Memorial Day Weekend Ride: The report–with pictures!

My riding this year has been somewhat curtailed by the more-than-typical Cincinnati weather.  We had a very wet and cool spring that suddenly got very hot.  I’m not very heat-tolerant at all.  If it would stay below 80F year-round, I’d be happy.  Memorial Day weekend was in the 90s, and while it was a good opportunity to get some riding in, I had to get up early to be able to take advantage.

My plan was originally to ride 15-20 miles Saturday, then take Sunday off (or take a very short ride around the neighborhood), then follow on Monday with a longer ride.  That didn’t happen.  My sister called home and asked to be picked up on Friday.  Turns out that the poor thing had bronchitis.  She spent Friday night at home, keeping my mom and I awake with her coughing.  (My dad, of course, was blissfully asleep through the whole thing.)  I probably got about three hours of sleep when my alarm went off.  I shut it off and went back to sleep for an hour.   I decided against riding on the trail due to parking concerns (and the heat on the way home), and rode around the neighborhood for a little bit, spending a lot of that time fiddling with my bike computer.  I didn’t ride Monday, either, because I felt lazy.  (I’m allowed, right?)

I did, however, slip in an ~24-mile ride on Sunday morning.  After a harrowing drive there (impatient driver on a twisting road in deep shade), I got out of the parking lot at 7:30.  I did manage to make myself ride over the railroad tracks again, and confirmed that it isn’t a comfortable experience.  There were twigs all over the place from a week of large thunderstorms.  I’m surprised there weren’t larger branches!  It started out cool, but warmed up fast.  I wound up splashing water on my upper arms to keep cool–on the first half of the ride! (Very effective, by the way.)  I also found that oatmeal is not a good pre-ride meal.  It doesn’t get into my system fast enough.

As one can imagine, there were quite a number of people out, from the spandex-clad racer types, to more casual spandex-wearers like myself, and plenty of people who have no desire to imagine themselves in spandex.  There were also plenty of joggers and dog-walkers out.  Since this is a terminally polite city, most people are nice about giving you space, provided you give them a heads-up.

Around mile 11, I had an encounter with a deer.  It had probably been spooked by people behind it, and as I came around a corner it came running toward me.  I stopped.  It stopped and we stared at each other for a second like, well, deer in headlights.  Then a pair of cyclists came from behind it and it fled into the trees.  I got hit by a tiny blue butterfly, I had a tiger swallowtail as a riding buddy for a bit (it decided I was a good salt source, I guess). All in all, good ride.  I hit up Starbucks on the drive home for some quick caffeine and sugar. 😀

Unlike my other rides, I took my camera with me and took pictures:

This is just a section of trail that I thought would make a nice picture.  I wanted to take another one focused on the archway of trees in the distance, but then a bunch of cyclists appeared and I didn’t want them to think I was weird or anything.

Part of the bridge over the Little Miami River.  You can see the river through the trees.  The bridge is the bit in the foreground.

The Little Miami, from the middle of the bridge, facing west (I think).  This wasn’t the smartest place to take a picture (even though it’s the best place for a picture), because the bridge is only wide enough for two cyclists to pass.  I took this and got out of there.

Anyone want to climb a hill?  I didn’t!

Trail crossing.  I thought it made a nicer picture when I took it.

Park that acted as my turn-around.  Also has handy restrooms!

Part of the little display commemorating Camp Dennison (the plaque is off to the left, out of the picture).  It was a Civil War training camp and hospital–the Little Miami Railroad (which later became the bike trail!) was nearby and would have provided easy access to materials and to Cincinnati itself in the event of an attack.  The camp was deactivated after the war and many of the materials were reused in surrounding buildings.  There is a civil war museum (probably containing the surviving headquarters) which is somewhat away from the trail.

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