Cliches exist because there’s usually some element of truth to them. And earlier this week I proved that you never in fact forget how to ride a bicycle when I got back on one after years and years of not biking.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I have almost no balance — check me out in a yoga class if you’re ever curious. When I was a kid it took me a really long time – and a lot of falls into ditches – to get on a bike. But once I did, I didn’t stop – spending anytime I wasn’t in the water during the summer biking through the neighborhood and along the beach.
But then I stopped. After I moved to Philly, I had a huge fear of biking in the city because I thought my clumsiness combined with cars and crowded streets would likely result in an accident.
Flash forward to this week and the Ohio Blogging Association‘s latest blogger meetup.
For this month’s Blogger Night, we met up at the Bike Rack in downtown Cleveland for a bike tour with Cleveland Bike Tours.
Cleveland Bike Tours (iBikeCLE on Facebook; formerly called Great Lakes Tour Company) was founded by Anne Smith in 2010. As Northeast Ohio’s premier source for custom bicycle tours, Cleveland Bike Tours brings fitness and adventure together on Cleveland-area bicycle trails while promoting interest in regional tourism and history.
From Cleveland neighborhoods – like downtown, University Circle and Ohio City – to the Bike Aboards in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland Bike Tours has designed excursions for riders of all experience levels – even (re-)beginners like me!
For the Blogger Meetup, we took a tour through downtown Cleveland. We picked up our cruiser bikes and helmets outside of The Bike Rack (Don’t have a bike? For a few dollars more you can rent one from BikeCLE). Then we were off!
We first biked past the Q and Progressive, learning about our sports teams’ histories, and then over to Erie Street Cemetary (my first time there!) to learn about the legend of Joc-O-Sot’s angry ghost and downtown’s other “permanent residents.”
Biking down Euclid and E 9th Street, we stopped at PlayhouseSquare, the Cathedral and the Free Stamp for this fun group shot:
From there we headed to Public Square for the War Memorial Fountain, Medical Mart, Old Stone Church, the Soldier’s and Sailor’s Monument and Marine Week.
Although I work downtown, even I learned a few things about the buildings and monuments I pass by everyday thanks to Anne’s tour. I also got over my near-paralyzing fear of getting hit by a car.
Anne did an excellent job at guiding us through the streets and sidewalks. I didn’t get hit, hit anything or fall over and embarrass myself (I know – I was shocked too!)
We finished the tour with a trip down E 4th to end up back at The Bike Rack. Through a partnership with the City of Cleveland and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, The Bike Rack offers the region’s first full service bicycle parking and commuter center for everyone.
With the goal of making downtown Cleveland a more bike friendly environment, it provides convenient, secure bicycle parking and fulfills everyday commuting needs with individual shower/changing facilities, lockers, bicycle rentals and a full service bicycle repair shop.
Although I didn’t need a shower, it was nice to have a spot to freshen up afterwards and relax. If you have the capability to commute and bike downtown, I would highly recommend taking advantage of their facility.
While our group of bloggers hung out and caught up with each other, we grabbed a post-tour bite to eat courtesy of Cleveland Bike Tours. Anne even sent us on our way with a treat to enjoy when we got home – a bag of Love Kettle Corn. Cleveland Bike Tours has just started selling these to help raise funds for Blessings in a Backpack.
Because no child should go hungry, each purchase of Love Kettle Corn will provide a child with one meal through the organization. After
tasting devouring the bag I took home, I need to order some more.
It was great getting in a bit of fitness and Cleveland history in one evening – plus the chance to catch up with new and old blogger friends alike:
- Alicia from Poise in Parma – her recap’s at the link!
- Holly from Rust Belt Runner – her recap’s at the link!
- Julie from Am I There Yet
- Julie from ROJ Running – her recap’s at the link!
- Julie from Wearing Mascara
- Kali from Finishing Firsts – her recap’s at the link!
- Kasey at @KaseyCrabtree
- Nidhi from NIDHIZZLE
- Sarah from Cooker Girl and her husband Kevin
Thanks again to Cleveland Bike Tours and The Bike Rack for hosting; all of the bloggers who were there that didn’t laugh at me wobbling on my bike; and Alicia (as always!) for organizing this month’s Meetup!