Area writer Matt Cunningham was kind enough to include a statement from a member of our “collection staff” for his fabulous Soapboxmedia.com article on the Bike Friendly Destinations program. And while Bike Month 2011 has, alas, been swept into the dust bin of history, the season of sweat-cycling is upon us. While we enjoy the status of “destination”, we consider ourselves a bicycle friendly point of departure.
Here are a few tips for enjoying cycling in the heat:
BOTTLES: Proper hydration is of paramount importance whilst navigating the sweltering streets. Stacked recommends a dry white or rosé, preferably one with a bicycle and a nude woman on the label.
THE BREEZE: One of the great and little understood quandaries of summer cycling is the so-called “sweat co-efficient”. This is the speed at which the breeze from your forward motion renders not entirely unpleasant the sweat generated by the exertion of reaching that speed. That speed, at 90 degrees Fahrenheit is 5 miles per hour downhill.
TRAILS AND DESTINATIONS: We’re entering something of a golden age of bike trails with many great trails in existence and more in development. The Little Miami Scenic Trail offers cyclists an endless even grade through fields and woodlands as far afield as exotic Xenia, OH. There are many new trails or sections of trails, and those that follow our regional waterways are especially nice and flat. Out to the west, Miami Whitewater offers a pastoral seven mile loop resplendent in summer with flowers and wildlife.
Yet there are plenty of rides to be had close to downtown. If you’re willing to put up with a brief jaunt of “urban cyclocross” in Newport, for example, you can easily gain the levee between beautiful Bellevue and the river, atop which runs a path affording a splendid view of the Ohio. The levee terminates at Kentucky Route 8, and a quarter mile ride up this road will take you to the Riverside Four Boat Harbor which has a nice bar on the water. Main Strasse in Covington presents another summery ride–there’s just something about Newport and Covington’s sleepy streets close to the river. Just look out for drunks, groundhogs and strippers.
Of course if you really want to appreciate a couple of drinks, head up one of our many hills. Half way up Mt. Adams, take Oregon and stop in the City View Tavern for a Bloody Mary and some beers. From the deck you look out at the ruins of the incline that once climbed those heights. And for the hardy urban bicycle traveler, you can always tackle the “massif” of Clifton Heights and then descend to the parks of Clifton, then descend further to Northside. Those wishing to avoid the ups and downs might opt for the rugged industrial corridor of Spring Grove avenue. Either route leads to the well-watering-holed alleys of Northside and the winding Elysian groves of Spring Grove Cemetery, as well as the Mill Creek Greenway trail which, though short, is worth pedaling.
CALORIES: The calorie, that much-maligned unit of heat, is actually quite delicious, and necessary for making your bicycle go. Suitable calorie sources for summer cycling include, but are not limited to: Baguettes (ideally from Shadeau Breads), cheeses, fruits, cold cuts, peanut butter, smoothies, Pina Coladas, fast food, slow food, wraps, burritos, fried fish, energy bars, ice-cream, sorbet, hot dogs, brats, barbecue, and chili.