It’s time to get out there and ride, Toledo—and we don’t meana motorcycle. This May, communities around the country are celebrating National Bike Month with an assortment of cycling events. In Lucas County, the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments (TMACOG) is organizing our region’s biking festivities, kicking off May 7th with a bike rodeo and family ride at Pearson Park. For those not privy to the bike lingo, a “bike rodeo” is a safety clinic where kids learn the rules of the road and have their bikes inspected. Use this guide to learn about area biking events, routes to ride, riding groups, and gear essentials.Itching to do more than ride up and down your neighborhood streets? There are a lot of great bicycle routes in our area to check out. Some are on dedicated bike paths, some on bike-friendly streets and many of them wind through our beautiful metroparks.
Did you know? TMACOG is leading the effort to turn 11 miles of old railroad tracks into a new bike path. Called the Westside Rail Corridor, the urban right-of-way will run southerly from
the intersection of Laskey and Jackman Rd and continue over the Maumee River in Wood County. A completion date is not set, but the path will connect UT’s Main and Health
Bike Month Events Monday, May 7
Bike Rodeo & Family
Time: Bike Rodeo: 5-6:30 pm; Family Bike Ride:
Location: Pearson Park,
761 Lallendorf Rd., Oregon
A safety clinic for kids
featuring bike inspections and safety lectures.
Wednesday, May 9
Bike to School Day
Check with your child’s school to see if there are any special events planned.Wednesday, May 16
Ride of Silence
Time: 6:45 pm
Location: University of
Toledo’s Bancroft St. entrance
This 8-mile ride honors cyclists killed or injured on the road. No registration required.
Bike to Work Day
Rally your coworkers for a fun office event.
Saturday, May 19
Bike Day at the Toledo Farmer’s Market
Time: 8 am-2 pm
Location: intersection of Market and S. Superior St.
Ride a bike to the downtown Farmer’s Market and get a cup of coffee and a t-shirt.
Sunday, May 20
Birds, Blooms and Bikes
Time: 4 pm
Cemetery, 1502 Central Ave.
This is a four-mile scenic bike ride through Woodlawn Cemetery.
Time: 1 pm
Location: Crissey Road School, 9220 Geiser Rd.
A 20-mile ride thru the Oak Openings Region with an ice cream stop.
Family Fun Ride
Time: 2 pm
Location: Slippery Elm Trail on Sand Ridge Road in
Snacks are provided and you have the option of riding to Portage or Rudolph.
Thursday, May 31
Historic Cemetery Tour
Time: 6 pm
Cemetery, 1502 Central Ave.
Join this tour through
Toledo’s oldest cemetery.
Rediscover your bike Toledo
Cannonball Rail Trail
Starting at the trailhead on Jerome Road just south of Monclova Road, you can catch the north fork heading west. You’ll pass through Oak Openings Preserve and end at Lucas-Fulton County Line Road. Take that road south and catch the western end of the south fork, heading back east through Neopolis and Whitehouse (ice cream stop!). Merge onto the north fork again, turning back east to the trail. The total ride is about 25 miles. You can add a couple miles by taking a side trip at Oak Openings to Mallard Lake for a picnic lunch.
For the less ambitious, the University Trail is a 14 mile round-trip running west from the UT campus to King Road, and passing through Wildwood Preserve (watch out for deer). While you’re there, a cruise around the beautiful UT campus is well worth the time. It’s a multi-use trail—expect lots of joggers and dog walkers. For that reason, keep
Grand rapids This is arguably the best ride in the area. Start at the bridge in Maumee heading west on the towpath trail (packed cinder). At the end of the path at Side Cut Park, you’ll turn right and come out on River Road. Head west—one stretch is rough, but the rest is great. Continue through Waterville and Farnsworth Park, keeping on the towpath trail. The western half of the route past the parks is dirt and stone but very pleasant. It’s not necessary to have a mountain bike, but it’s not good for skinny racing tires. Cross at the Grand Rapids bridge and enjoy lunch in the village. Grand Rapids is a great tourist stop with plenty to see and do, especially if your trip coincides with one of the many festivals there. Return on the south side of the river (SR65)—it’s winding and a bit hilly. You’ll turn left at SR64 and ride to SR25 in Perrysburg. Head left toward the river
on the bike path, cross the bridge and you’re home. It’s 34 miles of great fun!
slippery elm trail
Slippery Elm Trail runs 13 miles from Bowling Green through Rudolph to North Baltimore. A paved multi-use path, it’s a good first ride for beginners—flat and away from traffic with a good ice cream stop. It’s not too challenging for more experienced riders. It passes parallel to Route 25 through farmland and fields.
jermain park mountain bike trail
Opened in October of 2010, the Jermain Mountain Bike Trail is Toledo’s only mountain biking venue. Great for riders of all ages, the route runs counterclockwise with beginner areas and higher intermediate hills. Riders say the trail is generally smooth with rolling hills and climbs in the back section. The route can be accessed from the parking area in Jermain Park.
For specs on more area
rides check out this site: www.biketoledo.net/pages/localrides.html
Take it with you Five ideas from around the globe that are pedaling cycling forward.
