Yesterday I spent a few quality hours on my recumbent bike touring the Ohio countryside. I wanted to ride somewhere new but I didn't feel like loading up my bike on the car rack and driving just to ride. The only problem with that is I have to ride for about an hour in any given direction just to get to roads I've never ridden.
From my driveway I headed north keeping to rural back roads I like to ride. I didn't have a route planned I just ambled along choosing my route as I went. My ride took me roughly twenty miles across my county and to the border of Huron County, about 30 miles south of Lake Erie. Most of the country is farmland and with all the rain we've had the crops are growing well.
On longer range rides I've taken to using my smartphone map to aid in navigation and it has made it easier to enjoy the ride more than flying blind trying to avoid the busier state highways. In the old days I used to make a photo-copy of a section I planned to ride from a page in the Ohio Atlas & Gazetteer. That analog map worked fine but occasionally I would ride off the paper and be back to guessing. That's not always the best method when a couple hours from home and under your own power.
I wasn't planning a big ride but the conditions were perfect with just a slight breeze from the northwest and mild temperatures in the upper 70's. I felt good and the miles kept adding up. Consulting the map I found a place I never been that would put me about 25 miles north of home.
Willard Marsh Wildlife Area is a 1,676-acre conservation area located a few miles southwest of Willard, Ohio in southern Huron County. Access to the area is by gravel roads which line the perimeter of the park. I try to avoid gravel if I can help it but the HP Velotechnik has no problem gobbling up gravel miles. These roads were in super shape so going wasn't all that bad at all. The scenery made it worth it.
From there I started the trip back to home and ended up with a satisfying 50 mile ride and new route entry for the logbook.
Bike: HP Velotechnik
Ride Time: 3:49
Distance: 51.18 miles
Average Speed: 13.3 mph
Max Speed: 27.7 mph