Category Archives: Biking

Temptations of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath & the Cuyahoga Valley National Park

Congrats to Katie (@ktb0981) – you’ve won the #DazzleCLE PlayhouseSquare swag prize pack! Don’t forget about tonight’s lighting event starting at 5:00PM – there’s more info here.


Last Friday, I failed to mention one of my non-yoga favorite things about our San Francisco trip to yoga teacher training. We rented a great house just south of the UC Berkeley campus that came with bikes to get around the area. My buddy Kevin is an expert cyclist and has plenty of experience riding around metro areas. While I was nervous biking in the streets at first, I learned a lot from him and gained road riding confidence quick. Along with all those hours in the studio, the moments biking were just as much ones I won’t forget from California.

So when I got home to Cleveland, I knew what had to be done:  Stella, my Trek, had to get ready for the 2014 riding season.

Bike Authority Broadview Heights Ohio

Bike Authority in Broadview Heights knocked it out of the park, turning around the bike tune up in less than 24 hours from drop off the night before. The only problem was I couldn’t pick it up for three days. But once I had it again, I took advantage of the stellar weekend weather and headed down to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to see if I still had my towpath riding legs from last year.

CVNP Mile Marker 20

Turns out I did. 15 windy miles done on Saturday…

CVNP Mile Marker 25

…and 16 easier miles Sunday. That’s when I discovered my new 2014 past time: seeing how many mile markers I could visit this year. Game on.

CVNP Mile Marker 13

On a side note: the fuzz and I went out for a 40 minute walk a few Sundays ago. We both came home with big smiles on our face. One of us came home with four ticks. Just be warned, kids: it’s going to be another buggy year for our fuzzy friends, so do what you have to to keep your pups safe. And thanks to Central Bark, also in Broadview Heights, for some extra peace of  mind.

But after a rough week with long hours and rainy days, I’m jones-ing to be back on the bike. I feel like it has a similar effect as my yoga practice – after a lengthy ride, my mind is clear, my body is strong and life is good. And I usually come home with a bit of sun on my nose. Le sigh, is it summer yet? 

Just those first 31 miles in two days re-inspired me. Just like in Berkeley, I saw that authentic version of myself again when I could just let go, relax and surround myself in what was around me in the moment — not the story build up in my head because of a very busy mind.  Just like in meditation: when the mind is clear, so is your perception of what surrounds you. These things keep me grounded, keep me clear, keep me focused.  So if it ain’t broke… make more space for it.

But with a rainy weather forecast and a busy event weekend, I may have to just stick to daydreaming about Stella instead of getting her out on the path. And that’s why you have to keep many tools in your toolbox to keep up the maintenance of a healthy body and mind.  Luckily, it’s just barely May and there’s plenty of time left for towpath-ing in 2014. So let me know if you’re interested in joining me: either for a leisurely stroll, a fast ride or some yoga in the park. This extrovert can’t help bringing folks along for the ride…

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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!


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.


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


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:


My bike boarded the train before I did.


But we eventually found our way into the passenger cabin:


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:


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!

2011-08-27_13-56-05_958 2011-08-27_13-56-09_472

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


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




Sweet corn is picked fresh every day during corn season.



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!


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!

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