August was another warm month and a busy one:
Despite the warm (and sometimes rainy) August, September arrived right on time – and so did the Ox Roast Bicycle Tour at the West Jefferson Ox Roast festive. Once again we had riders from all over Ohio and surrounding States with many attending the festival to enjoy that fantastic Ox Roast sandwich!
- The Rib Tickler Ride kicked things off for us during the London Rib & Jazz Fest.
- A week later, Columbus Mayor Ginther invited everyone to the Family Bike Ride along the soon-to-be-open section of The Camp Chase Trail in the Hilltop. Please note the latest updates about the trail from Friends of Camp Chase Trail member Jody Dzuranin here.
- The Bike Rodeo at the Madison County Safety Expo seemed to be popular with the 161 participates. And the free helmets to the riders were a hit as well. A big THANKS to all the volunteers and all those young future trail riders!
- The Prairie Grass Trail in Madison County was seal-coated during the month. Since August is usually one of the driest months, the scheduled project was prolonged several days due to the rain! Sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused you – you know that saying about the - best made plans . . . Enjoy that refreshed section this fall!
- And that brings us to the Full Moon Ride in August – due to that prolonged project above, it made for some interesting last minute logistics to assist riders. Thanks Gene, Dave, and others that helped to redirect riders.
If you traveled through London on the bike route the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed the new US Bike Route 50 signs. Ohio and Indiana are two of the early States that have completed their detail layout of this major route between Washington D.C. and San Francisco. We are fortunate that this central section of the Ohio to Erie Trail is part of the US Bicycle Route System and will also become part of US Bike Route 23 once final details are complete across Ohio.
The small primitive Trailside Camping area at the Prairie Grass Trailhead in London has had campers from all over Ohio, the United States, and outside the country since it opened on April 16th. Many of the campers had some interesting stories. A favorite was from James from London, U.K. He started his bike tour in Los Angles and was heading to New York. Although it was not required, James signed his name on our Guest Card and further said he was 19 years old! I'm glad he did. A young lad with that determination and drive is going places!
The Full Moon Ride for September will be this Friday, the 16th at 8 p.m. from the Prairie Grass Trailhead.
Finally, for you history buffs, the Madison County Historical Society will be sponsoring their annual Jonathon Alder Day at the museum in London this Sunday, the 18th from noon until 5 p.m. For the event, Director Nancy Dever invited members of the Ohio Wheelman organization to attend, and at least one has committed to come. During Jonathon Alder Day, all the buildings will be open with volunteers in period costumes. Various crafts will be demonstrated on the grounds. The museum is only a couple of blocks east of the signed bike route at Maple and First Streets. Food and beverages are available at the event. If you have not been to this museum in the past, you may be pleasantly surprised with what you see.
Please note that sections of the Prairie Grass Trail and the Prairie Grass Trailhead will be temporarily closed during the next few days for seal coating the asphalt (see above). This is all dependent on the weather, of course, but plans are to re-seal the trail between Midway Street on the west side of London to the Clark/Madison County line between August 15-18. This will include the parking area at the trailhead.
In addition to the trail work, another contractor will be seal coating the Senior Center parking lot next to the trailhead which may impact access to the trailhead for a few days. The planned dates for that project are August 18-21.
U.S. 42 has served as an alternative route between Botkins Road and London whenever the trail had to be closed for maintenance work in the past. Connecting roads from the trail to U.S. 42 between South Charleston and London include Botkins Rd, Neil Rd, Neil Rd East, and Roberts Mill Rd.
If your plans include parking in London during the next few days, please note there is parking available along the regular Business Street Route across London. Roberts Pass is not impacted by this seal coating project.)
The Camp Chase Trail will be celebrating another section opening with a Family Bike Ride tomorrow, Saturday August 13th. Pre-ride events start at 10 a.m. and the ride begins at 11 a.m. after a short program at the Hilltop YMCA. Free parking is available at the YMCA and surrounding lots. See the link for more details about the event. See more information about the route from the Friends of the Camp Chase Trail.
This month, the Full Moon Ride is scheduled for Thursday, August 18th at 8:30 p.m. Meet at the Prairie Grass Trailhead for a fun evening.
