Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Think Spring

I was catching up at Fat Cyclist's blog and he mentioned how he was looking through some pictures that he had taken during the summer and noted how green everything was.  Currently at my latitude and longitute the predominant colors are brown and white and various shades of gray.  It is amazing how a few photos taken during a bike ride can take you back.

One of my favorite rail trails is the Kokosing Gap trail in north central Ohio.  The surface is paved and runs about 14 miles end to end.  Following the Kokosing river valley the route is mostly tree lined and shady.  A great place to get out of the hot summer sun.  Whenever railroad grades and river valleys mix you are sure to find a number of these iron behemoths.  The Kokosing Gap doesn't disappoint.

At the eastern end of the route begins another trail called the Mohican Valley Trail.  This is a 5 mile packed clay surface that is a multi-use trail.   The funniest thing I ever encountered on this stretch was an Amish horse and buggy driven by a lone teenage boy.  Not suprising as there is a large Amish population in this area.  What struck me as funny was the alternative rock music blaring from the buggy.   
If you look close at the large picture you can see the buggy coming towards me.  It is just a black speck in the distance.  At the end of the Mohican Valley trail is Ohio's longest covered bridge "The Bridge of Dreams."  If the ground is dry I will make this bridge my turn around point and complete a 38 mile ride by the time I make it back to the trailhead.  If the ground is damp I stay off the MV Trail.  It might be ok on a mountain bike but with my recumbent's 1" wide, 100 psi tires stability is called into question.  After the weather has been dry for a while the hard wagon wheels of the horse drawn carriages pack the clay down nice and I have been able to easily cruise along at 15 or 16 mph.
Note how the left side of the deck has a hard rubber matt.  I assume this is to protect the wood decking from equestrian hooves. 
I took about a 150 pictures that day on the trail.  Photography and bicycle touring go together great and lately I make a point to bring along my camera for those shots you can only find from the seat of a bike.  Now in the middle of winter I find it rewarding to peruse back through my collection of images of past rides.  A little inspiration to climb back on that damn trainer.  

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