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One Helluva Ride

Old 05-18-20, 06:48 PM
  #26  
agnewton
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
It looks like 90 mile round trip. I just built up a bike with 650b wheels. I guess i could go lower on tire pressures and just make a weekend day of it. I could stop at a few stores in town, shops, etc. Or do what I did two days ago. A party store crawl (a beer at each store).
Not to go off topic on the thread, but yeah, it looks like a good weekend day-trip with maybe a packed lunch and services along the way. If you beat me to it, I'll watch for your ride report. Cheers.
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Old 07-15-20, 12:40 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by agnewton View Post
I haven't ridden it, but it looks like an interesting alternative with a super-easy cue sheet (continue straight). It wasn't on my radar, but I'm glad you brought it to my attention.

The rail-trail conservancy web page says it's "paved in town" and "crushed limestone" otherwise. After the rains this week, the crushed limestone could be a bit of a wild card depending on drainage. fred-meijer-clinton-ionia-shiawassee-trail
We just drove some of the roads out that way, and there's a lot of shiny new chipseal. I would assume not much remains of the old pitchfork markings, though they used to last a few years.
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Old 07-15-20, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
Mousemeat, will you be in town a few days early for OHR? Should someone try to organize a 50+ get-together?

I did the last Wolverine 200 ever held. I think it was in 2004. After that, the park was closed for remodeling; and even after re-opening, the Wolverine Sports Club was not able to get permits for the 12-hour event.
John, a 50+ get together would be a good idea no matter what, with masks since it's Michigan.
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Old 07-15-20, 01:02 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
ɅɅɅɅ

Finally to end this excursion down memory lane:
Back in the 1970s, early in my cycling lifestyle, I got involved with a local advocacy group, mostly political and not otherwise an active cycling organization. I think it was called the Ann Arbor Bicycle Coalition. I was interviewed on a local radio talk show on WAAM as I recall, about a bicycle rally the group was holding.

For that event, I mapped out a bike route on residential streets similar to an automobile road rally where the winner arrives closest to the predetermined time I established for a “safe” ride..

I think that back then the big push was for more sidewalk curb cuts.
The curb cuts got done. There's an organization now, Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition. The bikeway project became the Border to Border trail, www.bordertoborder.org, from the north border of Washtenaw county to the east border. There's also a south limb which goes west from Dexter into Chelsea and north from there, which town has built up some of the trails. The link will lead to maps. The overall length will be 70 miles, and about 40 is completed, says the radio blurb. Nearly all of it is a Multiple-Use Path (MUP). Some people want a more pure cycling route - can't imagine why! It's all families, strollers, tots running back and forth and dogs on long leashes, all making progress at about 1 mi/hr listening to the codgers talk. What could be better?

BUT the B2B is to be integrated with the Iron Belle trail, and I wonder if it goes to Ohio? I think the Iron Belle is expected to link up with a national bikeway network and on the eastern edge of Michigan there are only three places to go: Ontario, into the cold water of the Great Lakes, and Ohio.
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Old 07-19-20, 06:16 PM
  #30  
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Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee Ride Report...

Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
We just drove some of the roads out that way, and there's a lot of shiny new chipseal. I would assume not much remains of the old pitchfork markings, though they used to last a few years.
Yes, you are right. Lots of smooth asphalt on the path. I rode it solo (socially distanced) at the end of June. From Owosso to Lowell (RT), I logged 121 miles. I did a Main Street loop in each small town and burg on the westward journey and forgot to "Resume" the ride app after one break (for about 1-2 miles; explains the spike/ discontinuity in the ele/ grade plot below).



Path plan and profile

Google maps shows the trail's eastern terminus intersects M-21/ W. Main Street in Owosso. Close, but not quite. The right-of-way goes through to that point, but the right-of-way is not developed/ overgrown from that point to where the trail intersect N. Smith Rd. At N. Smith Rd. and the Fred Meijer Clinton-Ionia-Shiawassee (CIS) intersection, there is an Owosso Map and path to the west and to the east, there is a 20 yard section of right-of-way that has been clear cut. The clear cut section looks a lot like it could be trail parking, but there is no signage at all. So I opted to park at the independent, used-car salesman's lot near Smith Rd. and W. Main Street. The salesman was out cutting the grass and I asked permission before leaving my car there for the day. Compared to the Hydroponic Grow Shop next door, the used car lot was the less conspicuous option.


Historic Owosso Map at the start.

Multi-Use Path (MUP) Sample (Action Shot)

From Owosso west to Pewamo (~ Mile 33), the path closely parallels M-21. The right-of-way hedge row next to the path is usually 10-12 feet high and dense enough to block the view of M-21 and break the wind a bit, but doesn't provide much mid-day shade. The wind was enough to drown out any traffic noise the day I rode. The "paved in town" description of the trail surface is literally accurate. I was expecting short, quarter mile stretches leading into and out of town, but the paving appears to extend from village/ city boundary to village/ city boundary. The unpaved, crushed limestone portion appears to have a good fraction of sand mixed in it. There were some sandy lenses in the path that occasionally gave my rear tire a bit of sideways motion-- enough to lose a little momentum, but certainly manageable and maybe not even a problem at lower speeds.


Bridge over Grand River, Ionia, MI

At Pewamo, the path drops into the Grand River floodplain and follows it to the path's end in Ionia. In Ionia, the path changes names to the Fred Meijer Grand River Valley Trail and continues on toward Lowell. I didn't really notice any signage or name change, but my destination was Lowell, so I just kept going. Shade is much more plentiful along the path. The MUP stops about a mile or so short of Lowell, but continuing along Grand River Dr. until it dead ends and making a right turn to go over the bridge brought me to Lowell (mile 61). I ate my bag lunch at the Lake/ River Walk park in town, turned around, and rode back.

Overall Impressions
East of Pewamo, the countryside is decidedly agricultural, right-of-way hedge row, not withstanding. The small towns (Ovid; St. John's; Fowler) are large enough to support a cafe stop and the re-furbished railroad stations in the towns would (probably) make for interesting mid-ride attractions. At the time I rode the path, commercial activities were still limited by the pandemic and I did not explore the In-town sights. West of Pewamo, the path follows the floodplain and sees higher volumes of MUP traffic. If I lived in a town along the path, I'd probably use it often. If I wanted to plan a mid-Michigan, multi-day, cyclotourist loop, then the CIS would be an important east-west link (CIS; Grand River Trail; Flat River Valley Trail; Heartland Trail; Alma to Owosso). It's a pretty accessible century ride (lots of opportunities to bail; turn around whenever you want). Sample it in different seasons (Spring, Summer, or Fall). Frequent the local museums/ restaurants. Any day on a bike is a good day. I would ride it again, but maybe not 'til fall.

If I did ride it again, I would try to come up with a more appropriate tire. The tires were Continental Tour Rides (32-630). A commenter on Trail Link (Oct. 2019) provided a description of the trail that suggested a more rugged MUP surface-- so I swapped out the narrow road tires/ rims that I usually ride on my local MUPs. The tire width and slightly aggressive tread (a little somethin' on the tire shoulders) were fine, especially through the sandy lenses, but they were heavier touring tires (~660 g each) and that was a bit of a drag toward the end. It's certainly do-able with 28s. Maybe next time.

Have you ridden it? What were your impressions?

Thanks for reading.

Last edited by agnewton; 07-19-20 at 06:21 PM.
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