Breaking Ground and Breaking Records

So I suppose its pretty obvious that we ride our bikes a lot. Sometimes it becomes a challenge to figure out where to ride.
We have a few standard routes that we use. We have a 6 mile loop for those days when we don’t really have time to ride but need some exercise and fresh air. We have devised ways to extend this route to 8, 12 or 16 miles depending circumstances. This time of year available daylight, wind and temperature become an issue.
A few days ago the the temps were predicted to be in the 60s and even though it would be windy we decided to set aside our “normal” work and get out there for a nice long ride.
Recently we were out exploring in the area around the Cleveland Velodrome and stumbled on a bike path that we had never seen before and is not on the NOACA map of Cuyahoga County. I looked it up on Google Earth and created a route for us that was brand new. We rode to neighborhoods that we had never been to, not even in a car. It was neat to break new ground and not be that far from home.
We live near Lake Erie and often ride south through different neighborhoods and work our way into the Cuyahoga Valley to get on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail to return north. We have always done this on the west side of the valley. This time we went south down the east side of the valley and found some great sights and great bike trails. Basically we followed Broadway, SR 14 from downtown Cleveland to Garfield Heights.
We used the Morgana Run Trail through Slavic Village and the trail through the Garfield Park Reservation. Eventually we ended up on the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath near the suspension bridges along Canal Road. The wind was strong out of the south so now we had the wind at our backs–very rare. This was good because we were wearing out and there was no time for lunch as the rain clouds were moving our way. We made a quick stop at The Westside Market just as it started to drizzle. The last 4 miles of the way home we had a crossing wind that was gusting enough to make it a challenge to stay upright. We looked at each other and laughed out loud. We are making a effort to be tough and try to ride through the change of weather.
With this 25 mile ride we broke our record for number of miles in a bicycle season and we are not done yet. We have now accumulated over 2000 miles in 2013 and looking forward to many more rides before we have to switch to cross country skiing.

Morgana Run Trail through Slavic Village is a rail trail completed in 2007. Approximately 2 miles long it begins in the north at E. 49th Street between Pershing and Fleet Ave and at Jones Road and Broadway in the south.

The bike trail through Garfield Park Reservation on the south east side of Cleveland was exploding with fall colors.

Heading home on the towpath with a tail wind through the Ohio and Erie Canal Reservation. The wind was sustained at S 22 with gusts at 32 mph making us feel pretty hardcore. We did not see many other cyclists that day???

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