Sticking with the current running theme, spent some time at East Fork with a friend running in the rain this evening. Typical fall weather on the menu; rain, overcast, chilly… perfect for a trail run. The original plan was to dust off the Surly and get a nice fall ride in, but since it had rained for most of the day, the New Balance Minimus came out to play instead.
We decided to run the middle section of the MTB trail, which as you can see in the blurry photo it was completely covered in wet leaves, which in turn caused me to bust my ass in a slightly off camber section. After the trail check to my knee, it gave me a moment to slow down and really look around while running, and basically see things off of the trail that I have never seen before. I will say it kinda blew my mind as to what I have been missing with my mountain bike tunnel vision, it was definitely nice to slow down a bit and take it all in.
Just keep running…
Spent a little time this morning on the Cannondale T500 riding along the Little Miami Scenic Path. It seems that fall has arrived here in Ohio, as the temperature was in the low to mid 50s, and the leaves have littered the pathway. Definitely a nice change, as this is my favorite time of the year!
One interesting sight from the ride today was the old trailer park that is right off of the path between Milford and Loveland. I have been watching this area deconstruct for some time, and now the process seems to be almost complete. Such an odd sight for the area…
Hopefully though, fall is here to stay.
Just keep spinning…
Next week I am planning my first off road bike packing trip, so this morning I was up at sunrise with the Troll fully loaded and out the door. My plan was to ride on different surfaces, and try to follow the Buckeye Trail as much as possible. If you are not savvy to the Buckeye Trail, it is a hiking trail that goes around the entire state of Ohio. Unfortunately, the trail is mostly on back roads, and very little of it is on actual single track. Furthermore, what single track there is, is usually off limits to bikes. But horses are allowed? Makes no sense to me, but I will save that rant for another day.
Luckily, the Buckeye Trail goes right through my little town of Milford, so I followed it east, towards East Fork state park. All on pavement until I came to the dead end of Ross Road, which is in the photo above. This was my first loaded off road section with the Troll, and it handled beautifully. This part of the trail appears to have been a completely usable road, that the county must have decided to let die. The trail was made up of broken pavement, dirt, and lots and lots of rocks. Very interesting downhill to say the least. This section made me realize that my brakes are very underpowered. After this off road piece, I was dropped into the town of Batavia and almost to my destination.
From Batavia I rambled along St. Rt. 222 to Elk Lick Road, which then connected to Green Briar road. The Buckeye Trail follows Elk Lick to another dead end, but I continued up the hill on Green Briar to see if I could find a campsite in East Fork state park. Green Briar dumped me onto Old Rt. 32, which connected me to Zagar Rd. which I found a single track trail that should have put me at a backpacking campsite. Unfortunately, I could not find the campsite, so I turned around and found this gem of a road:
This old dirt road off of Zagar Rd. was a broken down gem. Broken pavement, gravel, and ended as a single track, and put me back onto Green Briar Rd. Very interesting to see roads fall off of repair, and get turned into trails. Also, pretty interesting to see how quickly the marks of man gets erased off of the planet in such short time. Makes me think of the book, “The World Without Us.” Definitely worth the read if you are into that sort of thing. Anyway, once back onto Green Briar, I followed that back into Batavia, retraced some of my tracks, ended up on US Hwy. 50, then back to the comforts of home. Total saddle time of almost 4 hours.
Things learned from this ride:
1. My brakes need upgraded. I am running Avid BB5s, which I am thinking of switching to Avid BB7s. I am most familiar with BB7s, but I also am thinking of switching to hydros, but they cost way too much, with too much maintenance for my taste. Anyone have recommendations for a good, economical set of hydraulic brakes? I’m all ears.
2. I need to rethink my packing. I am only planning an overnight, but I found myself running out of room for gear. I might still have to use a backpack, which I was trying to avoid. Now that they seem to have come back into stock, I will be picking up a Salsa Minimalist rack to run on the rear to add a bit more cargo space on the bike.
3. I love my Brooks saddle.
Not a bad way to start the day, next week should be an adventure!
Just keep spinning…
Quick ride on the Little Miami scenic path this morning. Thought I would use the Cannondale today, one, to see if my rear wheel is holding up, and two, to see if I could fine tune the shifting a bit. But, the main reason for the quick jaunt today was to get donuts. After my quick spin, I headed down to Ms. Cheri’s in downtown Milford for a few amazing donuts for breakfast. Such a great place if you are ever in the area.
Great start to the day!
Just keep spinning…
If you have been cycling for a while, you probably have some sort of backpack that is made just for your cycling pleasure. I am sure that most of us gear geeks have a Camelback or two hanging out in our gear shed (Two for me!). My latest purchase needed to be a little more versatile than both of my Camelbacks, so I decided to try out another brand, which led me to my local outfitter, Roads, Rivers, Trails to check out the variety of packs. After talking over my wants and needs with their knowledgeable staff, I ended up going with Osprey. The bird geek in me rejoiced.
The Talon 22 is one of their Multi-Use packs, which focuses primarily on cycling. This pack is very versatile in regards to size, fitting in the 1200-1300 cu in. daypack category. This is a size of pack that I am desperately lacking (I am a backpack whore, I’ll admit) and primarily I plan on using it to carry my growing camera gear while on the bike. I also wanted a pack that I could load up for the day, and stay in the woods for a while. This pack fits right in with those thoughts. While it is on the smaller side of the spectrum, it still packs in quite a bit of gear, and I plan on trying to do an ultralight overnight or two with this pack, with minimal gear of course.
Some of the other handy features of this pack are an external hydration sleeve to keep your reservoir separate from your stuff; side pockets with compression straps, with one side having taller tie down points for longer gear, like a tripod; and the handy dandy LidLock, which holds your helmet in place when you are not wearing it. I am a bit confused as to why I need that concept, but it does work nicely.
In this price range of around $100, this is a solid pack so far. I have only had it in action just once, since I just bought it yesterday. Today on a small hike, I loaded it to capacity to see how it felt, and it was pretty amazing. We shall see how that first impression stands up to the tests of time. Stay tuned!
Osprey sums up the Talon 22 with this short video, as well as providing the monotone overdub:
Be sure to check out Osprey at the link above, as well as Roads, Rivers, Trails which is located in historic downtown Milford!
I found myself riding in and around Indian Hill today, riding along a similar route from not too long ago. Indian Hill is one of my favorite areas to ride because the roads are the closest thing in the Cincinnati area to the country back roads I grew up around. Well, the difference being McMansions instead of mobile homes and Maseratis passing you instead of beat up old F150s. I will take what I can get with these roads…
From this point, I dropped out of Indian Hill, and connected to the Little Miami bike path. Off of the path, most people have probably passed this trailer park. Now though, it is being dismantled, turning an already interesting area into a very surreal sight.
After the scene of destruction, I headed south on the bike path, and went back into the Milf. Instead of going straight home, I took the scenic route through the local nature preserve before rounding home, finishing up a great day in the saddle.
Just keep spinning…
Since I am a big fan of history, I decided to try and find the Stonelick covered bridge here in Clermont County Ohio. Covered bridges are pretty fascinating to me, so today was the day to find this bridge. Luckily, I knew the general area, so I thought I would just ride around in the vicinity until I found it. Luckily, it was extremely easy to find. Unfortunately though, it is under construction. Still a great ride today:
Great ride to an interesting old bridge today. After searching a bit on the web for information on this bridge, I stumbled onto this. It seems that this old bridge is haunted. That might explain why there are surveillance cameras at the entrance?
Just keep spinning…