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This summer has seen it's share of beautiful days, rainy days and hot days, but they've all been Miami Valley Trail days. The trails have been as popular as ever! Below is the Summer 2013 Trail Talk newsletter from Miami Valley Bike Trails. In this issue we'll look back at two huge events in the Miami Valley since May - The Miami Valley Cycling Summit and the Greene Trails Cycling Classic - and then look ahead to another huge event coming on Labor Day weekend - The Gentlemen of the Road Tour in Troy. Along the way we'll look at some recent articles published about our trails, take a close look at one of our trail cities, Piqua, learn about developments in Springboro, and hear about the Robert Shook Bridge.
The 2013 Miami Valley Cycling Summit was held Friday, May 30-31, 2013 in downtown Springfield. The event, which is held every other year brought some of the nation’s most well known professionals to the Miami Valley to discuss the numerous benefits of cycling. The event kicked off on Thursday evening (May 30th) with the Miami Valley Cycling Summit VIP Social. The event was held at the Springfield Museum of Art and brought together elected officials, business leaders, Summit presenters, and other community leaders for an evening of networking and brainstorming to promote cycling throughout the region. Most of the evening’s festivities focused on networking, but Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller did briefly address the crowd, welcoming everyone in attendance to Springfield. In total, approximately 100 people attended the VIP Social and the event allowed people who could not attend the Summit on May 31st to at least experience some of the intended message. This was the first time the Summit Planning Committee hosted a VIP Social and it was an overwhelming success.
The third Miami Valley Cycling Summit took place all day on Friday May 31st, 2013 in downtown Springfield. The event was held between Clark State’s Hollenbeck Bayley Conference Center and the downtown Courtyard by Marriott. Over 350 people attended and heard presenters from across the country discuss the multiple benefits of cycling. Topics that were covered during the Summit include the economic development, health, social, and community benefits that can be recognized when a community decides to pursue bicycle friendliness. Below is a summary of the presenters and the topics that they presented on.
Bicycling Means Business- Bill Nesper, League of American Bicyclists
Comprehensive Bikeways Plan Update- Matt Lindsay, MVRPC and Louis Agresta TCC
The Legacy of Major Taylor- Lynne Tolman, Major Taylor Association
Anatomy of a Trail Town- Adam Reel, Adventure Cycling Association
If You Don’t Count, You Don’t Count!- Eric Oberg, Rails to Trails Conservancy
Bike Sharing in the Miami Valley- Scott Murphy, Bike Miami Valley
De-Mystifying Map 21- Andrea Stevenson, Ohio Department of Transportation
The 2013 Miami Valley Cycling Summit was very successful and had positive reviews from those that attended the event. The event would not have been possible without the numerous participants on the planning committee, numerous organizations that provided financial and in-kind sponsorships, and the numerous volunteers the day of the Summit. The event truly is a regional cooperative effort and because of that the event continues to grow. The committee looks forward to continued success with the 2015 event that will be held in Piqua at the Fort Piqua Plaza on May 29th, 2015.
Raising funds to maintain its 62 miles of paved trails in Greene County, Greene County Parks & Trails with Excel Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation recently hosted the 2013 Greene Trails Cycling Classic, a four-day biking event attracted more than 200 cyclists to Xenia and surrounding communities. The event raised more than $22,000 this year that will directly benefit all users of the paved, multi-use trails.
“We really wanted local cyclists to join us this year,” says Greene County Parks & Trails Director Chrisbell Bednar. “We celebrated our tenth anniversary for Greene Trails Cycling Classic with several special twists and activities. Cyclists met and enjoyed fellow cyclists from across the state and nation who avidly support our trail system in Greene County.” Local and visiting cyclists could choose to ride one, two, three or four days, she adds.
Additional sponsors of the event included Miami Valley Hospital Sports Medicine, National Aviation Heritage Alliance, Greene Memorial Hospital, K & G Bike Center, McDonalds-Detroit Street-Xenia, Hearthstone Inn, Kickstand Lodging/Two Scoops Ice Cream, Treana’s Folks and Spokes, Caesar Creek Vineyard, Yellow Springs Brewery, Kroger of Xenia, Clifton Mill, Hospitality Homes, Bob Evans, Grinnell Bed and Breakfast, Tudor’s Biscuit World, The Donut Man, Stoney Creek Roasters, Xenia Area Recreation and Service Center, Wickline’s Garden Center and Florist and Nick’s Restaurant.
All rides began and ended at the campgrounds located at Greene County Parks & Trails’ Fairgrounds Recreation Center in Xenia. Cyclists designed their own riding experience with choosing from one to four days of programming. Cyclists ride at their own pace and desired miles. Specific routes are supported for rider convenience and safety, including rest stops supplied with snacks and beverages. If purchases are made by cyclists while on the trail, Greene County Parks & Trails support teams will pick up and deliver the items.
You can get in on the adventure next year. The 2014 Greene Trails Cycling Classic is scheduled for July 17 to 20. For more information, call Greene County Parks & Trails at 937.562.6440 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Construction is currently underway on the first of five active transportation hubs called for in the City of Springboro's recently adopted Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan. The hub, which also will serve as a police substation housing the department's bicycle fleet, will include public restrooms, water fountains, bike racks, a tool stand and bike pump, maps and bicycle and pedestrian information, a wi-fi connection, a battery recharge station and covered shelter.
