COVID19 has no doubt changed a lot of people's plans this year. The most recent plans to be changed for me were vacation plans. Our original (fairly elaborate) plans, which involved airline tickets and passports, ended up being cancelled, and so our backup became a camping trip in one of Ohio's state parks. Hey - no complaints.
We were at Salt Fork State Park, a couple hours' drive south of Akron, in the Southeast part of the state. And since we were driving, it was easy enough to bring some bikes with us. I brought my Specialized Sequoia, which has been getting a lot of use since completing its restoration, as well as my daughters' bikes. The hope was that we could go for some rides together, and they might be able to ride around the park.
That part of the state is pretty, though maybe not as natural for biking as the area I live in (at least not for road riding). In fact, I barely saw any cyclists anywhere, and found a noticeable lack of bike shops in the area. It could be the roads. It seemed all the roads I encountered were narrow, twisty, and extremely hilly, with high speed limits (55 mph was common) - or they were narrow, twisty, extremely hilly, and gravel.
Did I mention hilly? Living near both the Cuyahoga and Chagrin river valleys, I always thought we had a lot of hills nearby. But in Southeast Ohio, you start getting into the foothills of the Appalachians, and the hills are non-stop. Around home, there are lots of long, steep, tough climbs, but there will be miles of relatively flatter roads in-between. Riding in Southeast Ohio, it's constant up and down, and it wears a person out! I found myself dreading the downhill descents because I knew that as soon as I reached the bottom, the road would immediately turn skyward again. No rest for the wicked.
Even within the boundaries of the park, the roads were so hilly that the girls weren't able to enjoy riding to the pool or the beach. We did get in some riding, nevertheless.
Not far from the park, in the city of Cambridge, there is very nice trail on a converted rail line that turned out to be a good choice for biking with the girls. At about 6 or 7 miles, the Great Guernsey Trail just might have been the longest stretch of flat/level pavement I encountered in the whole county. It was paved and also seemed to be well maintained.
|A couple miles of the trail passed a wetland area that offered some nice scenery.|
|The sleepy town of Lore City sits near the other end of the trail. There didn't seem to be much to see or do there, but the town has a park, playground, and some porta-john facilities for trail users.|
On the whole, the vacation was pleasant and relaxing, even if it was nothing like what was originally planned.