I didn't want to waste the chance to ride today as the weather forecast for the next 10 days has 8 days of rain but I had other things to do. I ran some errands, stopped at the LBS to finalize the price of the new bike and finally returned home in time to get a short ride through a local park.
I live close to the Englewood Reserve which is one of many parks in the Five Rivers MetroPark system. Many of the parks are built around dams constructed after the flood of 1913 which devastated the city of Dayton and surrounding areas. The dams are maintained by the Miami Conservancy District.
Enough of the history lesson...here's the ride. It was a little chilly but I soon warmed up as there aren't too many level areas in this park. I started from the parking lot and enjoyed a mile of downhill to the bottom of the dam. After crossing the bottom of the dam, past the lake and a short stop at a picnic shelter I was ready for the first climb out of the park. This picture is a little beyond where I stopped. It's only about 4-5% but it hits 10-15% around the curve and up to the horse stables and old Route 40.
I followed old Route 40 back to another park entrance and enjoyed 10-15% downhills back to the bottom of the dam. Across the bottom of the dam and up the switchback on the other end of the dam. This is the start of the switchback. It meanders up through the woods before turning for the last leg to the top of the dam again.
I always thought it was very considerate of them to place a bench on this climb
After climbing to the top of the dam again I headed toward an adjoining park but was met by this after descending through the woods and approaching one of the lakes. Oh well, guess it's time to turn around and climb that dam again.
The ride from this point was the slow steady climb back to the parking area. That one mile downhill I had at the beginning is now a one mile of 3-6% grades back to the car.
I often use this park early in the season as a way to get back into shape after the winter. The only level area is the ride across the bottom of the dam. It has gentle 3-6% climbs and a couple 10-15% climbs. If I'm really feeling good I ride to the park but I just wasn't up to the 22% climb required to get out of here so I drove today