the perfect summer sunday ride

This morning Brett and I met our friends Vic and Jamie at the Canal Visitors’ Center of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park just south of Cleveland. We rode the Towpath Trail to Peninsula with them. It was the most amazing Sunday! I never dreamed that I could bicycle 23 miles in a day.

It was pretty much a breeze. The trail is pretty flat as it was an old canal towpath, the trail where horses and mules pulled canal boats down the canal in areas where the river was un-navigatable. Through most of the journey today, the Cuyahoga River was on one side and the Ohio and Erie Canal on the other.

It was such a peaceful ride. We crossed fields, wetlands and forests on our journey. We were treated to amazing views of the Ohio Turnpike and I-271 bridges from many hundred feet beneath them. Nature wise, we saw a group of three deer, many turtles sunning themselves in the canal and an assortment of ducks and water birds.

Our turnaround point was Peninsula, a quaint like village that is inundated by visitors of the national park. It was lunch time and we ate at the Winking Lizard and had an ice cream cone before we headed back north.

We had initially decided to ride the train back to Cleveland. They offer a nice service to bikers where they only charge them $2 for the trip. A storekeeper in Peninsula actually had free passes to give us. We were enjoying the day so much that we opted to ride the 11.5 miles back to Cleveland.

To me this was an amazing experience. I could have never done this ride before my weight loss. I really feel a sense of accomplishment. Even more, I now know I want to continue these bike excursions on the weekend. The trail is long and there are many other areas to explore. Sundays don’t get any better then this one was.

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