Bicycling is a tradition in our family. It started when my brother and I were small, taking off down the sidewalk on wobbly wheels as Dad ran alongside us and eventually let go. When we were in our teens and early twenties, we got into triathlons (only sprint distance!) and would spend hours each week training on roads and bike paths near our home. Then, I became a mom and athletic pursuits were put on hold.
While it took me a little time to get “back in the saddle,” my early motherhood years have been filled with happy memories of exploring our state’s bike paths, mostly with my dad: the Little Miami Scenic Trail, Ohio & Erie Canalway Towpath Trail, Holmes County Trail, Kokosing Gap Trail and the Thomas J. Evans Trail in Licking County, to name a few.
This past summer was another first: tackling the beautiful Richland B & O Trail with Mom, Dad and our girls — one on a two-wheeler, another doing her part to pedal her trailer bike (attached to the back of mine), the third in utero.
Since the trail is scenic, flat and well-maintained (triple win!), it was perfect for a family hoping to get some exercise and enjoy the scenery without setting an Olympic speed record.
As I rode, I watched as my 7-year-old and Grandpa raced ahead, bringing up our average speed and demonstrating remarkable endurance. It was like flashing back to those early days on the sidewalk, and I could tell many more memories were waiting to be had here.
After logging several miles we rewarded ourselves with a terrific pizza lunch at Fast Eddie’s in Bellville, where the service was tops and the waitress was genuinely sweet when our three-year-old spilled an entire glass of fruit punch on the floor. Unsurprisingly, the girls fell asleep in the car on the way home. Mission accomplished — until next time.