FMCPT, St. Patrick's School, and the London Police Department are co-sponsoring a Bike Rodeo at the annual Madison County Safety Expo – SAFETY SAFARI – on Saturday, August 27th 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Franklin Building at the Fairgrounds in London. Bring your family over for a fun and learning experience at the rodeo. And, there are also many other exhibits: a helicopter, fire trucks, emergency vehicles, police cruisers, etc. – and food!
It won't be long and Labor Day will be here! And that means the West Jefferson Ox Roast festival. Join us for the 25th Annual Ox Roast Bicycle Tour on the south side of Garrette Park at the festival in West Jefferson! Better yet, pre-register by August 20th for the discounted registration fee and take advantage of the optional unique Ox Roast Bicycle Tour t-shirt! This cool polyester t-shirt is a one-of-a-kind design (and may be a future collector item), but they can only be ready for the ride if you order online by August 20th. (Yes, if you fail to pre-order and find that you simply need one after you see it on Labor Day, you can order one for a later shipment.) So, check out this two-route bicycle tour and get a free voucher for the famous Ox Roast sandwich, all for $30 during the pre-registration online by August 20th. A free bike corral is available so you can enjoy the festival after your ride.
Mark your calendar for the annual London Ribs & Jazz Fest on Friday and Saturday, August 5th & 6th. This popular local festival is gearing up for another fun experience! FMCPT will be there with their Bakery Tent and Duck Pond. The Rib Tickler Ride will kick off from the downtown festival at 9 a.m. on Saturday. This supported tour is timed so when the riders are getting back to the festival it's just opening up for the day and the ribs are coming off the grill and the beer is cooled down! Our free Bike Corral will take care of your gear while you enjoy the music and festival. And don't forget that dessert at the Bakery Tent after those ribs settle! You can still get in at the reduced early registration here through July 30th. You can always register after the 30th online or on the day of the event for $30.
The new primitive Trailside Camping Area in London has been a hit with trail travelers this season with many positive reviews. If this might work for some of our further away readers during the Ribs & Jazz Fest, please keep it in mind. It's a first come first serve facilities with only two raised tent platforms, but there is plenty of grass area for your camping needs. It's priced right for every trail camper's pocketbook – free! (If camping just doesn't work for you, you might consider the Youth Hostel at Andrea's Bed & Breakfast.)
The weather during the last Full Moon Ride was beautiful! It had cooled after a hot afternoon, and the full moon was spectacular. After the ride to the Purple Monkey and back, a volunteer had his telescope focused on the moon for some interesting views. At times he switched to Mars and Saturn for an additional treat for viewers. The youngest rider for the event was 10 yrs. old on his first Full Moon Ride with his grandpa – they both had a delightful time. Our oldest rider was 83 and probably gets more miles in a year than most other riders there! This month, the Full Moon Ride is scheduled for Thursday, August 18th at 8:30 p.m. Meet at the Prairie Grass Trailhead for a fun evening.
FMCPT, St. Patrick's School, and the London Police Department are co-sponsoring a Bike Rodeo at the annual Madison County Safety Expo – SAFETY SAFARI – on Saturday, August 27th 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the Franklin building at the Fairgrounds in London. Bring your family over for a fun and learning experience at the rodeo. And, there are also many other exhibits: a helicopter, fire trucks, emergency vehicles, police cruisers, etc. – and food!
This Saturday is the 11th Annual Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride in memory of local educator, Park Director, and trail enthusiast Jack McDowell. This is a great opportunity to learn more about native wildflowers and prairie grasses. Dr. John Silvius, Professor Emeritus of Biology, and other instructors will be conducting a start & stop learning experience along the Prairie Grass Trail on Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. Learn about monarch butterflies, historic prairie remnants, invasive species, and much more. This is a free community service ride and will meet at the Prairie Grass Trailhead 280 West High St., London.
