Friday, July 19, 2019 Elyria 86°
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Outdoors

Biking is a great way to get, stay fit and see the outdoors

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Every summer, my bank account gets deducted $21.59 for my monthly gym membership. People consider me a donor, as in someone who gives money to it, but never uses it during the summer months.

While I enjoy working out at the gym, summer is the time to exercise outdoors.

One of the best exercises summer offers around our area is mountain biking. But riding a bike in general is also not only relaxing but a good outdoor activity.

This spring hasn’t been kind to mountain bikers though. Trails have been saturated with water and many parks haven’t been able to open their mountain bike trails for a couple of weeks. But whenever things aren’t soaked, there are a lot of great trails in Northeast Ohio for bikers to experience.

One of the premier trails is at Findley State Park in Wellington.

The Thorn Mountain Trail is a 9-mile loop that provides opportunities for riders of varying skill levels. Novice riders can avoid some of the obstacles which can serve as challenges for experienced riders. A very versatile trail, the views and beauty of it all contribute to it being a great spot to ride.

Indian Hollow Reservation in Grafton is home to several mountain bike trails with varying degrees of difficulty. Nestled off the East Branch of the Black River, there are several shorter trails of less than a mile each. With shorter distances, once you get on you aren’t trapped for miles should the terrain not suit your biking ability.

Traveling a little bit, Cleveland Metroparks has wonderful mountain bike trails. Much of these trails came from Matt Cole of Fat Head’s Brewery who is an avid cyclist raising money through beer sales to construct and restore many miles of park and bike trails. The Cleveland Metroparks mountain bike trails are found in Strongsville and Bedford, but like many of the other trails, these haven’t seen a rider in weeks due to soggy conditions.

Aside from mountain biking, leisure riding is also available and enjoyable.

To take in some scenery, the Cuyahoga Valley National Park provides great access on its Towpath Trail. There are bike rentals available, and the ride doesn’t require any specialized equipment.

The Lorain County Metro Parks also has lots of comfort cruising. There are plenty of asphalt and crushed stone trails available in Amherst, Black River, Carlisle, Columbia, French Creek, Vermilion and Wellington reservations.

There is also the North Coast Inland Trail connecting the town of Kipton to downtown Elyria. The trails pass through forest, farmlands and fields. The park continues to expand and develop the trail. Right now it is about 13 miles long and there are several spots to get off the bike or turn around should you not want to make the 13-mile, one-way trip.

Hoping for drier weather, cyclists have an exciting season ahead. With so many options for those riding two-wheelers, whether it be on mountain bike trails or on pavement, cycling offers a lot of options for people of all ages and skill levels.

Contact Brad Zahar at bzaharoutdoors@gmail.com.
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