Easy rider

Hand-picked cycling day trips during National Bike Month

Kristen Wicker

The Dayton region is home to more than 300 miles of bikeways—the nation’s largest paved trail network. But where to start? Five Rivers MetroParks staff share their favorite rides to get you rolling. Visit metroparks.org for maps, cycling programs and more info, including details about the National Bike to Work Day Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Friday, May 20, at RiverScape MetroPark.

Lucy Sanchez, outdoor recreation event coordinator

Park at Eastwood MetroPark and bike three miles on the Mad River Trail to Fifth Third Field to take in a Dayton Dragons game. Four times a year, MetroParks partners with the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission and the Dayton Dragons to host “Bike to the Game” events, when the first 50 people who register on the Dragons’ site and bike to the game receive complimentary lawn seats and a prize package.

The Mad River Trail near RiverScape MetroPark currently is closed to build the new Webster Street bridge. Detour to Monument Avenue. Follow #MVTrails or visit miamivalleytrails.org for up-to-date info on detours, closures and more.

Start at RiverScape MetroPark, head north on the Great Miami River Trail for one mile to Island MetroPark, and then continue another 2.5 miles to Wegerzyn MetroPark. Stop along the river to look for Great Blue Herons, skip a pebble or listen to quacking mallards. Nosh on packed al fresco delights at one of the parks, or ride to the 2nd Street Market for lunch.

Chris Landis, Germantown and Twin Creek MetroParks manager

I’ve raised my boys on bicycles. We ride the Wolf Creek Trail from Shiloh Springs Road to Brookville, hit up Golden Gate Park and the BMX track, then grab ice cream in town to sugar up for the ride back. It’s only six miles but a big adventure. We also enjoy the Mad River Trail to the Huffman Dam and the Aviation Park overlook. It’s a great destination from RiverScape.

Ride the newer Dayton-Kettering Connector from the ’burbs to the Century Bar downtown. Why ride 100 miles when you can ride to the Century? Ride around downtown and climb the hill to the overlook at Woodland Cemetery.

Randy Ryberg, outdoor recreation coordinator for cycling

Spend the day at the MetroParks Mountain Biking Area (MoMBA)! There are picnic tables and a charcoal grill. Ride a few laps on your favorite trail or hit them all. Take a break, eat, rehydrate then head back out for a few more laps. The cluster of trees near the entrance is a great place to set up a hammock and enjoy the cool breeze after a hard ride.

New this year at MoMBA are the quarter-mile Tot Track for youngsters learning to ride, the three quarter-mile Hilltop Flow beginner trail and mountain bike rentals Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon during summer.

Bernadette Whitworth, community ecology program manager

Park in Corwin, ride the Little Miami Scenic Trail south as far as you want, and on the way back hit the Little River Café in Oregonia, which is literally right on the trail. Corwin is also an easy ride to Waynesville, where you can walk around town and grab an ice cream (or if you’re like me, combine the trip with quilt supply shopping at Fabric Shack; just bring a backpack to haul back all the great stuff you find).

Start in Yellow Springs and ride the Little Miami Scenic Trail to Hartman’s Rock Garden. It’s about an eight mile ride, and the garden is 0.2 miles off the trail.

Steve Burdine, trail technician

Riding from downtown Dayton to Tipp City along the Great Miami River Trail is always a favorite for me. The ride is about 15 miles one way. I usually stop at Grounds for Pleasure for coffee and a brownie or at Sam and Ethel’s for a meal. The nice part is if you want to ride further, you can continue to Troy and eat at K’s or further to Piqua and eat at the Lighthouse Café.

From Dayton to Yellow Springs is a longer ride of about 32 miles one way. Take the Mad River Trail to Eastwood Park. From there, take the Creekside Trail to Xenia and ride the Little Miami Scenic Trail to Yellow Springs. I like to eat at the Sunrise Cafe or get coffee at The Spirited Goat Coffee House.

Both of these rides have a lot of beautiful scenery along the way and are mostly on the off-street bike path away from vehicular traffic.

Mark Allen, trail specialist

Take a bicycle brewery tour: Ride around downtown sampling craft beers or start at your favorite Dayton brewery and ride to Miamisburg to check out Lucky Star and Star City. If you are feeling adventurous, ride out to the Yellow Springs Brewery. My other favorite places to stop while riding are the Hamburger Wagon in Miamisburg and Double D’s BBQ in Corwin.

Instead of driving to a local campground, load up your bike and pedal to camp. Possum Creek MetroPark is easy to get to by bicycle, and camping is available at Englewood MetroPark near the Stillwater River Trail. Other options are Adventures on the Great Miami and John Bryan.”

For more information on trails, or to view a detailed map of the bikeways in Montgomery County, please visit metroparks.org/things-to-do/cycling.

Reach DCP freelance writer Kristen Wicker at KristenWicker@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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