The bike ride: John’s version

This is a guest post by John Johnson, Mimi’s brother. At our invitation, he and his wife, Kim, are sharing a “2 Roads Diverged” view of their recent trip:

Kim had suggested a bike ride a couple times in recent weeks.  I love that she wants to do these things together, but I also know this is one of the angles she’s working to encourage me to get out and exercise more – a lot more.

A couple weeks ago we were staying in the city for our anniversary and walked north along the bike trail from Scioto Audubon Metro Park to Scioto Mile, a revitalized area of Columbus along the Scioto River with a great riverfront park and restaurant we’ve become fond of. That’s when she first wondered aloud if there was a trail we could ride from the north suburbs all the way to downtown.  We often talk about spending more time in the city. I’m continually surprised by how vibrant Columbus is, and equally surprised we don’t spend more time enjoying the city now that the kids are gone.  A bike ride to downtown sounded like a great idea.

Olentangy – Scioto Bike Trail Information (warning – video is 8 minutes):

Starting at the trail head in Westerville, a suburb north of the I-270 beltway, makes about a 15-mile ride to the city, most of it right along the river and passing through several parks along the way.  It’s a perfect early summer Saturday.  As I’m putting the bikes in the truck I’m thinking it wasn’t that long ago I was biking a lot, and a 30-mile round trip is nothing.  Then I realize it’s been almost a year since I’ve ridden and 2003 since I really cycled regularly.  Is that possible?  Where did the time go? Continue reading

The bike ride: Kim’s version

This is a guest post by Kim Johnson, our sister-in-law. At our invitation, she and her husband, John, Mimi’s brother, are sharing a “2 Roads Diverged” view of their recent trip:

I recently discovered that a nearby bike path leads to one of our favorite downtown restaurants. My husband, John, without batting an eye, replied yes when I asked if he’d be up for the ride. Despite that the route is 15 miles one-way, and given that John’s idea of exercise is smoking a cigar on a neighborhood stroll while walking our dog, Marley, I thought this either naive, or adventuresome … probably the latter as that’s just the kind of up-for-anything guy he is.

So, flash forward a week and we load up our bikes. We let the nav lead as we don’t know exactly where the trail starts. We are instructed to “turn right” and arrive at the parking lot of a plastic surgery center. I wonder if this is some kind of divine intervention and as we drive through the lot looking for a trailhead, I ponder all kinds of procedures I could have done. It’s Saturday, though, and they are closed, but still, a girl can dream.

After no luck finding the trail, I turn to my iPhone nav, which directs us down the road a ways telling us to again “turn right” — this time into the parking lot of a specialty grocery store. Thinking we will never find the bike route, I eye the sign for the day’s cookout – soft-shell crabs – and imagine John and me sitting at a sidewalk picnic table drinking crisp white wine and picking flecks of shell from our butter-soaked fingers. But, at the very moment my mouth starts to water we see a car with a bike rack in tow and follow it to the back of the shopping center. Lo and behold, there — next to the dumpster — is the unmarked trail.

Regardless of its meager beginning, it’s a beautiful bike path. Continue reading