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  1. #1
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Longest ride for me tomorrow

    When I first started riding bicycles in May of this year, I was borderlne diabetic and 263 lbs. I have been riding 6-10 miles every day after work unless it rains and on my day off on Mondays, I have been taking much longer rides. My longest ride in one day was 34 miles and it was pretty tough. I am down to 231 lbs and feel great and keep pushing myself to ride longer. I live in Ashtabula County, Ohio and we have tons of covered bridges here and 4 of them within 8 miles from my home.

    One day I was on MapMyRide and was wanting to make a covered bridge route and stumbled upon an already existing route the included 7 bridges and the Western Reserve Trail which I have never ridden yet. This route is considered one of the 50 best rides is the USA and it goes right by my house! Here is a link to this epic ride and an interactive map.............

    Where We Ride: Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Loop - Century Cycles - Cleveland & Akron OH

    Tomorrow morning I will be going to take on this ride and it will be my longest ride ever! Hoping I do not bonk out! I have chosen to take my trusty and rare 1989 Reflex ALX Carbon MTB instead of my road bike on this ride since she is my favorite and most comfortable bicycle I own and the Shimano Deore XT components are reliable and the gears are better for a ride like this. I also like the larger tires and never had a flat riding this bike..................



    Wish me luck! Wifey already said to "Call me when you can't go any further and I will pick you up in the car." What a morale booster she is!
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  2. #2
    Super Moderator tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Good luck on your ride, and congratulations on your weight loss / health gains so far! Have fun!
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Ursa Minor's Avatar
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    Good Luck Johnny! I'm rooting for you.

    Charlie
    Grimly determined to have fun.

  4. #4
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    This post is from yesterday, right? If so hopefully you are on this ride right now. Let us know how it went... what you did right and what you can improve upon. Also a few pictures of the bridges and your bike (with the bridge) would be cool.
    http://www.280dude.com/
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  5. #5
    Senior Member linnefaulk's Avatar
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    Good luck!
    sharon

  6. #6
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Cool!

    How was it?
    Any picts?

  7. #7
    Member rpecot's Avatar
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    Awesome. Good luck. Wish there was some elevation change around here...
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  8. #8
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    Good luck Johnny! Be sure you take along plenty of water (2 bottles this time of the year should suffice for 50miles), a snack in case you need a energy kick to make it the last 10 miles or some cash in case you need to stop someplace to refuel. I'm way too stubborn to call for a ride unless I have a mechanical failure I can't fix on the road, but if you feel like you can't finish for one reason or another, call for the ride. You could do physical damage to your body if you overexert yourself. Lastly, it's just a bike ride - have fun!

    EDIT: I just realized this was posted yesterday, so you probably won't read this until after the ride... So, how was it?
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  9. #9
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    The ride was totally EPIC! It was the best ride of my life and I stopped at all the covered bridges and rode the trail. It was 49 miles for me because of a detour. I am getting ready to upload pics to my bucket and will post them soon! For now, here is a quick video of the Western Reserve Trail............

    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  10. #10
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    Good job! Quite an improvement since may.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cognitive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpecot View Post
    Awesome. Good luck. Wish there was some elevation change around here...
    Hills are over-rated

    I would be interested to find out the ride statistics, that is, what's your average speed for the 6-10 mile rides vs the 34. Also #stops and general terrain (shade, etc).

    Here in Carmel IN we are lucky to have the Monon trail which allows serious shade and some wind break for many miles on end. 34 miles on open road and no shade... Very admirable!

  12. #12
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    I highly recommend this ride to anyone! It would even be worth loading up the bikes and driving to NE Ohio to do this wonderful ride and making a day of it! Especially with fall coming and the beautiful colors when the leaves change. I made many, many stops and had breakfast at a diner and taking my time it was 7 hours total. I took my 25 year old super rare Reflex ALX Carbon mountain bike on this trip because of the gearing, larger tires, and superior components on this bike. This route can be done on a road bike, but there are a few dirt roads and some hill climbs.

    I left this morning at 7:00AM and it was 45 degress out! I was wearing my riding shorts and my high wicking shirt and was pretty cold for the first hour! My first stop was the South Denmark covered bridge about 7 miles from my place. Here are the early pics.............

    South Denmark Covered Bridge





    Another 3 miles or so and I stopped at the local Diner in Jefferson, Ohio for some coffee and breakfast to warm up. Surprisingly, my next door neighbor was there with his dad and he seen I rode my bike and was like "You rode your bike all the way from home?" I told him where I was headed and he was very impressed. Other people in the dinner overheard our talk and started asking questions about my bike and my riding. By time I was leaving, everyone in the diner was like "Bye! Have a safe trip!" and all waving and stuff. It was a really cool moment with the locals............



    After leaving the diner I headed for the Ashtabula Western Reserve "Rails to Trails" ride and stopped off at a steel bridge for a rest.............





    Continued...............
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  13. #13
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    I then made it to the trail head 16 miles into my journey..................

    Western Reserve Trail



















    Continued.............
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  14. #14
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Then just as I was coming up on Interstate 90 and the end of the trail, I ran into this................



    I asked one of the construction workers if there was a way around and he said Interstate construction has the trail under the highway closed and I would have to go around. so I head back to the last trail head and headed for the interstate and found the construction.............



    So I jumped on Austinburg road and headed east. Never did find the trail again, but my next destination and the rest of the ride was all covered bridges from here..........



    Here is a nice view of the Highway route 11 overpass just before the next bridge............



    The Smolen Gulf Covered Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the States and it is also the newest bridge in the county............

    Smolen Gulf Covered Bridge





    Continued...............
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  15. #15
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    The next covered bridge was on a dirt road with a pretty good hill. This was the Dewey Rd covered Bridge...................

    Dewey Road Covered Bridge









    Another dirt road and another bridge.............

    Benetka Road Covered Bridge







    The road from here is mostly paved now except a couple short jaunts to the next bridges. These next bridges are the ones all closest to my home and I visit them quite oftem on my bikes............

    Root Road Covered Bridge





    Continued......
    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  16. #16
    Hi-Tech Redneck Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    Graham Road Covered Bridge





    Caine Road Covered Bridge







    Finally home..............

    Putting the fun between my legs.......
    '89 Reflex ALX Carbon - '90 Fuji Ace - '96 Huffy Thunder Ridge

  17. #17
    Senior Member texbiker's Avatar
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    Great photos. Congratulations on a fantastic ride. Way to be creative when the construction threw a curve. Keep riding.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Great photos ! Congrats on your ride !
    - Chris

  19. #19
    Senior Member WonderMonkey's Avatar
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    Thanks for the trip report! I live in Ohio and I may come up and ride this at some point.
    http://www.280dude.com/
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