We were able to ride on Saturday 1/12/13 and it was fantastic! Guy recently wrote about our effort to ride more in the colder weather in the gear section but this ride was off-topic. It was almost 60 degrees and sort of sunny and no wind! A perfect day to be on a bike in January! On the previous Saturday there was enough snow for an afternoon of cross country skiing. (which was supurb, maybe I need to start a skiing blog!)
We headed out on our routine Berea Road “maintenance ride” (6-8 miles) and ended up stretching it out to 16 miles. We left around 1:30 in the afternoon and were back by 3.
We rode into the Rocky River Reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks via Hogsback Lane which is off of Rocky River Drive (aka Riverside Drive) near McKinley Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio. This a great entrance point to the Emerald Necklace Trail which is a paved multipurpose trail that travels about 60 miles through the different reservations of the Cleveland Metroparks.
We turned north heading toward the Marina. This section of trail is nice as it leaves the road side and travels into the woods along the river. Giant sections were recently flooded and there are many trees down and other damage alongside the trail. It must have been during Hurricane Sandy. The trail itself is in good shape.
The Rocky River Reservation is beautiful and it is well-used. We saw lots of people and dogs (all smiling). Men were fishing in the swollen river and there were lots of folks cycling and jogging and even the vehicle traffic was heavy. I have never seen so many people on the trail. Everyone was enjoying the warm day. It was very nice.
The Emerald Necklace Trail is in the valley and there is always a climb to get out. The hill at the Marina is no big deal and is usually the way we exit the park. It brings you to Detroit Road on the west end of Lakewood. From this point we noodled around through the neighborhood streets working our way east. We were aiming for Franklin Avenue which is one of my favorite roads for riding (between west 150th and west 117th). There are no bike lanes and there is plenty of room for bikes in the main lane and there is a turn lane in the center so motorists can easily get around. I suppose it is so nice because there is no on-street-parking and not too many traffic lights. From here we pick up Berea Road. Its terrible getting under the railroad tracks but the rest of the way home is routine, including stopping to pick up a sandwich.
This rare day of warm weather was treat and reminds me how much I love to ride my bike. It just feels good. Head to toe, inside and out, through and through.
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