The next Full Moon Ride will be on Tuesday July 19th at 8:30 p.m. The Prairie Grass Trail normally closes at sundown, but the Park District Commissioners give this monthly opportunity for you to experience the sights, smells, and sounds along the trail during the evening and night on this informal ride. A nice bonus is when we have a clear full-moon to enhance the experience. Be sure to bring your headlight and taillight to this event. Often, one of our trail volunteers will have a telescope set up when you return for an interesting view of the moon or neighboring planets. We hope you can take advantage of this free fun night.
The London Ribs and Jazz Fest will soon be here and the annual Rib Tickler Ride will start the second day of the festival celebration (a little early) on Saturday, August 6th at 9 a.m. Enjoy a 35-mile ride through mostly flat to slightly rolling hills in the rural countryside. Two rest stops with refreshments are included in the $25 early registration fee. When you return to the festival, the ribs will be ready and the beer will be cold! Our Bakery Tent will have a selection of deserts ready for you after those tasty ribs! FMCPT will staff a Bike Corral for your iron (or whatever) pony so you can enjoy the festival. Bring a friend and double the fun!
Volunteers are the life blood of our organization. We are always in need of volunteers during our various events and trail maintenance projects. If you would like to find out more about volunteering opportunities, please email us at email@example.com or call 614-205-6754. You are invited to the monthly members meeting on the third Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center (thru the east side doors).
We hope all of you had an enjoyable Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The 13th Annual Strawberry Festival Bicycle Tour will soon be here. There are four route lengths available from which to choose. All routes are marked, maps are available, snacks and beverages are included, SAGs are available and monitor the routes. Each route includes some trail riding and three routes also take scenic rural roads. Early registration at the reduced rate of $25 is available until Saturday June 4th. After that, the regular registration fee of $30 applies. Click the link above for more details, to register online, or to download and print a registration form.
We encourage you to return again on June 23-25 for the London Strawberry Festival. A complete schedule of activities is on their website including the popular Cobra Car Show.
The Full Moon Ride in June will be on Monday the 20th. If you haven't tried this free, informal ride, give yourself a treat – click the above link for more information.
If you have an interest in rare native wildflowers and prairie grasses, put the Prairie Appreciation Bike Ride on your calendar for July 16th. Dr. John Silvius, Professor Emeritus of Biology, and other instructors will be conducting a start & stop learning experience along the Prairie Grass Trail on Saturday morning starting at 8 a.m. Learn about monarch butterflies, historic prairie remnants, invasive species, and more. Take advantage of this free educational opportunity. See the above link for more details.
Have you tried bicycle camping yet? Be our guests at the first-come, first-serve primitive London Trailside Camping at the Prairie Grass Trailhead in London. Restroom, drinking fountain, shelter house with picnic tables & electricity, and just a short ride to all of London's restaurants and amenities.
Our campsites are already a hit! Ten riders from the Adventure Cycling Association Underground Railroad Bicycle Tour (from Alabama to Canada) stayed at the camping area and trailhead on Thursday, May 19. Click here to view our Facebook post with photos.
This May is the 60th anniversary of the establishment of National Bike Month which is sponsored by the League of American Bicyclists. National Bike to Work week will be May 16-20 and Bike to Work Day will be May 20th. To help celebrate National Bike Month, here is a short summary of rides taking place in, or through, the Madison County area this summer:
Our Full Moon Rides take place each month through the month of October. This is a no cost, informal, go at your own pace, nighttime experience. It's a fun time but bring your front and rear lights.
Strawberry Festival Bike Tour - Saturday, June 11, 2016. This is the 13th year of this multi-route ride. (The actual London Strawberry Festival will be June 23-25 in the downtown historical district and will feature the famous London Cobra Show on Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)
Prairie Grass Trail Ride (Prairie Appreciation Ride) - Saturday, July 16, 2016. This is a short stop & go educational ride featuring short lectures by experts in native wild plants with time for questions and answers. A great opportunity to learn about some of the rare native plants along the Prairie Grass Trail.
Rib Tickler Ride - Saturday, August 6, 2016. This fun ride starts from the festival area in downtown London and goes to Brighton (no, not England!) You'll get back to the London Rib & Jazz Festival just about the time the ribs are ready and the beer has been cooled! And don't forget that pastry desert at the FMCPT sponsored Bakery Tent.
