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Friday, September 28, 2012

Mason, Lebanon, Corwin, Xenia, Yellow Springs, Springfield Ohio: Little Miami Trail

09/28/12 72m
Got a fairly early start, departed the Comfort Suites in Mason Ohio and rode crosstown to intercept a spur trail off the Little Miami that runs northwest to the town of Lebanon. Our notional destination was Cool Beans Coffee, thinking that it would be nice to do a short ride to warm up and then enjoy a cup of coffee. When we got there we found that seating was somewhat limited, who knew?

So we repaired to a nearby doughnut shop which was very good. Went back to the trail and headed to the Little Miami, and was intrigued at this bit of graffiti:

Because, you know, a smile is just a frown turned upside down.

Once we were back on the Little Miami Trail, reversing the segments we'd seen yesterday for the first time, I really had a sense of how perceived time moves slowly when proceeding into unknown complexity and flows quickly when proceeding into familiar simplicity. Snacked on some granola-with-chia-seeds, first time I've eaten that. Decent food, I'll have to wait and see if my beard starts including green spouts.

We stopped in Corwin, about an hour short of Xenia, and was pleasantly surprised to find that yesterday's advisor was wrong; the Corwin Peddler is still very much in business, renting bikes, selling snacks, serving lunch and British high tea. It seems like they've gone to a winter operating schedule and are closed three days a week, but this is a most excellent place to stop. Wifi, coolers of cold water outside, rest rooms, coffee, ice cream; all my needs fulfilled.

Rode into Xenia under increasingly sunny skies. When Ohio builds a trailhead, they seem to go about it in a big way:

On the main strip in Xenia we saw this mural next to Surf'N Cycle:

We passed opposite-direction to a really cool HPV (human powered vehicle) velomobile, kudos to photo-ninja S. for getting this shot on the fly:

As the trail passed along Antioch College we stopped at the Womyn's Park and met a group of local cyclists. Interested 'Burgh point of reference: Antioch College ceased operations in 2008, and Pittsburgh Board of Ed Director Mark Roosevelt resigned that position to take up new duties reopening Antioch, which enrolled 75 students in the incoming class of Fall 2012.

Departing Yellow Springs we saw this mural on the community pottery center:

We got back to Springfield pretty quickly and our vehicle was still there which is always a nice thing. Changed out of our bicycle togs for normal clothing and settled in for a four-hour drive home.

The Little Miami Trail is truly excellent. The only possible negative that's going to keep me from frequently riding it is the distance at which it's removed from Pittsburgh. Highly recommended ride.

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