Apparently I mentioned to Steve the other day that riding on a bike trail always seems to go slower than riding on the road. Sure enough, the 72 mile North Bend Rail Trail in West Virginia was slow and long for him. So slow and long in fact, that Steve decided to go back to his old friend, Highway 50, to finish out the trip into Parkersburg. He averaged 10.4 mph throughout the day, going over crushed limestone, dirt, and through (I think) 13 tunnels. The longest tunnel was 4/10 of a mile long. Not too long when you’re in open air, but in the middle of a tunnel that big, you can barely even see light at the ends. Cool, wet, slimy, standing water, and unseen potholes are all wonderful things to be found in the center. That doesn’t mean it’s not fun, because from riding the Elroy-Sparta trail in Wisconsin, I know it is.
The good thing about riding on a long trail like this is that you always know where you’re going to end up. As previously mentioned, the state highway system in Ohio tends to confuse. Except for Highway 50, which seems to be trucking on through without screwing too much up. In fact, on the ride Wednesday, Steve left Athens for Clarksbrug and decided to stay off of 50 for a little while. Sure enough, after I think 12 or 14 miles of riding, he made his way back to the highway and saw a sign for Athens…. 4 miles away. Oops.