Monday, August 11, 2014

August 8-11. Cuyahoga Valley Bike Train.

We tried to plan this trip all summer, and this was the only weekend we could agree on. So Thursday morning Alison, Adam, Delia, Zane and I went in Alison's van to Countryside Campground in Mogadore, Ohio, about a 3 hour drive. Bill teaches sailing on Thursday nights and Francis had to work Thursday and Friday. Not a perfect time to go, but the best we could do.

We rented 2 cabins at the campground, swam in the pool, Alison cooked supper, and we all went to bed. Friday morning we went for a walk through the woods to the Mogadore reservoir. The kids looked for frogs and turtles (no luck) and I picked up kindling for making a fire.

Bill arrived in the early afternoon with a trailer full of bikes. We swam in the pool again, and it was my turn to make supper (roast beef on the grill that I've been making for 40 years). Francis arrived when it was almost bedtime for the kids.

Saturday morning Zane had to show daddy the "cool tractor" and the cool carts. Then we loaded up and drove to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, put all the bikes together and were on the trail by 10:30. Alison rode her bike with Zane in the seat behind her.


Grandpa was on his mountain bike with Adam on the trail-a-bike behind him.

Francis had Delia on the trail-a-bike behind him. Last time we did this ride 2 years ago, Zane was in utero, Adam was on the trail-a-bike and Delia was in the seat behind her mom!

I pulled the baby trailer behind me with not much in it--we brought it just in case we needed it. Before we left the parking lot Francis asked if we should put the full size tire pump in the trailer. I said, no we don't need it.

Of course we needed it. Bill got a flat about 2 miles out. There was the tiniest hole in the tube, and I found nothing in the tire (brand new tire). So we put in a new tube, pumped it up with the small frame mounted pump and got back on the bikes. Fortunately it held the rest of the day. He must have run over something very small and very sharp.

We stopped in Peninsula for lunch, putting our bikes on the very full bike rack outside the restaurant. There were a lot of people on the trail today. Next time we'll try to do this on a weekday!

We stopped at lock 37 and took a family photo, and then stopped again at the Boston Mills Visitors Center. Adam was still going strong, but Delia (who is used to taking an afternoon nap) was fading. We were afraid she was going to doze and fall off the bike, so we put her in the trailer when we left Boston Mills.


We planned to ride all the way to Rockside station, the end of the line for the train, but our fallback plan was to stop at the Canal Visitors center. When we got to Canal it was not even 3 PM, so we took a break and then rode on to Rockside. We arrived there with plenty of time to kill. If we'd known how much time we would have gone across the bridge for ice cream! There was no water available at the station, and the train was 45 minutes late!

We sat around, walked around, talked to other people who were waiting, all of us wishing for a drink of water.

Finally the train came into the station! They loaded our bikes (4 bikes, 2 trail-a-bikes and the trailer) and we got on the train and bought bottles of water for everyone.

Adam and Zane sat with Alison and Francis, and Delia sat with us. Of course the kids switched places more times than I could count. It was fun riding the train and pointing out the path and canal that we had just ridden.

Adam, who is just 6 years old, rode over 21 miles today on the trail-a-bike. It looks like he is ready for a bike with gears. Next time we do this trip he can ride on his own!  We stopped for ice cream on the way back to the campground. Francis took the kids to the pool while Alison and I made supper. We had a campfire. Life is good! It was a successful weekend trip, and one we will certainly do again.


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