In addition to serving bicycle and pedestrian users, the hub, called SPARC and GO, meaning "SPingboro Area Recharge Center," is intended to provide shelter during community wide emergencies where the electricity might be out for an extended period of time. In the event of an emergency, hub will be open for citizens to grab a cup of coffee, recharge cell phones or essential electronic items and gather. All the SPARC and GO locations will have backup generators to power the facilities and charging stations.
The hub is located at 320 South Main Street (SR 741) in Springboro's Historic District and is projected to open in late September. For more on the Springboro Bicycle & Pedestrian Plan visit www.ci.springboro.oh.us.
It might not be the exact geographic center of the US, but it feels close. Troy is birthplace of the iconic Waco airplane, home to K’s Hamburger Shop (where a burger costs about what it did in 1940) and, of course, the mighty Trojans of Troy High School, who have graciously allowed Mumford & Sons to take over their stadium for our own version of Friday (and Saturday) Night Lights over Labor Day Weekend.
The Stopover is also taking over the Hobart Arena and closing down the Market St. Bridge, which ties everything together. So you can expect a full-on street fair on both sides of the river.
And it gets better: they have created a campground on the levee, which lines the north bank of the Great Miami River where it cuts through Troy. Tucked between the Stopover site and downtown, under the watchful eye of the iconic County Courthouse, it’s one of the most epic city camping spots we’ve ever seen.
There’s plenty to do even if you don’t have a ticket to the main concert. Experience a wide variety of delicious food and drink at fourteen independent establishments in the historic downtown - featuring Italian, Asian, Cajun, Irish, Continental, casual fare, local/natural, tavern, coffee/chocolate, and comfort foods. Don’t miss La Piazza, the Caroline, K’s Hamburgers, Leaf & Vine, Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffee and Bakehouse Bread & Cookie Company.
The downtown streets come alive with local artists, street musicians, live art, living history, dancers, and special deals from over 50 retailers during the GOTR stopover. Troy Streets Alive includes an antiques, a Corvette Show, dozens of artist booths, street corner live musicians, artist demonstrations, dancing performances, cooking and fitness demonstrations, book signings, magicians, and more. www.TroyMainStreet.org
The Piqua Trail system “loop” is more than 11 miles of asphalt paved pathway through the city and the varied terrain and scenery is a true delight for bikers of all skill levels and talents. The Piqua trail system is connected to and a part of the Great Miami River Trail, route 25. Access points are available at Spiker Road, Davis Parkway, French Park, the Municipal Government Complex, Lock Nine Riverfront Park, the Miami Valley Centre Mall, Patrizio Place, Troy-Sidney Road, Fountain Park and Roadside Park.
Portions of the trail run along the hydraulic canal while other sections run along the Great Miami River and also follow the former Miami-Erie Canal in some places. Cyclists will also find 5+ miles of tree-lined bike and walking path overlooking and running through the center of the city. The route 36 portion is a paved asphalt trail that runs east/west on an abandoned railroad bed bisecting the city. The portion of the trail that runs from French Park to Swift Run Lake is known as the Canal Run and makes its way through a wooded area and follows the portion of the abandoned hydraulic canal. Other highlights include passing right along Frantz Pond and Echo Lake, traveling north on top of the levee that runs through Fountain Park, Forest Hill Cemetery, and continues on to Swift Run Lake.
The trail crosses Main Street at the south end of the downtown and allows easy access to the beautifully restored downtown area. A visit to downtown Piqua is not complete without a visit to Piqua’s historic gem, the Fort Piqua Plaza. After 20-months of painstaking construction the dilapidated Fort Piqua Hotel was transformed into a spectacular multi-use community building that houses the Piqua Public Library, a community banquet facility and a beloved Piqua tradition – Winans Fine Chocolates and Coffees. Visitors can enjoy the magnificent lobby with the perfectly restored stained glass windows and breathtaking skylight. The Piqua Public Library boasts of a large local history collection as well as genealogical research resources and historical displays. The second floor houses a Piqua art gallery as well as visitor friendly Local History Department. Also located in the Fort Piqua Plaza is Mulligan’s Pub which has delicious American Bistro offerings with an option of dining inside or on the shaded outdoor patio area. A bike rack is conveniently located across the street next to the gazebo.
Other downtown Piqua dining options include Susie’s Big Dipper with fresh sandwiches, soups and delicious homemade ice cream or Michalo’s Pizza and Wings with delicious pizza, wings and a nice variety of sandwiches. Both Susie’s Big Dipper and Michalo’s have convenient bike racks to lock up your bike. Downtown Piqua’s eclectic mix of downtown specialty retailers will give visitors a chance to stretch their legs and stay a little longer in the downtown area.
A short jaunt off the bike path at Roadside Park will have you at the Johnston Farm and Indian Agency. Johnston Farm is the number one visited Ohio Historical Society site in the state of Ohio and visitors can experience living history displays and an unforgettable ride on a replica canal boat.
Construction of the Robert J. Shook Bikeway Bridge is scheduled to begin on September 15 after being placed on hold for just over a year. The delay was due to the possible presence of the Rayed Bean mussel. Early in the planning process, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service identified the Great Miami River as a prime habitat for this small, endangered, species of mussel. As a result, they will be relocated to a new home in early August making way for the construction of the bridge.
Construction will take approximately 10 months and when finished, will complete the Great Miami River Recreational Trail from Piqua to the Montgomery County line. This will connect Piqua to over 230 miles of paved trail in southwest Ohio, making it one of the most extensive bikeway systems in the country.
The bridge is tentatively scheduled to open in July of 2014. For updates on the construction, check the Miami County Park District website at www.miamicountyparks.com.