Marmots' Meander: sign of spring successfully sighted!

Written by Jim Sheehan
Wednesday, 14 January 2009 22:07

On Saturday, February 4th 2012, about 50 semi-intrepid folks enjoyed the semi-winter weather and, yes, saw a sign of Spring* on the 9th Annual Marmots' Meander post-Groundhog Day Ride.

After an unexpected breakfast (thanks to Dave's Supermarket in Asiatown for the fruit!), and the traditional mixing of the cocoa (thanks again, Dave's!), and the loading of the cocoa-barrel onto the first prototype of our new cargo trailer (and a brief demo of its garden-cart conversion feature), oh, and a traditional group safety check... we were off!

Since there was an abundance of knobby-tire bikes in attendance, about half the field took a detour through the Scranton Road Beaver Colony, and heard the latest news about the County's plans for fish habitat restoration there as part of the Towpath Trail completion (which hopefully will include conservation of the beavers' habitat!). Kudos to John McG who did that 1/4 mi. of bushwhacking on his skinny-tire, single-speed commuter!

The next stop was an involuntary one at the top of Scranton Rd hill when Marie learned a valuable lesson: before a ride, you should never, while holding a spare innertube in your hand, say to yourself, "I won't need this, I haven't had a flat in months!"  Thanks to a tube from Boris, and John M's mad drum-brake cable-disconnection skills, the road group had no trouble catching up to the off-road folks before the W11th St pedestrian bridge (which was, astonishingly, completely free of glass!).

The ride had just a brief pause at the Clark Field sledding hill to lament the lack of snow -- though the Mt. bikers did enjoy the short, steep descent along I 490 -- before continuing on to Steelyard Commons.  At the Jennings Rd. end of the steelyard path, many present were pleasantly surprised to find that the silly, unfinished 20 yards of trail there had been nicely paved, complete with a beautiful curb cut!  It was rumored that thanks for that engineering coup is owed to the Metroparks -- early evidence of their enlightened new strategic plan at work, perhaps! (if you want to thank them in person, or say anything else, be sure to attend one of their upcoming public comment events coming to a nature center near you!).

At the Ohio Erie Canal Reservation the cocoa was tapped, and deemed perfectly mixed, and the groups split again, with the "roadies" heading down the towpath to Rockside for ice cream (or shopping, or something) while the rest tried a lap of the trail, deemed just firm enough to ride without damage to the collective reputation for good trail etiquette.  Props to Ben on his hybrid with fenders and rack!

After a somewhat delayed return, chili was enjoyed by all (thanks Mom!), and, after a bit of members' meeting-type talk, OCBC President Greg Bonanno unveiled our new donation tally totem (thanks to Joni's artistic energy). A reverse raffle was then won by lucky attendee Jerry, and it was back to a busy day of off-season retail sales.  However, those sales did not include either of the new cargo trailers (or Barton's Carts, as they are coming to be know) -- despite the generally wild admiration for Barton's work -- so you can still be the first on your block (and in your universe!) to own a piece of OCBC, and Marmots' Meander, history!

You can stop "Think(ing) Snow" now!


P.S. Pictures of the day are here (on Facebook) until someone figures out how to get them out of there and up on here... Anyone?

*OK, so nobody got a picture of this, but a kid fishing in the canal is a pretty hopeful sign of spring, right?

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 February 2017 15:39 )