Tuesday night I took a chance on a social gathering. It may shock some, but I am incredibly nervous and shy when it comes to face to face social situations. Unless I have some type of authority, I feel lost and do not know how to properly interact with people I do not know. Part of this is my profession. When you work with some of the most intimate and often traumatic sections of a person life, your stories no longer have or seem to need a filter. I often find people looking at me with “Why did you mention that?” eyes.
At any rate. I received word about this meetup at least a month ago from Alicia over at Poise in Parma who is the head guru of OBA. I love to bike and I thought a tour of Cleveland would be fun, so I was all in!
BikeCLE is Great Lakes Tour Co and they provide tours of the Cleveland area, local parks, access to the Bike Aboard and so much more!
They provide the ability to rent a bike if needed, so no need to worry about ditching your out of town guests or friends without their own wheels. There is also pricing to take a tour using your own bike. Their fleet of cruiser are appropriate for riders of all ages and all sizes. Anne told us they specifically chose their equipment with the goal in mind to make everyone as comfortable all possible. All cruisers also come equipped with a bell and a basket.
Our group met up at 600pm at The Bike Rack in downtown.
It’s located on 4th Street, by Harry Buffalo. PSA, make sure you get there and find street parking or know your way around…or have patience. I did not have any of this trio, but I made it regardless. The Bike Rack, is amazing. It’s this little, well not little, but this corner building where commuters can store their bikes. The same as a car garage. For $5 a day or $25 for a monthly pass you have access to a safe and secure location for your ride as well as access to very clean and very well designed showers and bathrooms.
After everyone checked in we gathered around and shared which blog/twitter/social media preference we were behind and any other fun facts, then it was time for the tour!
I was insanely afraid of my bike for the first…well…the whole event. I’m used to my hybrid and my road bike, where the brakes are by my hands and my pedals go forward and backward at will. The bikes we were using involved braking by pedaling backward. Yes, eventually I somewhat got the hang of it, but I mostly used the Flintstones method of stopping. Lucky for me we barely went more than probably 5MPH.
While Anne did a fabulous job of directing us and giving tidbits along the way, I have a horrible time hearing people or understanding them when I can’t see them. It’s true. Phones terrify me and when someone walks out of the room or my line of vision I can’t keep the conversation going. So many of the stops I missed the goods.
Our first stop was Progressive Field.
I was already familiar, but it was cool to hear about it being built and how it was connected in history with The Q and things of that nature. We rode by and wave at Bob Feller, who I don’t know why there is a statue of him, but I do know a guy who would be upset if he heard me say that…
Did you notice Anne’s shirt? What could it mean? Well 700MPG is what a person gets vs what a car gets using equivalent fuel. If your car gets 25MPG for gasoline, a person eating XYZ-people-oline will get 700MPG. Impressive, right? POWER TO THE PEDALS!
Next we entered a cemetery which was supposedly haunted and heard a tale of an ancient Indian Chief. Personally, I just enjoyed the scenery and thinking of all the people buried around us. Not in a creeper morbid way, simply in respect and awe of the lives lived before my time. The stories they created, some we may never know.
The rest of the tour is when I honestly lost track of what was being said. Don’t get me wrong! That isn’t a bad thing at all. I enjoyed chatting with Sarah and Kevin and Julie and Julie and everyone else along for the ride. Some of the ladies had not been on a bike in years! How amazing for them to take the challenge and join in on the fun. We rode past various squares and significant buildings. I was able to see a really old street light, perfectly integrated into the corner of a building. If it wasn’t pointed out to me, I wouldn’t know it was there or special. Why is it special beyond being old? Because it was the first ever street light! Yep, did you know they were invented in Cleveland? I didn’t.
We also saw beautiful churches and memorials. Public Square was closed for Marine Week, so we were able to see some Service men and women too. One of the best stops was gathering together at the FREE stamp for a group picture. We grabbed another group shot when we were hanging out around the Marines. I thought about attempting the Marine pullup challenge for about .00000001seconds. Until I watched some young teen totally knock it out of the ballpark and then they tore the bar down, as it was time to go home for the day. Oh, interesting fact? Apparently the Soldiers and Sailors monument has a bathroom inside with a sculpture or picture of Abraham Lincoln and his son. Apparently it is the only piece of art work depicting the two of them together.
Don’t we all look happy? Because WE ARE! It was seriously SO MUCH FUN! Thank you Alicia for organizing, BikeCLE for the tour, The Bike Rack for use of your space and all the other social media friends of OBA (Ohio Blogging Association) for being your wonderful selves and coming out! Local people, check in the Plain Dealer on Friday in the Friday! Magazine section for a write up of the event.
One final note. BikeCLE has a charity called Love Kettle Corn.
The purchase of one bag feeds one child. Meaning, when you buy a bag, they will donate/provide for the Blessing in a Backpack program to help supply food for children who otherwise would go hungry at night and over the weekend. It’s very similar to the program we were assisting with when OBA went to The Food Bank earlier this year.
Blog Roll & Social Media Links
- Alicia from Poise in Parma
- Amanda from Clue into Cleveland
- Holly from Rust Belt Runner
- Julie from Am I There Yet
- Julie from ROJ Running
- Julie from Wearing Mascara
- Kali from Finishing Firsts
- Kasey at @KaseyCrabtree
- Nidhi from NIDHIZZLE
- Sarah from Cooker Girl and her husband Kevin
Our hosts with the most:
- BikeCLE’s website: http://www.bikecle.
- BikeCLE on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#
- BikeCLE on Facebook: https://www.
- The Cleveland Bike Rack: http://www.
- The Bike Rack on Twitter: https://twitter.com/#
Now it’s your turn. Do you attend blogger meet ups? If you don’t have them, would you consider it? Would a daily bike tour with a group be your cup of tea?