Cycling has taken a tremendous climb in the United States over the past decade. It has not just become popular for work commuters (i.e., Bike to Work Day), but it has changed the way some of us spend our free time. I decided to see what Cincinnati had in store for bike-lovers like myself. I am no competitive cyclist, but I enjoy opportunities to ride with my family and discover new routes, places and events.
Loveland Bike Trail was our choice. It’s 70 miles long with more than 100 miles of various connections — the options are endless. You can begin anywhere along the trail and find picnic areas, parks, restaurants, coffee, ice cream shops, rest rooms and even entertainment. The flat, concrete-paved trail is perfect for families with smaller children learning to ride a bike, or ready to take off and go. The trail is mostly shaded with peaceful wooded areas running along the Little Miami River.
If you want to rent a bike, head to the Loveland Bike Rental (lovelandbikenrental.com) and choose two or six hours or all day. We rented an adult cruiser, an adult mountain bike to pull the baby trailer, and a kid’s bike. Just FYI, they don’t have training wheels at the rental shop, so plan on bringing your own.
The kid’s bike had thin wheels and was a bit wobbly for my little guy, so we put him and the baby in the trailer and cruised to avoid any frustration. The kids loved it. Now, which way to go?
If we chose to go right, we’d head toward the city of Morrow and pass the Train Stop Inn, aka “The Monkey Bar,” (7837 Old 3C Hwy.) with a newly renovated patio overlooking the river. Or, we could go left toward Milford and Miami View Park. In the heart of Loveland, there are two fantastic ice cream shops, restaurants with outdoor seating, and a great picnic area and playground. We chose to go right thinking we’d hit up Loveland Sweets (lovelandsweets.com) on the way back.
The trail was an easy-breezy ride. The kids enjoyed the scenery and munched on snacks while my husband and I pedaled like champs. Our tummies were growling, so we thought we would park at the Train Stop
Inn, have a bite and head back. Alas, we biked 5.5 miles to find the Inn is still in renovations. We grabbed chips from a food truck and had a good stretch. Oh, the simple things in life.
We headed toward Loveland and stopped at the Trailside Café (123 Railroad Ave.) for barbecue. Of course, after we dropped off our bikes at the rental shop it was ice cream time. The summer is still young which means more bike rides are on the agenda. Next time, we will turn left!
More Bike Trails
Devou Park (1344 Audubon Road, Covington) offers more challenging trails that older kids will love. Make a day of it and begin at the Devou Park Golf and Event Center, take a break at a picnic spot and stop to take a look at the Behringer-Crawford
International Friendship Park (1135 Riverside Drive) has simple, smooth trails that are perfect for the little ones, plus you get a beautiful view of the Ohio River. You can even go for a longer ride and head to Sawyer Point and back.
Lunken Airport (Wilmer Ave.) offers a five-mile loop around the airport that makes for a good ride.
Central Park in Boone County (boonecountyky.org) offers a bike trail, and England Idlewild Park offers its own bike park with two pump tracks, a dual slalom course and three jump lines.
Great Parks of Hamilton County (greatparks.org) offers a mountain biking trail at Mitchell Memorial Forest, and paved trails at Miami Whitewater Forest, Fernbank Park, Otto Armleder Memorial Park & Recreation Complex, Sharon Woods, Winton Woods and Woodland Mound. Find a complete listing on their website.
Paved paths can be found at Rentschler Forest and Voice of America in the MetroParks of Butler County system. Get a list of walking, running and other trails at yourmetroparks.net.
The historic Spring Grove Cemetery (springgrove.org) is a wonderful spot for walks, pictures, picnics and yes, bike rides.
The Ohio River Trail is an ongoing project that will eventually connect trails in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. Details on completed sections can be found at ohiorivertrail.org.
Groups and Tours
Biking meet ups and independent riding excursions are great ways to get your bike in gear this month. Here’s what’s around town:
Bike Krohn Conservatory, “Petals and Pedals” (cincinnatiparks.com/krohn-conservatory)
Bike your way to the 2017 Krohn Summer Floral Show “Petals and Pedals” July 1 – Aug. 27. Park your bike out in front of the conservatory and receive one dollar off admission. While you’re there, learn more about the Red Bike program.
Cincinnati Club Cyclery (cincinnaticycleclub.org)
Every Monday, join in on the Bio-Wheels intermediate to advanced bike ride or stop in for a low-key Saturday morning Breakfast Ride. The cyclery offers speed groups and more for the avid cyclist in you.
Cycling Backroads (cyclingbackroads.com)
Tours offered in The Rhine District where you can discover all of the cafes, architecture and art that the city has to offer. If a park-like setting is more of your thing, they offer leisurely rides through the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, too.
Fifty West Cycling Co. (fiftywestcycling.com)
There’s a Tuesday night meet up series from 6 – 8 p.m. for intermediate bikers, and a bi-weekly Women’s Ride on Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Red Bike Cincinnati (cincyredbike.org)
With 56 bike stations and 442 bikes, you can easily cycle to your favorite restaurant, a Cincinnati Reds Game, or just explore the city with your family. Red Bikes are cheap and accessible, so hop on and explore a new route.
Trek Store Cincinnati (trekstorecincinnati.com)
Group mountain biking tours at Devou Park and other bike meet ups from each of their locations including West Chester Shop Rides on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Blue Ash Shop Rides on Sundays for intermediate to advanced bike enthusiasts.
Before jumping on your bike, make sure your ride is all tuned-up and ready to hit the road with help from these spots:
Cincinnati Bicycle (cincinnatibicycle.com) offers tuneups to repairs at reasonable prices.
Fifty West Cycling Co. (fiftywestcycling.com) has experienced mechanics that will get you fit for your bike and all tuned up.
Spun Bicycle Shop (spunbicycles.com) targets all riders and levels, beginner to advanced. Join them at Krohn Conservatory Saturday, July 22 from 12 – 3 p.m. and get your bike fixed or purchase some apparel.
Team Cycling and Fitness (teamcyclingfitness.com) offers tuneups, repairs and apparel as well as advice on local mountain bike trails and more.
Trek Store Cincinnati (trekstorecincinnati.com) has a free Bicycle Maintenance Clinic every Saturday from 10 – 10:30 a.m. or just stop in for a routine tune up.
West Trails Bicycles (wtbikes.com) offers bikes, tune-ups and useful bicycle information.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (healthychildren.org) recommends that babies be at least 12 months old before enjoying a cycling adventure, and should ride in a bicycle-towed child trailer or rear-mounted seat that is securely attached with spoke guards, and has a high back and sturdy shoulder harness and lap belt. Bikes with a trailer or rear seat should have an adult at the helm, and of course, helmets for everyone!