Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year

I know a lot of people who make it a tradition to get out for a ride on New Years Day, though that has not necessarily been a tradition for me. Nevertheless, when I woke up this morning, Jan 1, bright sunshine and clear blue skies made a bike ride practically a necessity.

A canal visitor center in Boston.
Despite the shining sun, the temperatures were only in the 20s early on, so I waited a couple of hours for things to warm slightly -- hey, I had nowhere else I needed to be. By 10:00 or so, the temperature had gotten up to 30, and I figured that was good enough that I wouldn't have multiple layers to peel off by the time it got into the upper 30s by noon.

I headed north from Akron, along the valley road through the little village of Peninsula and up to the even smaller village of Boston. Roads were wet in places, so it was nice to have fenders, and I had to keep my eyes peeled for ice on the shady stretches.

Under the Interstate 80 bridge that spans the
Cuyahoga Valley.
Once I hit Boston, which barely exists as a village anymore (having been mostly swallowed by the national park) I got a couple of photos, then thought about taking the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath back to Peninsula but found the path to be a sloppy mess. Even with fenders, it seemed to me that the bike and I were going to be covered in mud. Most of the path is "paved" with packed, crushed limestone, and this time of year it isn't really a good biking choice. Not only is it less than pleasant (that limestone soup is tenacious), but bike tires will leave some pretty deep ruts when the path is so saturated and those ruts will become almost rock hard after the path dries out. Best leave it to the hikers for now. I stuck to the road for the return trip.

My ride ended up being about 25 miles and left me tired but satisfied. What a great way to start a new year.

Wherever you are, I hope you got to start the year as well as I did.


  1. Happy New Year to you as well! Enjoy every ride!

    Was on the road too, yesterday. Conditions weren't as nice, as yours — you can judge that by photo, and despite that I didn't reach my goal (223 km) due to blistering wind, still 166 kms I've covered in such unpleasant conditions were like a breath of fresh air.

    No excuses for no riding! Happy New Year to every retrogrouch out there!

  2. Your New Year's ride puts mine to shame. Happy New Year!

  3. Happy new year!

    I had high 30s/low 40s, decent sun for most of the afternoon, but quite a bit of wind. I've got a long-standing tradition of taking the number of years old you are and riding at least that many miles. I managed to eek out those 4o-something miles, but that wind and cold whipped me pretty good. It usually heralds the end of riding season for me, and a transition to the trainer/gym for the duration of the nastier weather.


    1. I like that idea of riding the same number of miles as years in age - but that would have been a pretty big ride nowadays.