Category Archives: Biking

Ohio Blogging Association June Cleveland Blogger Meetup & Downtown Tour with BikeCLE

Another meeting of the Ohio Blogging Association is in the books! On Tuesday, June 12, we rented bikes from The Bike Rack in downtown Cleveland and headed out on a great tour of our city with BikeCLE AKA Great Lakes Tour Co.!

The blogroll for the evening included:

The happy OBA crew in the middle of Public Square.

But before we begin, A MEMO FROM THE CEO OF PIP: Summer 2012 is going to be the busiest on record as I’ve been working hard on several projects. I’m finding balance in this new career (better known as freelance independent contractor jill-of-all-trades), but it’s a learning process. I could have let the anxiety of a busy week get better of me in a few particular moments. Instead, I found myself downtown before the OBA BikeCLE tour enjoying my mobile office view:

While at Erie Island Coffee Company on East 4th Street, I found myself in a moment of calm while enjoying an iced coffee & basking in the warm temperatures. While I had been on the go all day long, that busy schedule gets me excited. It keeps me going.

There was a time - not so long ago - when my anxiety would have gotten the better of me. Yup, even the girl that organizes all these events gets nervous! But then I remembered how our Ohio Blogging Association meetups are always a highlight of my month.  Suddenly, the worries melted away and I was ready to get my bike ride on.

While refilled with energy, I felt a little scattered as I greeted the bloggers that evening. All the bloggers, all the parking options, all the bikes, all the helmets, all the downtown surroundings – it was an overload on my brain. Luckily, the crew from BikeCLE took great care of us.

The OBA bloggers took an abbreviated version of the Downtown Cleveland tour that I took last June with BikeCLE. Even though it was shortened, we still hit plenty of local attractions: Quicken Loans Arena, Progressive Field, Erie Street Cemetery, the Theater District, the Free Stamp:

…City Hall, the Medical Mart, Key Tower, Public Square including the Terminal Tower and the Soliders & Sailors’ Monument, finishing up with a ride back down East 4th Street:

After a ninety minute tour of downtown, BikeCLE treated the bloggers to a spread of healthy snacks, including their Love Kettle Corn. Every purchase of this popcorn goes back to their Blessing in a Backpack program which helps provide meals to children. A great Cleveland company giving back to Clevelanders? That’s the kind of company I’m happy to support.

LONG STORY SHORT: It was another successful evening out with the Ohio Blogging Association: check out all my photos from the tour over at the OBA Facebook photo album.  Several bloggers mentioned they were happy about the combination of learning more about Cleveland in an active way. We’ll have to consider doing another 5K walk/run this Fall – we always try to have something for everyone! Many thanks to BikeCLE and The Bike Rack for their hospitality, and to all the bloggers that attended!

Interested in attending an Ohio Blogging Association blogger meetup? Join us for our OBA July Cleveland Blogger Tour of PlayhouseSquare on Wednesday, July 11th. You can find more info over at our OBA Facebook event page. Space is limited, so RSVP today!

Bike Aboard with BikeCLE

HEY CLEVELANDERS! To kick off this week, here’s a quick reminder and an announcement:

  1. This Thursday is the Friends of the Hunger Network Celebrity Bartender Happy Hour. From 5:30pm – 7:30pm at Eddy’s and Iggy’s, join them for happy hour specials and to purchase discounted tickets to the second upcoming Hunger Network :Rolling on the River event on Friday, September 30th.
  2. The first ever Downtown Cleveland Patio Week begins today and runs thru Sunday, September 18th. Patio Week features an array of $30 3-course dinner options and a $15 lunch options. Click here for participating restaurants and menus. Think Downtown Restaurant Week, just outside!

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A few Saturdays ago, I met up with my friends at BikeCLE to enjoy the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad’s Bike Aboard program. It allows cyclists to bike the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath Trail in one direction and ride the train in the other.

I found my way to the Boston Mill Train Depot for to board the train. If you’ve gone skiing at Boston Mill Brandywine, you’ve been seconds away from this train station.

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That’s where I found the lovely Anne from BikeCLE!

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Anne had gathered a group of about ten folks for our group, but there were many more people jumping on the train with their bikes:

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My bike boarded the train before I did.

