Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Ride -- B & O Trail

The last few days the weather has been a bit more seasonal here in Ohio.  We've had some freeze warnings overnight and the temperatures have only been making it into the 50's during the day. My wife worked today and Wyatt went to visit his grandmother so that freed up a few hours for me to enjoy the day on a recumbent ride. 
I've been wanting to get over and ride the 18 mile B & O Trail and today just seemed like the perfect day.  I love riding the recumbent on cooler days because sitting in the full body seat shell traps some of my body heat and really makes me feel warmer.  Not to mention the bike is just damn comfortable for hours at a time in the saddle.

Since the B & O is my "local" trail I've ridden it many time and blogged about it over and over and frankly I'm starting to run out of interesting things along the way to photograph.  Don't fret dear readers because I did manage to take a few neat pictures I think you will enjoy!  

Here's a Native American riding bareback and wielding a war club.

In these photos is what appears to be a stand-off between a cowboy and a Texas Longhorn Steer although I could be wrong about the cow.  I'm just a Yankee from up North and don't know much about wrangling.

You may have noticed an old time steam train in the background of the Indian pictures.  No your eyes were not deceiving you.  One of my favorite subjects in American history is the railroads.  The invention of the steam locomotive drastically and rapidly changed the face of our nation and the world.  I love the chance to get up close to these big monsters from the past.

The engine is huge and not until you put something recognizable right next to it for scale can you appreciate the massiveness and incredible steam pressure it must have taken to get these iron behemoths underway.  And this isn't even a large one by locomotive standards.  Number 917 was a tender and probably spent it's days shunting cars around a yard somewhere.

Just the nuts and bolts that hold the connecting rods to the wheels probably weigh more than my recumbent bike.  I'd also guess one of those big wheels weighs as much as a small car.

Below is a restored Pullman car.

This place just off the B & O is actually a railroad/western themed diner.  The owner went through considerable expense to bring the train cars to the site and build a restaurant against the back side of the train.  Diners can actually sit in the red passenger cars and enjoy their meals.

Another nine miles or so down the line brought me to Butler, Ohio a small village at the Southern terminus of the rail trail.  Butler really is just a one-stoplight town with a restaurant, a bar and a Chrysler-Jeep dealer oddly enough. 

Butler, Ohio was settled in 1823 by Joseph Craig.  The village was founded January 12, 1848 by Daniel Spohn.  Originally called Spohntown but was renamed Independence.  Incorporated in 1877 and renamed Butler after Mexican war hero, General William Butler.  The spur line of the great Baltimore & Ohio railroad network came to town in 1853 and according to local lore this was the only railroad in the United States that entered and left town in the same direction - west.  The line that the bike trail follows today is in the shape of a big D arriving in Butler at the northern end of the village and gently curves around ending just to left of the bike route sign pictured above.

Before I started the return leg of my ride to the North I found some high ground and got a nice wide angle shot of Butler. Picturesque to say the least.

B & O Trail Complete
Bike:  HP Velotechnik Street Machine
Ride Time:  2:58:59
Distance: 40.20 miles
Average Speed:  13.4 mph
Max Speed:  28.7 mph


  1. What a curious place. Not something I would have expected to find in Ohio. Butler is pretty from the hill though. I think the little steepled church makes the photo.

  2. Beautiful engine there. I just got a new Lionel, the Mohawk L-2A. You can check it out here: and I'll be posting up some pictures in the future... I predict the day after Thanksgiving :] Nice post!