Biking from Cleveland to Cincinnati

The idea of biking from Cleveland to Cincinnati has been floating around in my adventure backlog for at least ten years now. It’s a three and a half hour drive that I made many times throughout college and as you’d expect, it’s pretty boring. The bike ride on the other hand was four days of beautiful scenery, small towns, and good food.

We started our trip from edgewater park in cleveland

DAY 1: We started off Saturday morning from my brother's place in Tremont by first biking in the opposite direction for the first few miles. I insisted that we should begin our adventure with some sort of "official" starting point and Edgewater Park seemed like a good spot.

setting up camp for our first night

We had a pretty casual ride our first day and ended up stopping right after we passed through Massallon. This put our total distance for the day at just over 75 miles which wasn't bad considering how late we started. We found a nice spot near the river to set up camp just as the sun was setting. I think Aaron was a bit nervous about stealth camping...

country roads in ohio are nice

DAY 2: For most of the way down, we were able to ride on a nearly continuous network of connected trails. On the few sections we couldn't, we found ourselves on public roads that looked mostly like this. Pencil straight rollers with almost no traffic. Basically the exact opposite of Manhattan.

stopping for pizza in fredericksburg ohio

Stopping in Fredericksburg for a late afternoon lunch. One of the perks of biking all day is that eating an entire pizza by yourself doesn't seem so shameful.

getting some tacos outside of columbus

DAY 3: As we passed through the industrial periphery on our way out of Columbus, we stopped for some tacos and shade. The food was delicious, but the star of the show was the fresh cantaloupe juice. I'm not sure if I've ever actually had fresh cantaloupe juice before, but it was exactly what we needed during that afternoon heat. It was thirst quenching, light, and not too sweet.

enroute between columbus and cincinnati

About an hour after lunch we started seeing some pretty ominous looking clouds begin to form above us. With the sweltering midday heat beating through our helmets, we welcomed even the slightest chance of rain.

waiting for the rain to slow

Sure enough we were gifted some rain. Actually it ended up being a pretty substantial thunderstorm! Luckily We didn't have to ride through the rain for very long because we found a little shelter along the trail. I haven't climbed on top of a train since my train hopping days back in middle school!

nice clouds after the thunderstorm passed

Cooler temperatures and picturesque views made for perfect riding that evening.

stopping for dinner in cedarville ohio

We stopped at Mom & Dad's Dairy Bar and Grill in Cedarville for some burgers and chocolate shakes. Getting the chance to visit local diners like this is always a nice bonus with these long distance biking trips.

waking up on our last day

DAY 4: Aaron waking up dirty and confused, but feeling good. Easily my favorite picture from the trip...

packing up camp on our last day

Packing up camp for the final time.

biking through fog on our last morning

Biking through heavy fog on our last morning.

last section of trail before reaching cincinnati

It's always a little bitter sweet when you're closing in on the finish line. After three days we had just started to settle into a nice rhythm of waking up early with the sun, logging a solid day of riding, and then pitching camp right at sunset. You fall asleep quickly and get solid, uninterrupted sleep. You wake up energized and ready to do it all over again. Knowing that the cycle would soon be broken really makes you appreciate the last few miles.

fountain Square Cincinnati was the finishing point for our trip

Just a couple of dirt balls hanging out at fountain square! Because of time constraints, we had exactly four days to make this trip work. If I had to do it again (which I gladly would!) I think I would aim for five. With an extra day, you could really take your time exploring some of the small towns and meandering country roads. Although, now that I'm thinking about it, a two or three day sprint sounds just as fun too...

DayDistance (mi)Elevation (ft)