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But we eventually found our way into the passenger cabin:

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The train ride went quick since I was chatting it up with some of the folks in our group. One of those people were Dean – someone on his own weight loss journey to healthy living. Dean writes a blog called Thirty Minutes Daily, which is inspired by his mission to do some physical activity every single day for at least 30 minutes. Dean’s lost 100 pounds since the beginning of the year. He’s doing a great job keeping his 30 minute a day promise!

Six and a half miles later down the Cuyahoga Valley train, we arrived at Indigo Lake:

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We jumped off the train, waited patiently for our bikes and – after a quick brownie break c/o yours truly via The Chubby Cook – we were on our way back to Boston Mill!

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We didn’t get too far before coming up on Szalay’s Farm:

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Szalay’s features freshly picked fruits and veggies, as well as locally made treats.

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Sweet corn is picked fresh every day during corn season.

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After a nice stop enjoying samples of some amazing plums and obsessing over corn nuts, we got to some serious pedaling with the ten or so of us riding the towpath trail. It was a beautiful day and many Clevelanders were taking advantage of the Bike Aboard program as the trail was busy that afternoon. It was an easy ride back to Boston Mill – 6.5 miles done and done!

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Head on over to this YouTube video to check out fellow Bike Aboard participant @ToddJEmery’s pictures of this Bike Aboard get together!

LONG STORY SHORT: Not only is BikeCLE embracing urban biking, they are doing a great job at encouraging Clevelanders to get out to our region’s more natural areas with their bikes. I loved getting to know some new people while spending more time on my new found toy. Many thanks to BikeCLE for organizing this fun, free gathering!

@BikeCLE Ohio City Tour with Great Lakes Touring Co.

HEY CLEVELANDERS! Back in June, I was lucky enough to participate in the inaugural tour for Great Lakes Touring Co. (AKA @BikeCLE). On that tour of downtown Cleveland, our group had a wonderful time and I knew I wanted to take other tours of the area. Good thing for me I had this past Friday morning open and was able to join the company again on their Ohio City bike tour.

The tour started at the J Palen house, where Team BikeCLE met us with all the equipment we could need, including the all important cruiser bikes!

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…and who was my guest that morning?

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My partner-in-crime, Katie! We snagged some bikes and got ready to ride!

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Staring out, we headed down Bridge Avenue to the birth site of John Heisman of The Heisman Trophy fame. I didn’t know he was born in Cleveland!

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We then biked over to St. Ignatius where classes were definitely back in session: the high school boys waved at us from the cafeteria as we rolled by!

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…then on over to Monroe Cemetery, one of the area’s 10 largest cemeteries.

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From the cemetery, we biked up Fulton, pass Johnny Mango, and over to St. Patrick’s Church:

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Fun fact: the stones at the top of the church were shipped directly from Ireland!

On our way from there, we stopped at one of the community gardens where produce was being grown by the citizens of Ohio City:

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Cutting through Fairview Park and stopping at a few more tour points, we found ourselves crossing West 25th…

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…and over to the Glass Bubble Project – a secret gem of Ohio City!

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The Glass Bubble Project creates unique works of art from recycled metal and hand blown glass.

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Fun fact: they stop operations in the summer time because it’s too hot to blow glass. But they hold events and classes at the space from September to late Spring. Ohio Blogging Association meetup anyone?

We then headed over to two Ohio City institutions: the West Side Market and Great Lakes Brewing Company:

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…then finished up the tour back at the J Palen house – which is a bed & breakfast and is ADORABLE inside!

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Another fun and informative tour by Great Lakes Touring Company complete – many thanks to Anne and Joe for a wonderful Friday morning!  Visit the Poise in Parma Facebook page to see all my photos from the Ohio City bike tour.

…but my fun with @BikeCLE didn’t end there for the weekend. I joined them for their Bike Aboard get together the next day on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. Looks like you have SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

Make sure to check out BikeCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about their bike and hike tours.

Full disclosure: Great Lakes Touring Co. invited me and a guest to take this bike tour of Ohio City. As always, my thoughts, opinions and excitement for this great CLE company are 100% my own.

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