Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Dad’s Day 2016 - a Bike, a Beer, a Burger, and a Cupcake

No matter how many times you travel the same route there is always something new. Especially in a city that is experiencing a major transformation. We followed a path we have ridden so many times I believe there may be grooves in the pavement from our bike tires. Today, about 3 miles in, we come across a festival on the riverfront, in Smale Park to be exact. There, smiling at us, about 12 feet tall and 10 feet in diameter, a giant, red, Air Heads balloon. We detoured to get closer, only to run into a “NO BICYCLES” sign. Booooo!  

Oh well. That wasn't the main purpose for the ride anyhow. I wanted to test my climbing legs. I have some pretty serious tours in the near future and have been sidelined from riding for many unavoidable events. Traveling for work. Prepping for presentations. Managing a house remodel. Teenage driving lessons. And on and on and on.

So this weekend VeloJunkie and I needed to get in at least one long hill. It was Father’s Day weekend, and although Velo, affectionately known as Jim around our house, does not have the same DNA as my kids, he is the best example of a dad ever. His favorite thing to do is ride his bike so I wanted to ride with him as far as he wanted to go in celebration of Dad’s Day. 

Anybody can be a father. It takes a special kind of person to be a Dad!

One of the best hills in Cincinnati for cyclists is Delta Ave. It connects Columbia-Tusculum to Hyde Park via Mt. Lookout. It starts at Riverside and ends at Erie. Riverside, being on the south end and true to its name, hugs the Ohio River. It is very common to get behind boats being towed, as there are many docks along the way. Riverside also boasts a fair share of motorcycles, dog walkers, and other cyclists on any given sunny, summer day.

Before embarking on our climb I made Velo take a moment with me to hydrate at the bottom of the hill. I’ve been known to get a little wobbly in long climbs. (And grumpy. And reluctant.)

Just about half way up there is a traffic circle to announce Mt. Lookout. The name says it all. It is a great place to look out over the river. However, it is not at the top of the hill. The upward momentum doesn’t end until you reach Erie Ave. But once you crest the summit, the coast on the other side generates speeds surpassing 30 mph. Until we reach Murray bike path. Excessive speed on the bike path is, let’s say, moderately frowned upon.  

Enjoy this short video of our ride.

The path dead ends into Mariemont, a planned village around two historic districts. It is a collection of Norman and Georgian style buildings surrounding the village square, which is an example of English Tudor architecture.

Dily Deli, setting right in the middle of the square, was the perfect setting for lunch. After sharing a burger I snuck away to the Sweeterie to buy a giant, peanut butter cupcake for Velo’s special day. Of course he shared it with me, being the perfect gentleman he is. (Ahem)  

Content now with fat and sugar pulsing through our veins we left the tree-lined streets of Mariemont for the industrialized community of Fairfax,  home to Kellogg's manufacturing, Cincinnati Paperboard, and Pruss Construction.

The opposite side of Fairfax, via the Armleder Connector, is the historic community of Columbia-Tusculum. We had just completed a loop, one we have done many times, and were headed westward toward home with only one more stop. 

Velo’s favorite tap room, Blank Slate, was in sight. Home of fantastic malt and hop creations such as Shroominous, Fork in the Road, Rising Up, and my fave, Pinango. The pineapple-mango infused ale hit the spot on such a warm summer day. 

So tell me, who could ask for a better Dad’s Day than a bike, a beer, a burger, and a cupcake?

To find out what happens next week follow the Reluctant Cyclist by Email:

#airheads #velojunkie #fathersday2016 #blankslatebrewery #deltaavenueclimb #dilydeli #sweeterie

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