires and took off a couple of reflectors from my pedals that had lost their nuts and were creaking away in Gambier. Realized later that was the town where Kenyon College is – have some friends who went there. Really nice!
  • Ran into Tom who reached out and does marketing for the OTET. We chatted a bit with his group and he took a picture of me and my loaded up bike.
  • Taking a break in Mt Vernon with an eye for a beer in Westerville. Not much riding from there to my Airbnb in Columbus so I figure that will work out fine!
——
 
  • Rest of the day went super fast. Lost track of the number of trails, but the Heart of Ohio (HOOT!) was a highlight.
  • Beautiful road route today through farmland. Maybe one of the nicer road sections? Tons of farms and very fast. I played old hip hop and it was a nice juxtaposition to the views. Somehow it worked!
  • Westerville had a decent beer spot and a great frozen custard stop. Nice town and super close to Columbus.
  • My Airbnb host needed a few extra minutes before she could meet me for check in, which was perfect for getting laundry done at a local laundromat.
  • Playing catch-up on social media tonight – FB in particular. May have a chance to ride a little with a listener tomorrow on a relatively short day to London.

Statistics

Bike Miles 153
Bus miles 39
Detour portaged miles 1? (THANK YOU LISA!)
Flats 0
Mechanicals 0
Camping nights 2
Stealth nights 1
Roofed nights 2
Number of everything bagels eaten that I thought would be just ok, but were outstanding 2
Mile Marker 44s Easter Egged 1
C cities 2
Beers YES

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, bonus podcasts and tour journals! 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. On to the society!
 
Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Stuart Buchan
Todd Stutz
Mr. T
Roxy Arning
Nathan Pulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Paul Culbertson
Scott Culbertson
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Richard Patch
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Dave Roll
Joseph Quinn
Susan Brewster
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Their latest album may be their best yet. Go get it.

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