After another delicious breakfast (yes, I ate a cinnamon roll) at the Holiday Inn Express in Flint, we packed our rental car and drove about 4 1/2 hours south to Springfield, Ohio where we met Emily Sprague, a Warm Showers member, who had agreed to meet us at the Heritage Center and transport us with our bikes down to the southern end of the Little Miami Scenic Trail near Cincinnati.
I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Emily during our 90 minute drive. Since she teaches music to kindergarten and first graders, we had a lot in common (my younger daughter teaches first grade). Emily and her brother have biked around Lake Huron and Lake Erie and plan to bike from Washington state to Maine next summer. She was an inspiration, and we were so thankful that she was willing to shuttle us.
We started riding on the Little Miami Scenic trail about 3:15 and planned to ride about 40 miles north to Lebanon. The paved trail was primarily shade covered by beautiful hardwoods. Since there was very little sunlight, we didn’t see many wildflowers. This trail is named after the Little Miami river, which parallels the trail (although our view was obstructed by the trees and poke weeds that separated the trail from the water).
After riding about 12 miles, we decided to experiment with the GoPro video camera by connecting it to the back rack on my bike. This mount would allow me to video approaching riders and the scenery behind us. Stay tuned below for a few samples.
As road bikes whizzed past us traveling south, we concluded that we were biking slightly uphill during most of our 34 mile ride. However, the incline was gradual and we wee still able to average 10 or 11 mph.
We passed the dirt spur trail to Lebanon after 21 miles but decided to continue riding 13 more miles to Mathers Mill where the map showed a road connecting to Lebanon. At the intersection, I flagged down a man and his wife driving a pickup truck and asked if this was the road leading into town. He confirmed that it was about 6 miles, but warned us against the hills. He told us that he had a quick errand to run for the canoe rental company and would give us a lift to town if we wanted. Joyce and I decided to attempt the ride but soon realized that the hills were too much for us. Thankfully, the man and his wife returned, loaded our bikes in the back of their truck, and drove us to the Golden Lamb Hotel.
We checked into the Golden Lamb (oldest hotel in Ohio) about 7:15, stowed our bikes in the basement, and carried our luggage up three flights of stairs (no elevator) to the Samuel Clements room. Each of the rooms in the hotel are named after Presidents or notable authors, etc. who have stayed at the Golden Lamb. Since Joyce is a retired English professor, we chose to stay in the room named after the author of Mark Twain.
I hurried downstairs to explore the gift shop before it closed, and then Joyce and I ate dinner in the Black Horse Tavern. After dinner, we took a short walk around the historic town and returned to our room to work on our blog. Tomorrow, our Warm Showers new friend will transport us back to the trail where we will ride the remaining 44 miles to Springfield.
Joyce on Little Miami Trail
Martha on Little Miami Trail