May
02
2016

The outdoor season is here, and along the Miami Valley Trails you are not going to run out of places to go and see. Not this year. Read on about events, tours, and destinations and then find the spots on your calendar to get to the Miami Valley Trails this spring and summer!

May is Bike Month!

National Bike Month comes every May and all around the Miami Valley you can find events and rides to get you out on two wheels once again. The biggest single Bike Month event along the Miami Valley Trails is the Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast, coming up on May 20, 2016. Held each year at one of the Miami Valley Trails hub locations - RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton - this event has welcomed as many as 700 cyclists to a FREE pancake breakfast under the pavilion. RiverScape sits right where the Great Miami Trail meets the Mad River Trail so it's an ideal location for an event to draw commuting cyclists from all directions.

Our trails partner Five Rivers MetroParks has compiled an amazing list of Bike Month events from around the Miami Valley. Click here to check it out! And also look at the year-round events calendar at Bike Miami Valley!

The breakfast runs from 7:00 AM to 9:00 AM on Friday May 20, 2016, and will feature live music, giveaways from cycling groups, a photobooth, and of course hot pancakes, sausage, fruit, coffee and juice. Ride on down, and fuel up for your day! Full information is available from the Five Rivers web site, where they helpfully suggest: "Pre-registering gets you to your pancakes faster!" 

What are you doing AFTER bike month?

Two tremendous cycling events are coming this summer to the Miami Valley: the Greene Trails Cycling Classic and GOBA. And both will be using parts of the Miami Valley Trails along their ways.

The Greene Trails Cycling Classic features camp setting on nation’s largest paved trail network

Xenia, Ohio---Both local and visiting cyclists are invited to join the 2016 Greene Trails Cycling Classic (GTCC) presented by Greene County Parks & Trails from July 14 to 17 for either one, two, three, or four days of cycling adventure showcasing the region’s 62 miles of paved, multi-use trails that is part of the nation’s largest network of trails.

“Our paved trails are renowned throughout the nation for their quality, safety and scenic locations. Cyclists come to Greene County from across the United States just to experience our five-trail system with four trails converging at Xenia Station. Trails translate into family memories as well as dollars and cents for the local economy,” says GCP&T Director Chrisbell Bednar.

Greene Trails Cycling Classic will be based at Greene County Parks & Trails’ (GCP&T) Fairgrounds Recreation Center, Xenia, she adds. The four-day cycling event is attended by hundreds of cyclists with a different trail featured each day:

  • Wednesday the 13th (pre-Tour Ride): Ohio-to-Erie Trail
  • Thursday the 14th: Creekside Trail
  • Friday the 15th: Little Miami Scenic Trail (south)
  • Saturday the 16th: Little Miami Scenic Trail (north)
  • Sunday the 17th: Xenia-Jamestown Connector

“Our local cyclists and those traveling to the event can choose to participate from one to four days,” says GCP&T Events Manager Robin Gregory. “The event is designed to meet the needs of any cyclist whether they want to just come for the day, the weekend or all four days. Participants can choose to camp on-site, bring their travel trailer or stay in a local hotel or bed-and-breakfast. You really can design your own cycling adventure that fits your and your family’s needs.”

Greene County Parks & Trails is collaborating with a retired executive chef to spotlight the breakfast and evening meal menus. “We’ve always been known for our amazing trail system,” Bednar says, “and we want to also be known for our amazing hospitality.”

During each day’s ride, cyclists can visit unique shops, restaurants, historical points of interest and unique attractions of the Miami Valley. All rides begin and end at the Fairgrounds Recreation Center in Xenia and are supported by SAG daily for rider convenience and safety, as well as offering rest stops supplied with snacks and beverages.  Routes include on-trail, out-and-back trips, as well as extended rides on rural routes on designated days. SAG support also offers purchase pick-up if cyclists buy an item while on the trail and need it transported back to the Fairgrounds Recreation Center.

“Our GTCC Support-and Gear (SAG) Support will also be available for repairs, couriers for purchases or just bringing tired cyclists back home to headquarters,” Gregory says.
Registration includes Fairgrounds Recreation Center campsite, SAG, fully-supported rest stops, purchase pick-up, breakfast daily and all evening entertainment including meal on Thursday and Saturday night (if registered for Thursday and Saturday).

As of early May, sponsors of Greene Trails Cycling Classic Sponsors include National Aviation Heritage Association, Antioch Gate Guest House, The Clifton Garden Cabin, Caesar Creek Vineyards, betterImages, Yellow Springs Brewery, Ocean Marketing, Clifton Mill, K & G Bike Shop, Young’s Jersey Dairy, YSI, Greene Memorial Hospital, Ramada-Xenia, Roosters, Nick’s, T.J. Chumps, Chick-fil-A, Stoneycreek Roasters, Tudor’s Biscuit World, Cheryl & Company, and The Springs Motel.

A brochure and registration form is available on the website at www.gcparkstrails.com, by calling 937-562-6440 or emailing info@gcparkstrails.com. Cyclists are urged to join the conversation on Facebook at Greene County Parks & Trails or on Twitter at GC Parks & Trails.

