The Biking Guide: Great Routes
KEVIN CRONIN: The Bike Cleveland board member, who occasionally heads the free Saturday morning social rides that depart from the Ohio City Bike Co-Op, shares what he sees as some of the city's most commuter-friendly streets.
Marginal Road — Pitted but scenic, this lesser-used street runs east-west along the northern edge of downtown. Riders can focus on the lake views while morning drivers clog up the Shoreway.
Euclid Avenue — This main downtown thoroughfare has a dedicated bike lane from University Circle to Cleveland State University. "It's an easy, safe, convenient way downtown if you're on the East Side," Cronin says.
St. Clair Avenue/Superior Avenue — Most downtown drivers use Chester and Carnegie to travel east-west, so Cronin says cyclists tend to use these wider streets with less traffic.
FOSTER BROWN: As a bike-tour leader, Brown has taken cyclists through Vermont and the Canadian Rockies. He now leads cyclists on Cleveland Metroparks trails in his role as a historical interpreter and naturalist. Here are a few of his favorites.
Lake to Lake Trail — One of the newer trails, this 2.4-mile ride begins at the Lake Abram Park in the Big Creek Reservation. It's a quiet trail that includes a boardwalk. "It's beautiful, a huge wetland," Brown says. "You can see waterfowl and shorebirds."
Rocky River Reservation — For sheer ease and enjoyment, nothing beats this West Side favorite, according to Brown. Start at Scenic Park and ride the 16.4-mile, all-purpose trail as it winds alongside the Rocky River.
Royalview Trail — The system's second dedicated mountain-biking trail is set to open June 17 in Mill Stream Run Reservation. The system worked with the Cleveland Area Mountain Biking Association to create this 8.5-mile, single-track trail.
JACOB VANSICKLE: Working as the living program director for Slavic Village Development reignited VanSickle's interest in biking. Now the first full-time executive director of Bike Cleveland, he points out a few of our most bike-friendly suburbs.
Lakewood — Working with residents to draft and implement a Bicycle Master Plan this year, it will install 15 new bike racks downtown this month. The city is also sponsoring a Bike to Work Day on May 18. "It encourages people to get out there on the bike," VanSickle says.
Cleveland Heights — The Heights Bicycle Coalition, formed in 2010, worked to get sharrows — symbols alerting motorists of bikers sharing the roadway — painted onto Euclid Heights Boulevard, as well as Coventry and Edgehill roads.
Mentor — A designated bikeway made up of lanes and paths connects residents of this Lake County suburb to the Civic Center, neighboring communities and Lake Erie. The initiative helped the city receive a bike-friendly community designation in 1999.
PAUL MARTIN: After switching from basketball to biking in college, Martin went on to win USA Cycling's elite national championship race in 1997 and 2007. We asked the North Royalton resident for some of his favorite Northeast Ohio road rides.
Cleveland Metroparks' Valley Parkway — Starting in Rocky River, roads go through the Rocky River and Mill Stream Run reservations into Strongsville. "This route works for beginners or people who race," Martin says. Approximately 20 miles
Riverview Road (south from Brecksville) — For a challenging road ride that's as long or short as you make it, head out of the Brecksville Reservation via Riverview Road, and you've got a more than 600-foot uphill climb to the highest point in Cuyahoga County.
Chagrin Falls to Punderson State Park — Check out lush estates from quiet roads. Ride out of Chagrin Falls on Bell Street headed east (8/10 of a mile). Then, take Hemlock Road (1.3 miles) to Music Street (7.8 miles) to Punderson State Park. Approximately 10 miles