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Catrin
03-22-2010, 09:00 AM
I am not from Indiana, though I live here now. Am going to take a weeks vacation in either late April or early May and go play on my bikes for the week. I am thinking that, weather-wise, early May would probably be better than April - but am curious to hear what those who have lived here longer think. I am planning on heading to rail trails in Ohio, Central Indiana, and of course some good old back country roads.

I don't think I will be ready for actual touring by then, but next year that will be a definite option!

Trek-chick
03-22-2010, 09:35 AM
Living in MI for at least 25 years, I would say it's hard to tell what the weather will do. I would maybe wait until May and whenever you decide to go....be prepared for rain and/or cold temps. There is a saying for around these parts...."if you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes---it will change".

For example....I got married last year at the end of August on Mackinac Island (near the U.P.) on a Saturday...Friday was 75* and sunny, Sat (the big day) was 52* with rain at my outdoor wedding :eek: and Sunday was 80* and sunny....go figure. The weather here is finickey. Be prepared for anything is my advice.

Bike Chick
03-22-2010, 02:47 PM
Catrin,

The Harmony Hundred is a great weekend ride in Indiana. It's in New Harmony and is 50 miles each day. The food is great, it's well organized and takes you through some really pretty country. I've done it twice and would definitely go again. http://www.harmoniehundred.net/

You might also check out Brown County, Indiana, as well. I believe there are 3 different rides in that area referred to as TRIRI (Touring Ride in Rural Indiana). http://www.triri.org/

And then for later in the year, there's always the Hilly Hundred! http://www.hillyhundred.org/

There's a lot of pretty country in Indiana and a lot of good cycling!

indysteel
03-22-2010, 03:11 PM
Catrin, the weather during that time of year in Indiana is a crap shoot. You don't see a marked and consistent improvement until the last week or two in May, and even then, it can be cool and rainy. Best to prepare and dress for the worst. If you want dry, warm weather, early September is your best bet.

OakLeaf
03-22-2010, 03:48 PM
TOSRV, which runs from Columbus to Portsmouth, Ohio, and back, every Mother's Day weekend, can have any kind of weather. 45 and rain, 85 and blazing sun (sometimes on the same weekend - BTDT). It's snowed at least once. You just don't know.

I'm not sure why the heck I signed up to run the Cleveland Marathon on May 16th. :rolleyes: I think I'll bring my entire wardrobe, just in case.

Bike Chick
03-22-2010, 05:04 PM
Just realized I missed the original question. My apologies. I am a bit further south than you but it can be a crap shoot here as well. In late April, early May you might start the day in a light jacket and shorts or you might start in tights, a balaclava and heavy jacket and either way you could be stripped down to a sleeveless jersey and shorts by noon. You would need to be prepared for anything and be able to pack it with you as you take it off.

withm
03-22-2010, 06:12 PM
It sounds like you are doing this trip by yourself. As a brand new rider, there may be a lot that you have not considered. If that is the case, I'd be sure to have spare tubes for each bike (you do need 2 different sizes, right?), the ability to change the tire/tube, tools and wrenches to make adjustments and perform other fixes to each bike. Lights might be a good idea if you encounter a problem that you can't fix and get caught out after dark.

Carry a cell phone, but if you are on rail trails or farther removed from "civilization" be prepared for no signals. And then again, have a plan as to just who you are going to call if you need help. Do you have friends in the area you plan to visit? Broken chain anyone? Broken pedal? Broken leg? Even if you are only doing 5-10 miles rides, stuff happens, and you may be far enough off the beaten path that help is not readily available.

I applaud your enthusiasm but am concerned that being so new to all of this you could leave yorrself open to some unforseen difficulties. We can't plan for every contingency but it does help to have some plans in mind in case stuff happens.

Kathi
03-22-2010, 06:43 PM
Are you locked into late April or early May? As others have said the weather can be a crapshoot.

You could base yourself out of Xenia, Oh. It's the center of the bike trails and if the weather gets nasty you have a quick return.

A not to miss ride on Memorial Day is the Horsey Hundred in Georgetown Ky.

