It has a been a week since I pedaled around Piqua and west central Ohio. What a terrific weekend. Last Sunday, I left my hotel room, jumped on the Piqua “linear park” aka Bike/Hike Trail. The bike trail took me through downtown to the far west side of Piqua to Spiker Road. From there I got on State Route 36 and rode to Greenville. This stretch of road was fairly level. The only bad part was where in their infinite wisdom, some engineer from the State of Ohio decided that the best way to patch the edge of the lanes and the berm was to apply chip and seal pavement. This is horrible stuff to put on a state highway and even worse for a bicycle.
As is usual with me, I missed a turn, (people I ride with are used to this), and I am glad I did. I rode into and through downtown Greenville. Talk about another community that gets downtown right! The vast majority of facades have been restored and revitalized. Remember, I was riding through at about 11:00 in the morning, so it was pretty quiet. There were terrific retail storefronts and a stunning courthouse. We just don’t build commercial or civic structures in this country with the artistry that once was. The pictures I took with my Blackberry do not do it justice at all.
Greenville is an important city to Ohio and to the states that were a part of the Northwest Territory. The Treaty of Greenville was signed in 1795 opening the Northwest Territory for settlement. It is also home to Annie Oakley. Greenville has done an outstanding job in preserving its heritage. Parting from Greenville, I headed up Route 121 to Versailles – another real eye opener.
Of course, in Ohio, we pronounce this town’s name Ver-Sales, not Ver-sigh, as do the French. However, a portion of the downtown is straight out of Versailles, France. The downtown is stunning and is deserving of everyone to visit there! I would love to go back and stay and eat at the Versailles Inn. This is a small town (pop. 2700) with a terrific industrial base. By this time, I was pretty hungry and could not find any place close to downtown so I headed to the mill silos at the east end of town and found a Subway. Subway has quickly become my cycling-restaurant-of-choice. The folks there were quite friendly and made a great turkey sandwich (turkey. provolone, avocado spread, spinach, lettuce, tomato and cucumber and chocolate milk, chips and powerade) . This added about 2 miles to my ride, and it was well worth the extra pedaling.
After a good rest, I headed up to New Bremen – another picturesque small town. On the way I came across a farm with gorgeous planting beds. I just had to take pictures as I am also an avid gardener. It’s things like this that make every ride just a little more interesting and fun.
Cycling Piqua – Part 3 is on it’s way…..