The route - #N2CLE Birthday Tour - CycleBlaze

April 25, 2021

The route

Following the Ohio to Erie Trail north to Cleveland with a few diversions

Overview of the route that mostly follows the Ohio to Erie Trail from Tom's house south of Mount Vernon to Downtown Cleveland
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Rick TresslerMy friend and I started in Mount Vernon and head south to Columbus a few years back. Enjoy the ride!
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4 months ago

Earlier this year a friend and were talking about cycling and bikes. He recommended a YouTube video about microadventures. Alastair Humphreys, a British adventurist, is the founder of that concept and term. A microadventure is a short, typically 2–3-day adventure, from your doorstep or close to home. Most people see an adventure as something grand involving travel to a distant exotic place. Microadventuring is about packing as much adventure as you can into a few days close to your backyard.

I sketched out a half dozen microadventures from or a short drive from my home. Several of these adventurers explore the Ohio to Erie Trail. My May birthday was an occasion to launch Tom’s 2021 microadventures with the 4-day #N2CLE tour with a small group of cycling friends.  

Routing this tour from my rural home in Knox County is somewhat challenging. Many of the country roads are gravel and dirt, not friendly to my non-gravel style of touring. The two-state highways heading to the trail in Mount Vernon are very unfriendly to cyclists with no berms and blind spots.

I found a paved and mostly chipped and sealed route to the Heart of Ohio Trail that adds about four miles to the tour. Safety is my primary concern when road cycling in an area that unaccustomed to cyclists. This route has good sightlines and low traffic. Four additional miles is a small price for a safe passage.

My route leaves country roads and joins the Heart of Ohio Trail four miles south of Mount Vernon following the Ohio to Erie Trail to Cleveland. This route is primarily rail-trails and canal towpaths with about 25 miles of country roads through Ohio’s Amish Country.  

The route diverges from the Ohio to Erie Trail route twice. This tour heads a few miles from the trail in Akron for the third overnight at one of the touring cyclist’s home. The final day follows the Ohio to Erie Trail to Cleveland but does do not end at the northern terminus of the Ohio to Erie Trail at Edgewater Park. I opted to explore downtown Cleveland and the historic Tremont and Ohio City neighborhoods.

A younger Tom in his NE Ohio cycling days view of downtown Cleveland across the Cuyahoga River in The Flats from the Towpath Trail
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I  enjoyed cycling downtown Cleveland during my time as a Northeast Ohio cyclist. Two of my fellow touring partners are Cleveland virgins. I want the tour to end with some super memorable Cleveland experiences. The tour leaves the Ohio to Erie Trail in Tremont.

My Cleveland urban explorer route heads to Ohio City and crosses the Hope Memorial Bridge passing the sports arenas into downtown Cleveland.  The star of the tour is cycling through Cleveland Public Square to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with photo ops of Lake Erie, the Cleveland harbor, and the downtown skyline.

The tour passes the Great Lakes Science Center and First Energy Stadium into the Cleveland Flats. My touring group climbs out of the Cuyahoga River Valley to Ohio City for an end-of-tour celebration beer and my birthday dinner with my touring partners. 

#N2CLE tour final miles starting at the Abbey Avenue Cleveland script sign heading over the Hope Memorial Bridge to downtown Cleveland, Lake Erie, the Flats, and ending in Ohio City
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