This edition of Trail Talk - the MVBT quarterly news letter - has a little of everything. We'll take a look back and recount the tales from two adventurers who rode over 450 miles on a 12-day trip throughout the Miami Valley Trails! Also, we'll hear what local tandem riders think about our trails and we have some local shopping suggestions if you're gift hunting for a Trail user. Then we'll look to the future with the opening of the first 7 miles of "The Great-Little Trail." Then we'll have some small news and notes about Miamisburg, Piqua, Troy and Xenia. Read on; there's much in this edition to keep you warm through the winter.
Miami Valley Trail Journey
Just before this past summer, Miami Valley Bike trails added the "Tell Us Your Story" page so we could get first hand accounts of experiences on the Miami Valley Trails. The page got a handful of submissions and we read about Geocaching and neat little detours off the trails. And then, we got a doozy from two adventurers from California who spent 12 days riding over 450 miles across just about every trail along the Nation's Largest Paved Trail Network.
Pictured here at the start of their journey at Bishop's Bicycles in Milford, these ladies rode about 50 miles a day and stopped in a different place for lunch and dinner! Here are a few excerpts from their wonderful travelogue (used with permission):
Day 2 (30 miles). Our shortest day. After a great breakfast at Hardy’s, we went back down the Lebanon Country YMCA Trail to the Little Miami Scenic trail and continued north to Waynesville without stopping. We had lunch at the Hammel House and stayed there as well. We toured a bit of the town which is very quaint and full of shops. We had dinner at the Stone House Tavern which has some pretty good beer!
Day 4 (34 miles). After breakfast we walked through the beautiful Antioch Campus. We rode back to Xenia and connected to the Creekside Trail at Xenia Station and headed west to Dayton. The Creekside Trail is a really nice trail—smooth surface, follows a creek for about 3.5 miles, sometimes has a canopy, sometimes not. We lunched on the southern edge of Dayton and ate at a small restaurant called Laksa Asian Fusion just off the trail. From there we connected to the Mad River Trail and headed east to the National Air Force Museum and of course spent some time at the museum. There is a crosswalk at the main entrance, and bike racks and lockers available. The Mad River Trail follows the Mad River, of course, and is a beautiful ride through the Eastwood MetroPark going east and the Riverscape MetroPark going west. We rode the Mad River Trail west all the way to Riverscape MetroPark. We were spending the night at the Innport Da’Vino in the Oregon District of Dayton. This area is GREAT! It is full of restaurants and pubs. The streets here are bike friendly with large bike lanes – going south on St. Clair Street and going north on Jefferson Street.
Day 5 (50 miles). We went back to the Mad River Trail which connects to the Great Miami River Trail and headed north from there to Tipp City for lunch at the Coldwater Café – it was wonderful—we literally had lunch in a bank vault! We continued North after lunch to Piqua, turned around and headed south to Troy for the night. We chose Basil’s on the Square for dinner – outstanding! The mile markers on this section of the trail begin at the Vandalia city line at 0.0 and increase going to Piqua which is about 20 miles north.
Day 6 (40 miles). This was our BANNER DAY. We continued South on the Great Miami River Trail to Miamisburg stopping in Dayton for lunch. This day was so full of FUN! We saw a bunch of people carrying plants to their cars as we rode past and so I asked why everyone was carrying plants - answer – It’s the MUM FESTIVAL and they directed us to where it was all happening. So we spent some time touring, eating waffles and drinking lemonade. Perfect. They even had fried oreos and cupcakes (no….we didn’t’ try those!). We continued on to Dayton and happened on an Octoberfest celebration! AND OF COURSE we went there and even though we could only spare an hour, we paid the $7.00 each entrance fee to go! It was great fun. We ended the day in Miamisburg at the English Manor Bed and Breakfast which is a 100% great B&B: Great Hosts, Great House, Great rooms, Great Breakfast. That’s what a B&B is about! We had dinner at Bullwinkle’s -- where I saw the biggest serving of Nachos I have ever seen.
Day 10 (46 miles). From South Charleston we went back to Xenia (THE crossroads!). We took a little time to go into Cedarville and tour Cedarville University as well as have coffee at the Stoney Creek Roasters. We also took the Wilberforce spur and went to tour Central State University and Wilberforce University. From Xenia, we connected to yet another trail (the Xenia-Jamestown Connector) to Jamestown where we found a cute, friendly, wonderful lunch stop called Kelley’s Café and Pub. We rode back to Xenia (Victoria’s B and B) for the night after shopping! We ate at the Xenia Aculpulco (loved the margaritas!).
Day 12 (24 miles). We rode the last 24 miles (mostly downhill) from Lebanon to Milford on a cold, rainy day to drop off our rental bikes and headed for the airport, exhausted, well-fed, heads full of amazing scenery and memories! This was a magnificent experience and we can’t say enough good about this interconnected network of marvelously maintained trails.
Thank you, both, for sharing your terrific experiences all along the Miami Valley Trails!
It's here! The Great-Little Trail!