Trails Across Ohio Tour (South) - Ohio to Erie Trail - August 27 - September 2, 2016. This is a premium ride along the Ohio to Erie Trail by Buckeye Country Roads. If you prefer to go first class, this is your opportunity! Please see their link above for additional information.
Ox Roast Bicycle Tour - Monday, September 5, 2016. This is the 25th year of this popular West Jefferson ride. It has gone through various changes over the years and is now sponsored by FMCPT in cooperation with the West Jefferson Community Association during the West Jefferson Ox Roast. Join us on Labor Day and your ride ticket will get you one of those famous Ox Roast sandwiches!
Ohio to Erie Trail Ride - September 10-15, 2016. This is the 3rd annual ride sponsored by the Ohio to Erie Trail Fund. This popular supported ride may be sold out by the time of this mailing but check on the above links for additional information. If you are interested in a guided tour of the entire 330-mile trail, these are the pros to show you the way!
Here's a reminder that it is time for the annual re-enroll in the Kroger Community Rewards program, or an opportunity to enroll if you have not in the past. It is required to re-enroll by the end of April each year to continue contributing to your organization of choice. This will be for the period from May 1st 2016 to April 30th 2017.
Most of you should have recently received a mailer with registration forms for each of our rides for this year. There is also a cover letter with a "fridge poster" of our events dates on the back. If you have not received it yet, it should be coming very soon. The same information is available on our website Events tab. Please look over the information and sign up at your earliest convenience.
Just a note about the recent Full Moon Ride on Friday evening. Despite the less than perfect weather, we still had 11 riders take advantage of the spooky dark night!
If you read the newspaper articles below, you will read about our first camper at the new trail-side primitive camping area at the Prairie Grass Trailhead in London. The FMCPT website has a new London Trailside Camping page with more information about the facility. Stay tuned as new developments are made.
FMCPT would like to thank the following London businesses that helped during the recent RTT Opening Day for Trails celebration with products for the "sidewalk café" in front of the London Coffee Peddler:
London Florist Greenhouses & Garden Center LLC
And, if you haven't been in Piccadillies of London in the last couple of weeks, check out their cool bike in the display window and all the new bicycle related home decorations! A great assortment of items for that special "bicycle" person in your life.
Fine Design & Interiors Ltd coffee and fudge shop
FireFly Sweet Shoppe
Phat Daddy's Pizza
Please support all the downtown London businesses that have the "Welcome cyclists" sign in their display window. Even just simply stopping in and say "Hello" and thanking them for caring!
The weather prediction is looking great for this Saturday! So, get that bike ready (or put those walking shoes on) for a fun day during the annual National Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Opening Day for Trails. Click here to see what's going on around Ohio. We encourage you to stop in at the London Coffee Peddler, Haydocy Airstream and RV, or Xenia Station from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Trail Sentinels will be stationed on the East and West sides of London to help riders across town and to the coffee shop on South Main Street. A "sidewalk cafe" will be set up in front of the coffee shop. Tablecloths, candles, (and even candy samples for early visitors) will greet riders that are ready for a break. So come check this out! Also, watch for the Welcome cyclist signs in business windows in downtown London where discounts are being offered to cyclist's that day.
Another big event is on Saturday, it's the opening of the trail-side primitive camping area at the Prairie Grass Trailhead. Although more work will be done to the camping area during the next few weeks, two raised wooden tent decks are installed. As noted in an earlier update, there is a restroom, water, electricity, shelter-house, and picnic tables available at the trailhead (no shower). Camping will be on a first come first service bases. There is a large map and London Cyclist Guides in the shelter-house where you can find the location of local restaurants and amenities in London. In a few days, check out the FMCPT webpage under "The Trails" tab to look for the "London Trailside Camping" tab to see various photos and articles about the camping area. So, while you are in London on Saturday, please check out this camping area.
Friday, April 22 is the next Full Moon Ride. Join us at the Prairie Grass Trail in London at 7:30 p.m. - the weather has to be better than last month when three determined cyclists rode into the headwinds! (They really enjoyed the Purple Monkey when they got there!)
