88bikes and bike_cle

Bike Cleveland had a little social get together last night down at the Market Garden in Ohio City.  It's not too far away from my house, but getting there by bike can put you through some sketchy areas.  So I rode.  It makes no sense to go to a bike social hour to hear about an organization that give away bikes to children in impoverished areas by car.  So I decided to give the Tradesman it test on a longish ride, so here I go:

Yep, that handsome piece of work is ready for the 17 mile commute to Cleveland's Ohio City area - a   great, historical section close to downtown.  Home of some of Northeast Ohio's microbreweries, restaurants, and the West Side Market.  So, out the door, and on to the section of the park system that I ride everyday to work, past where I turn off, a couple of more miles on the bike path, and turn right to go up a really shady hill to the main road.  I follow this road all the way into the Ohio City neighborhood.  My only regret, not stopping at Steve's Hot Dogs for a little snack.  Copy of my route: here.

I lock the bike up and go inside, people are starting to arrive, and I'm hungry, so I order some pork tacos and a beer and wait.  People start showing up, I talk to a few people, have another beer, things get too loud for me, so I go outside and take a picture of the bikes locked up outside. 

Good to see that some other people had the idea to ride to a bike event.  Back inside, another beer, and after the program being delayed for technical difficulties, Dan Austin stepped up to the microphone to talk about his organization 88bikes and how bikes are one of the only things that people have happy memories about, and how that is the way to get more people on bikes.  Here is a story from a local TV station with info on upcoming events with Dan Austin while in Cleveland for the rest of the weekend.

Time was getting short for finding a different way home, one hopefully a little safer than the one to the event.  I left soon after the talk was done, rode a little way with a guy name Chris who showed me how to get to the road I wanted to be on, and was lucky enough to do all my direction finding in the daylight/dusk.  I paused to call my wife and hopefully tell the kids goodnight, but missed by 10 minutes.  Was able to snap this pic of the sunset

before diving down into the park for the rest of my 20 mile ride home in the dark.  That route, here.

All in all, a great night, no problems, got to meet an interesting man with a great organization, and a fun ride doing it.  Look for more events in my future with Bike Cleveland.....

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