On November 13, 2015, dignitaries and some cycling enthusiasts gathered at the new Bike Hub at Austin Landing to celebrate the opening of a short - but very important - new stretch of trail. This new piece, a project overseen by the Montgomery County Transportation Improvement District (TID) - connects the Medlar Trail with the bikeways along Byers Road and Austin Pike. This one critical piece was needed to complete the connection between Austin Landing and the Great Miami River Trail. With these peices now unified, the Miami Valley Trails have the beginning of our next exciting trail: The Great-Little Trail.
As envisioned in planning documents since 2008, the Great-Little Trail is planned to connect the Great Miami River Trail to the Little Miami Scenic Trail across southern Montgomery County and northern Warren County. With these pieces brought together, the Great-Little Trail has its first seven miles in place starting at Crains Run Park along the Great Miami Trail and winding east to the intersection of Social Row Road and Waterbury Ridge Lane. Regional partners are working with the Centerville-Washington Park District and planners in Warren County to develop projects to complete the connections in the next five to ten years.
In the next couple of months, Miami Valley Bike Trails will open a new page for this trail, where we'll feature a few photos and track its eastward progress to the Little Miami Scenic Trail. The photo here shows a map of the current reach of the Great-Little Trail and some other bikeways that connect to it. The Nation's Largest Paved Trail Network continues to grow!
Recumbent Trikes from Afar!
“Wow!” That’s the consensus review the Miami Valley trail network received from visitors to the Recumbent Cycle-Con this fall in Sharonville. Whether attendees were just beginning to learn about Miami Valley trails or were frequent users, they clearly were in love of these well-maintained, scenic trails.
One particular Florida bike shop owner shared that her family travels frequently to the Miami Valley during the summer – to camp and explore by trail. She uses her thorough knowledge of our local trails and the Miami Valley Bikeways Guide Map to advise her customers about great bike trails to explore while escaping Florida’s hot summers.
Many attendees had traveled from other states to check out the trails and network with other recumbent riders. They were thrilled to experience the Miami Valley’s paved, separate, relatively flat trails, especially because of the added safety and ease of use. If they all come back another time to explore the trails, the Miami Valley can expect visitors from Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri and more.
MVRPC’s Bob Steinbach and MCD’s Angela Manuszak staffed the Miami Valley Trails network booth at the event. Recumbent Cycle-Con hosted about one thousand attendees in 2015 and is already gearing up to return to the Sharonville Convention Center in 2016.
Looking for a gift for a Miami Valley Trail user? Want to shop local? Don't forget all the bike shops across the Miami Valley which have all kinds of gear for giving. And remember: there are other kinds of trail users - check out our local outdoor outfitters like Great Miami Outfitters in Miamisburg and True Heights Equipment in Beavercreek. (Both right off the trails!)
::News and Notes from across the Miami Valley Trails::
Miamisburg - Great Miami River Trail users are officially invited to enhance their experience with a side trip into downtown Miamisburg via new informational kiosks installed trail side this fall. Need a beer? A meal? Souvenirs? Emergency bike repair? The kiosk map of downtown, including a couple of dozen businesses indicated as bike-friendly, entices trail travelers and curious weekend ramblers to visit the Main Street commercial district just a block from the trail. The other side of the kiosk features trail information. The City of Miamisburg has installed two kiosks: One at the north end of downtown, where trail users can exit the trail onto Pearl Street for easy downtown access and the other on the southern end of town, in Rice Field Park. Miamisburg’s downtown has numerous bike racks, making parking convenient. See what downtown Miamisburg has to offer!
Piqua - Piqua was designated as a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists. Piqua joins Dayton and Troy as Bronze level BFC's in the MIami Valley! Way to go, Piqua!!
Troy and the Miami County Park District - were designated by the Buckeye Trail Association as a Buckeye Trail Town! The Buckeye Trail follows several of the Miami Valley Trails, including the Great Miami River Trail through Troy, OH. Nice job, Troy! Pictured are Scott Myers, Executive Director of the Miami County Park District and Mayor Michael Beamish of Troy, Ohio. The city also recently striped a two-way bike lane along Adams Street that connects the Junior and Senior High Schools to the Great Miami Trail.
Xenia - The Xenia City Council voted to proceed with a project to improve the section of the Little Miami Scenic Trail that passes through historic downtown Xenia. The project will improve safety for all users of the corridor by constructing protected bike lanes along Detroit Street and no longer designating the sidewalk as the trail route. Great news, Xenia!
Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission has just adopted an update to the Dayton, Ohio region’s Bikeway Plan. The Bike Plan Update 2015 emphasizes projects that put the bike-rider’s comfort and safety first, and will encourage more people to bike more often for more reasons. Policies include a focus on active transportation funding, promoting and completing the Nation’s Largest Paved Trails Network, creating programs that combine engineering with education, enforcement, and evaluation components (all Es approach), and providing tools to local communities. The full text of the Bike Plan Update, including appendices, is available on their website www.mvrpc.org/bike-plan-update.