Ten years ago America wasn’t nearly as bicycle friendly. You can probably attribute the increase in biking’s popularity to environmentalism, or, maybe, inner-city traffic (well, not so much in Toledo), or that a gallon of gas almost costs as much as a six-pack of PBR. But what has driven the process is creative ideas — ones making cities more cycle friendly, while simultaneously making them more beautiful.
Bike Sharing and Libraries: Don’t have access to a bike for whatever reason, no sweat — as long as you’re in a city like Fort Collins, Colorado that has a bike library. The FC Bike Library is a free service for residents and visitors that lends bikes to members for as little as one hour or as long as a week. Since opening in 2008, they have done 11,850 checkouts.
Bike Trees: From single poles that hold five to warehouse-size facilities that hold 1,000, Asia has implemented the concept of a Bike Tree, a structure that elevates numerous bikes simultaneously — keeping them safe and out of the way.
Protected Bike Lanes: Everyone who has ridden in a bike lane probably will tell you it’s safer, but might have a story to share about how they almost were dinged by a car — hopefully not anything worse. Cities like Boulder, New York, Portland and Paris have been preventing that by making lanes that are sectioned off from the road in medians and fully blocked-off lanes. These separated lanes even have their own road rules, like stop lights and speed limits.
Bike-friendly public transportation:
Not everyone can bike from their home to work, downtown or the trails. San Francisco has a commuter rail that allows bicycles; they even have a shuttle that transports cyclists across the Bay Bridge during rush hour. On the Caltrain — that connects San Fran and San Jose— two cars on each train allow 80 cyclists per trip to take their bikes with them. Toledo’s making its own effort: all TARTA buses have bike racks.
Public Art Bike Racks: If you’re going to promote inner-city cycling — which means more bike racks have to be installed — you might as well make these docking stations creative and artistic. David Byrne (The Talking Heads) did one in NYC, Philadelphia has quite a few slick ones.
Ride with us Critical Mass
Held in over 300 cities worldwide, Critical Mass is a cycling event that takes place on the last Friday of every month. While there is no formalized purpose for these rides, the overall cause is to raise motorists’ awareness of bicyclists. Since October of 2011, UT graduate student Ryan Rynestein has worked to popularize the Critical Mass rides in Toledo. The routes are usually no longer than 10 miles.
Meeting place: Centennial Mall on the UT Campus
Date/time: last Friday of every month at 5:30pm
Website: “UT Critical Mass” group on Facebook
Toledo Area Bicyclists
Toledo Area Bicyclists (TAB) welcomes riders of all skill-levels. Whether you’re a speedy rider or like a more leisurely pace, TAB has the appropriate group ride for you. For instance, the club meets at Sidecut Metropark every Thursday and splits into four different speed groups. With about 10 different rides throughout the week in various locales, members can choose what ride best fits their schedule.
Meeting places: various
locations (check website)
Date/time: Every day of the week except Friday; weekdays 6:30pm; weekends 9am or 1pm
Cost: $12 for single member or $18 for family
Black Swamp Bicycling
The Black Swamp Bicycling Society is open to all bike riders, from the most casual to hard-core racers. Depending on the skill-levels of the people who show up on a given week, the riders will generally break-up into two groups, one a little slower than the other. The slower paced group will ride between 20-30 miles, while the speedier group will ride between 40-60 miles.
Meeting places: typically meet at City Park in Bowling Green (Maple and Conneaut St.)
Date/time: Saturday and
Sunday at 9am (time will be earlier with warmer weather)
Cost: $10 for a single member or $15 for family
In Toledo, Hostelling International is best known for its four annual bike tours and weekly bike rides. Join the group for one of its tours of the Portage River, Metroparks, Irish Hills, or area cemetaries (Tombstone Tour). You can also join the group for weekly rides every Thursday from April till the end of October. Ride speeds average 12 mph over the 20-30 mile distance.
Meeting places: changes weekly (check website)
Date/time: weekly rides start at 10am in April, May, Sept., Oct. and at 8:30am for June, July, Aug.
Cost: weekly rides are free;
$20 per adult for tours
Maumee Valley Wheelmen has about a 100 members, ranging from 12 to 75 years old. While many of the members participate in racing, others prefer riding for fun. Only members can race, but all are welcome go on recreational rides, including the weekend “Breakfast Club” ride that goes to Grand Rapids.
Meeting places: varies
depending on if racing or
training; “Breakfast Club” meets at Ft. Meigs in Perrysburg
Date/time: local races every Thursday at 6:30pm; check website for training rides;“Breakfast Club” meets every Saturday and Sunday at 8am
Cost: $40 for a single member and $50 for a family
Since 2010, Toledo PubRiders has been taking to the streets to tour area eateries and bars via bike. These events are loosely planned and announced on the groups Facebook page a week or two before each ride. The group does both a downtown and West Toledo loop. Toledo PubRiders encourages you to always ride responsibly, obey traffic laws, and wear a helmet!
Meeting places: announced on Facebook
Website: friend “Toledo
PubRiders” on Facebook