Imagine the wind is blowing through your hair. The spring sun warms your face. The sounds of your surroundings envelope you. You’re gliding—almost flying—in a setting that is either exciting in its urbaneness or peacefully pastoral.
You are riding a bike. And, when winter turns to spring, it somehow seems that it would be difficult to find a more enjoyable way of passing your time.
During warm winters, of course, the most dedicated bicyclists continue to enjoy their favorite outdoor activity. Others among us—the less intrepid two-wheelers—wait until warmer temperatures have arrived, Daylight Saving Time has started, snowfall has become less likely and the need for bulky clothing has passed.
With that criteria as a guide, now is as good a time as any to bring the bicycle out of the back of the garage.
Spring is a season when those among us who own bicycles, but haven’t used them as much as we wanted to in the past, renew our pledge to climb aboard them and restart our exploration of our community. Dwelling on our failure to routinely ride our bikes shouldn’t be a detriment to our resolving to enjoy them more in the future.
Certainly bicycling opens up a life to us that is both physically and emotionally healthful. It’s an activity that involves exercise. We’re doing our riding outdoors. Fresh air is filling our lungs. The view is ever-changing.
Those indeed are some of the reasons many new bicyclists begin riding at this time of the year. And, an abundance of bicycle shops in the Stark County area—Ernie’s Bicycle Shop in both Massillon and North Canton or Gemini Bicycle & Ski Center in Canton come to mind—are ready to fit you to an appropriate two-wheeler, provide you with proper safety gear and attach a suitable bike rack to the back of your four-wheel vehicle so you can broaden the area in which you ride.
Posing the question of where to ride introduces a pleasant problem. A book could be written with the title of “Best Places to Ride a Bike around Stark County.”
Stark County Bicycle Club offers members a year-round schedule of rides—several in different times and locations—each day of the year. And, a roster of fellow riders are eager to accompany you on this daily journey. Membership and ride information is easy to find by visiting bikescbc.com.
Bicyclists going it alone or with a smaller family group might consider the Congressman Ralph Regula Towpath Trail. Of the 110-mile Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, 25 miles wind through Stark County.
“Begin your hiking or biking adventure at any one of the 14 trailheads,” notes information about the Towpath Trail at the website for the Stark County Park District. “The shady, flat terrain parallels the Tuscarawas River through deciduous forests and rural and urban landscapes.”
Or, bike riders looking for a ride that is new or different can consult StarkParks.com for a listing of other Stark County Park District trails that are open to both bicycles and hikers.
Still, new bicycle riders might begin riding closer to home.
It’s spring. And you just bought a bike or brought it out from behind boxes of stuff stored in your garage. Simplify life.
Doesn’t the most logical place to start trying a bicycle out begin right outside your garage door?