And when you're ready for a tour TRIRI is a good one. I've done it by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

As others have said be sure to have appropriate rain gear with you. Sometimes the weather can be really gray and nasty looking but not a drop of rain falls.

Catrin
03-23-2010, 02:03 AM
Thanks for all of the good ideas and advice! I always take a spring and late summer/early fall vacation, so I have lots of options. For my spring bike vacation this year I won't go too far afield since I am so new - though I do want to visit the rail trail system centered in Yellow Springs/Xenia Ohio. I have visited there and it looks like a great place. I figure a couple of days in that area, and then spending the rest of it locally exploring country roads :)

My bike's engine isn't ready for Brown County yet - though hopefully that will have changed by September. I went hiking this weekend at Brown County State Park and found myself looking at the hills and ridge inside the park rather differently than in the past :p When I can cycle through the Park - then I will know that I can take my bike home to East Tennessee :rolleyes:

indysteel
03-23-2010, 05:51 AM
Thanks for all of the good ideas and advice! I always take a spring and late summer/early fall vacation, so I have lots of options. For my spring bike vacation this year I won't go too far afield since I am so new - though I do want to visit the rail trail system centered in Yellow Springs/Xenia Ohio. I have visited there and it looks like a great place. I figure a couple of days in that area, and then spending the rest of it locally exploring country roads :)

My bike's engine isn't ready for Brown County yet - though hopefully that will have changed by September. I went hiking this weekend at Brown County State Park and found myself looking at the hills and ridge inside the park rather differently than in the past :p When I can cycle through the Park - then I will know that I can take my bike home to East Tennessee :rolleyes:

I'm pretty sure that CIBA offers a "grand touring" ride in Xenia every year. Grand touring rides are a bit different from the regular weekend rides. The routes are not marked or SAGed. You more or less follow the ride leader (who goes at a casual social pace) or the provided map. They stop at local places to food and drink. They're fun, although like I said earlier, I prefer to ride at my own pace, so when my husband and I do them, we usually just follow the map and meet up with the group at the planned stops. There's one in Madison that we'd like to do this year. There several out of Columbus that are some of our favorite rides of the year.

Granted, it depends on the road, but having ridden in both Eastern Tennessee and Brown County SP, I have to say that the Park is far harder. I prefer long sustained climbs to the steep stuff down in Brown County.

Kathi
03-23-2010, 05:37 PM
Do not ride the main entrance road (dual covered bridges) in the park to the lodge. It is narrow, windy, lots of traffic on the uphill. TRIRI organizers shuttle riders up to the lodge for meals. Downhill is probably ok? The recommended route is the Horse Camp entrance.

If you can ride the hills outside the park you probably don't need to ride in the park. More traffic and not as challenging.

indysteel
03-23-2010, 06:02 PM
Do not ride the main entrance road (dual covered bridges) in the park to the lodge. It is narrow, windy, lots of traffic on the uphill. TRIRI organizers shuttle riders up to the lodge for meals. Downhill is probably ok? The recommended route is the Horse Camp entrance.

If you can ride the hills outside the park you probably don't need to ride in the park. More traffic and not as challenging.

There are challenging hills both inside and outside the park. Granted, you can avoid the worst of them if you know your way around, but well, the hills are part of the preverse "fun" of riding in Brown County. I've let out primal screams on some of those hills, but what a sense of accomplishment when you reach the top!

Serotta Jim
03-24-2010, 04:31 PM
Are you locked into late April or early May? As others have said the weather can be a crapshoot.

You could base yourself out of Xenia, Oh. It's the center of the bike trails and if the weather gets nasty you have a quick return.

A not to miss ride on Memorial Day is the Horsey Hundred in Georgetown Ky.

And when you're ready for a tour TRIRI is a good one. I've done it by myself and enjoyed every minute of it.

As others have said be sure to have appropriate rain gear with you. Sometimes the weather can be really gray and nasty looking but not a drop of rain falls.

Great advice! The Little Miami trail is a great way to get around. Lots of other good routes cross the trail at a lot of locations. Also check out Waynesville & Lebanon.