April 2, 2012

Guest Post – For the Love of Biking Part 1 - Parks/Trails

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from my super cool girlfriend. Enjoy it! Or else...]

I really enjoy biking.  I enjoy biking so much I don’t always want to make it my commute, because commuting isn't always the best thing out there.  Sometimes you just want to have a pleasant ride.  There are tons of resources out there to find a great bike path or trail.

To be honest, Google Maps is my favorite resource to use. One thing I really enjoy doing when I have some free time is picking a restaurant to visit and biking there.  I get to be outside and I get delicious food, what more could I want?   Google Maps is the best resource out there right now because it's so easy to use and it encompasses ALL types of trails on a simple interactive map. I hope you’ve noticed that you can use Google Maps and add the biking layer.

Just hover over the upper right part of the map and you’ll find the option for the bike paths.  I’ve found that some of google’s “bicycle friendly roads” are not always as friendly as the map makes you believe.  But that just means you can stick to streets you know or change your route if you find yourself on a street you don’t feel comfortable on.  

As I mentioned above, there are tons of resources out there, it can be overwhelming.  I'll mention a few other I've found helpful.

Columbus has a lot of great parks and trails to be enjoyed by bikers.  I’m sure most everyone out there knows about the Olentangy trial, but the City of Columbus has other trails you should be taking advantage of, their website has maps of the trails with trail entrances and major roads.

Don't forget about the Metro Parks.  Many of the Metro Parks’ multiuse trails are about 3-4 miles long.  I particularly like the Three Creeks park because they have a longer paved trail.

The Ohio Greenways is an organization dedicated to maps for biking and walking in Ohio.  If you wanted you can find out how to bike all the way to Toledo.

The Central Ohio Greenways website has an interactive map and a pdf map of trail in Central Ohio as well.  It combines the 3 previously mentioned trail systems.

Also Columbus is not too far from several state parks.  Many state parks in Ohio have mountain biking trails.  The trails are rated easy, moderate and hard.  So if it's something you've always want to try, do it!  Note that you should not use a regular road bike for mountain biking.  You really do need to get/barrow/rent a hybrid or mountain bike.

Cool video about a book about the first man to attempt to travel around the world on a bike:

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