Please pass the word that a small primitive trail-side camping area is being prepared at the Prairie Grass Trailhead in London. There is a restroom, water, electricity, shelter-house, and picnic tables available at the trailhead (no shower). Plans are to have two wooden tent decks and on-grounds tents sites available. This limited facility is not intended to fund-raise, but as a service for long-distance trail users. Camping will be on a first come first service bases with donations accepted, but not required. We encourage campers to take advantage of the large map and London Cyclist Guide in the shelter-house for the location of local restaurants and amenities. The facility is expected to be opened on April 16th in celebration of the RTC Opening Day For Trails.
Come help us cheer on a very special person on Saturday April 2nd. A long-distance runner will be running non-stop from Columbus to Xenia on the Ohio to Erie Trail! This is a training exercise for Sunshine's goal to run the 153-mile Spartathlon from Athens to Sparta in Greece. Her only request is that you come out and help cheer her on to encourage her to press on. She plans to start at the beginning of the paved section of the trail on West Sullivant Avenue at 7 a.m.. Then arrive at the Battelle Darby Creek Parking Lot at 8:17 a.m., and London around 10:30 a.m. She will follow the signed business street route across London. Shops plan to be open and ready to welcome folks coming in to cheer. Please consider getting a bite to eat and check out the stores while you're here. Since Sunshine is planning to run non-stop, she will have a police escort across London so it will be easy to see where she is at. She plans to reach South Charleston around 12:27 p.m., Cedarville approximately at 2:13 p.m., and Xenia about 3:55 p.m. This is rare to find long-distance runners on this section of the trail so we are delighted to have Sunshine pass through and wish her the best of luck! Please come join us and bring your family and friends.
As we noted above, Saturday April 16th is the National RTC Opening Day For Trails. Celebrations are located all over the United States. A few groups will be celebrating along the Ohio to Erie Trail on the 50-mile sections from Columbus (Haydocy Airstream and RV) to Xenia Station from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.. The London Coffee Peddler will be the sponsor location in Madison County. Trail Sentinels will be stationed on the East and West sides of London to help riders across town and to the coffee shop on South Main Street. Watch for the Welcome cyclist signs in business windows and stop in for cyclist's discounts that day.
April 22 is the next Full Moon Ride. Join us at the Prairie Grass Trail in London at 7:30 p.m. for a fun go-at-your-own-pace ride!
The 11th Annual Pancake & Sausage Breakfast is almost here! Mark your calendar for this Saturday, February 13th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center. Bring the kids, grand kids, friends, and neighbors for this all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast fundraiser with a Silent Auction and bicycle raffle. Two "like new" European style Gazelle urban bikes will be for sale. This is a great way to start your Saturday morning as you prepare for the Valentine's Day and Presidents Day holiday weekend.
(If you have any last minutes items for the Silent Auction please contact Gene Pass or email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange pick up or drop off. Or just bring them to the Senior Center after 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon or early on Saturday.)
We hope you enjoyed the recent holiday season. You probably received your annual notice to renew your FMCPT Membership. If you have done so already, thank you very much. Your donation helps FMCPT volunteers to keep the trail maintained. If you have not renewed your membership, please click here.
The 2016 Annual Membership Meeting will be Wednesday, January 20th at 7 p.m. at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center at 280 W. High Street in London. The guest speaker will be Eric Oberg, Manager of Trail Development for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy Midwest Regional Office. Also, Lisa Daris, newly appointed Executive Coordinator for The Ohio to Erie Trail Fund will be on hand to meet everyone. Madison County Commissioner, David Dhume will present Trail Sentinels with certificates of appreciation for their many volunteer hours of monitoring the trail for safe usage. Light refreshments will be available, so treat yourself to an interesting evening and come over to the special meeting. (Please enter through the east side doors by the large parking lot – they open right into the meeting room.)
The 11th Annual Pancake & Sausage Breakfast will be on Saturday, February 13th from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Madison County Senior Citizens Center. In addition to all-you-can-eat pancakes, this fundraiser will have a Silent Auction and a bicycle raffle. Stop in for a fun morning that will surely warm you up! (Please contact Gene Pass or email email@example.com to arrange pick up or drop off for silent auction items.)
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