The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure Rolls Through Butler, Montgomery and Preble Counties in June!

Fly away with GOBA on an other-worldly experience in the beautiful rolling terrain of Southwest Ohio, June 18 through 25, 2016. The sun, the moon, and the stars align for a bicycle-camping tour like none other. Pedal along with 2,999 fellow travelers for 50 miles per day of the best of the earthly scenery, tempting food treats and entertainment, and the warmest welcome in the universe. This year's adventure begins and ends in Hamilton, and incluides visits to other destinations along the Miami Valley Trails, such as Miamisburg and Brookville. 

The Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure is a bicycle-camping tour and “an adventure on two wheels with 2,999 of your closest friends.” Held annually in June, GOBA features bicycle touring at a leisurely pace, for approximately 50 miles per day through some of the friendliest areas that Ohio offers. The daily routes lead you to amazing tour attractions and welcoming food stops, while the overnights are spent being entertained by our host towns and camping under a blanket of stars. The week-long Adventure is perfect for you and your family, offering fun, Ohio hospitality, and a challenging and rewarding vacation.

GOBA is an event of Columbus Outdoor Pursuits, a non-profit organization devoted to non-competitive outdoor recreation. Full information on costs and registration can be found on the GOBA web site.

Looking to head out on your own? Consider a trip to Cedarville

The Mileage Matrix puts the Village of Cedarville 8 miles from Xenia, 26 miles from Dayton and 50 miles from Loveland. The Ohio-to-Erie Trail runs right through the south end of town on its reach from Xenia to South Charleston and London. So, if you’re going to cover those miles and make your way to Cedarville, just what can you look forward to finding when you get there?

Of course Cedarville is home to Cedarville University, but closer to the trail and the historic downtown, look for these delightful stops for the hungry cyclist:

  • Beans-n-Cream – the name would imply that this is a coffee bar, and they do offer barista-made coffee concoctions. But in fact, they have a pretty extensive breakfast and lunch menu and hours seven days per week.
  • Main Street Station Restaurant – literally feet from the trail side along SR 72, this is a traditional country restaurant at 19 S. Main Street.
  • Colonial Pizza – a full service pizza and pasta restaurant open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Carbohydrate loading can be achieved here.
  • Telemetry Coffee Roasters – another full-service coffee destination with a back porch not-to-be-missed. In the photos below, "Chief Science Officer" Taylor Minor, welcomes you to the porch where one relaxes to the babble of Massies Creek. The mocha milkshake is recommended.

The historic downtown also features a hardware store (just in case!), the historic Town Hall and a couple of banks with ATMs. Community Park (just east of the Route 72 crossing) features public restrooms, water fountains, picnic shelters, and bike parking.

Finally, Cedarville is home to a wonderful little trail side hotel – the Hearthstone Inn – which is right at the intersection of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail and State Route 72. It’s a nice stop along your cross-state/cross-country bicycle tour, or for a weekend overnighter to this cute little town.

Notes from Springfield

Fountain Avenue - The City of Springfield is wrapping up a major bridge project along Fountain Avenue just north of the downtown area. Fountain Ave serves as a north-south collector through the city and connects the downtown to Wittenberg University and residential areas. In an effort to be more bicycle and pedestrian friendly, the city included both pedestrian and bicycle improvements as a part of the project. The bridge will have a wide sidewalk with pedestrian lookouts to overlook Buck Creek. There will also be stairs off of the bridge that connect to the Buck Creek Scenic Trail, which goes along the creek underneath the bridge. The Buck Creek Scenic Trail is an east-west trail that connects the reservoir to the east to the Art Museum/downtown to the west. The Veterans Bridge trail improvements are at the far west end of the trail. These improvements will make bicycling easier to destinations such as the downtown, the Art Museum, and Wittenberg University.

Simon Kenton Trail Stairs - The Simon Kenton Trail through Springfield follows an old abandoned railroad corridor. The corridor is covered by trees and also is built lower than the buildings and roadways around it. Consequently, it can sometimes be difficult for users to know what's around them as they go along the trail. This issue is something that trail advocates and businesses along the trails have tried to solve for several years.

One commercial area in particular would be a destination for cyclists if they just knew what was there. The area bounded by the Simon Kenton Trail to the east, Limestone Street to the west, Home Road to the north and Kensington Place to the south is home to a Dairy Queen, Tropical Smoothie, Lee’s Chicken, Rally’s, and O’Conner’s Irish Pub. Trail users literally could smell the delicious food from these establishments, but could not see where they were or easily access them.

Thanks to a grant, concrete stairs were installed so that these businesses could be easily accessed by trail users. In order to notify users of what was above them, the city of Springfield created two signs that hang from the roadway bridge above the trail (pictured). These signs alert users of the numerous dining options close by. There is also a wayfinding sign at the top of the steps. This project is a successful partnership that benefits users of the Miami Valley Trails going to and through Springfield.