XENIA — I was feeling guilty.
For almost six years, I’ve been covering Sports in Greene County. But during that time, I’ve never set a tire onto the Greene County bike trails! The area bills itself as the Bicycling Capital of the Midwest, and I’ve never pedaled anywhere around here. It seemed almost blasphemous.
Well, that’s changing this summer.
I’m a bicycling rookie, when it comes to rolling along on bike paths. There’s a certain etiquette required, maybe even a few secret hand signals as well. I’m still learning.
On every Tuesday for the next seven weeks, I’ll post a column about my experiences while bicycling on the Greene County area’s bike trails.
You’ll read about my mistakes and accomplishments, you’ll see shots from along the trails of scenery you might not have ever seen, and just maybe you’ll want to head on out to the trails to enjoy them yourself.
Some background about me:
•I’m 57 years old, though I still feel as if I’m in my 30s, and sometimes act like I’m 12.
•I’m in reasonably good shape for my age, but nothing phenomenal.
•I’m riding a very basic nearly 20-year-old Schwinn 21-speed mountain bike.
•I’m still learning all the nuances of biking when it comes to what to pack and how to prepare for the trip.
•I drive with constant fear of losing my bike and bike rack off my car.
•And I apparently get gassed on the trails after about eight miles of pedaling.
So far, I’ve discovered that there is goose poop seemingly everywhere. I also know that, unless you’re some kind of a bug connoisseur or something, it’s wise to pedal along the trails with your mouth shut.
About those hand signals…..
I’m still not thoroughly convinced on whether or not there are hand signals. At this point, I’m leaning toward riders biking along the Great Miami River just being plain grumpy, while riders on the Ohio-to-Erie bike trail seem to be more laid back (especially in their recumbent bicycles) and friendly.
The Dayton area riders, if I’d approach from the opposite direction and wave with the hand furthest away from them, most of them would scoff at me and frown. ‘How dare I ride on the same bike path as them, you know, the one that is available for the public to ride on. What nerve!’ they appeared to be saying.
But if I’d wave with my hand nearest to them, they’d smile and courteously wave right back at me with their closest hand.
I tried both waves recently on a bike ride to Cedarville, and the friendly bicyclists along the way blew apart my near-hand far-hand theory.
So I’m still doing research on that one.
Got a question to ask?
Do you have a question pertaining to riding the bike trails here in Greene County? If so, fire it my way and I’ll try and answer everyone’s questions each week.
Myself, I’ve got a lot of questions already. Like, do you really need to throw on Spandex shirts and shorts in order to bike the trails? And if so, why? (I don’t, but if I learn that it’ll make headwinds feel like tailwinds, or that it’ll give me 10 additional miles per hour in speed, I might.)
Next Column: Learn about my experience in riding the Ohio-to-Erie Trail from Xenia Station to Cedarville University and back, including my harrowing encounter with a deer, 400 noisy birds, and a panther. Or maybe it was just a cat.
And if you happen to see me on the trails, be sure to say Hi! I promise to at least wave back with my closest hand.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123. And if you see him on the trails, be sure to say Hi!