By Fred Kamp
The OBS Touring Geezers are back from their 2009 Fall Tour in Xenia, OH. This is the eleventh year of Geezers Tours since Jim Foreman led the first Tour down the Mississippi from Memphis to Vicksburg.
Ohio Trails had been nominated by Cynthia Wade after a discussion with a man on her annual mission trip to Haiti. There were no other nominations. The Xenia Trails had been nominated by John Shenk several years ago, but lost out to another location. Consideration was given to incorporating trails south of Cleveland with the Xenia Trails, but time and logistic problems ruled this out.
Riding days in Xenia were Tuesday through Saturday, September 29 through October 3. Those participating were:
- Joe and Rita Baughman
- Tod Langford
- Ivory and Maxine Grayson
- Steve and Cynthia Wade
- Fred and Bonnie Kamp
- Roger Welch
Rita, Maxine, and Bonnie were non riders. Rita and Bonnie were on call for SAG support, although the requirement never materialized. They did a lot of sightseeing and traded off organizing happy hour. Maxine was the shopping scout.
There are two choices of motels in Xenia: Holiday Inn, or a bunch of cheaper ones. We chose the Regency Inn, the best of the cheaper ones. Although only three blocks from Trail access, it turned out to be pushing it to make two-star. Ivory and Maxine thought that it didn’t push hard enough and opted for the Holiday Inn.
There were no flats and no injuries. Oh, Ivory did have a minor, graceful spill when he attempted to perform the difficult Argentine Dismount at a stop sign.
Two riding groups emerged. Roger was attempting to reach some godawful annual mileage objective and opted to ride 50 – 60 mile loops. Joe, Tod, and Steve went along with this. Although Fred, at 81, had the strength and agility of a person of only 80, he opted for riding 20 mile loops, partly because of a flare up of his Ed Zachary disease. Unlike most of the others, Cynthia was still contributing to Social Security and also tending several gazillion Iris plants pending the forthcoming Iris Show. So she hadn’t had time to finish her preTour conditioning, and opted for the 20 mile loops. Ivory divided his time between the two groups.
The weather was great for four of the riding days. Mornings started out in the 45 – 55 degree range and got up to the 60 – 65 range. On Friday, the fourth day, it rained. So we chose that day to visit the National Air Force Museum at nearby Wright/Patterson AFB. This was an awesome tour. Approaching the entrance, Bonnie was utilizing her walker/transporter because of the huge size of the Museum. She attempted the difficult Argentine Dismount with no better luck than Ivory. Never-the-less, she plunged ahead, and we spent around seven hours marveling at the planes and displays. By then it had stopped raining and Roger and Tod hurried back to the motel to get in a 20 mile loop.
On Saturday the long loop guys encountered a festival and stopped to enjoy the food and music.
Five trails radiate from Xenia: South, North, Northeast, West and Southeast. We didn’t ride the Southeast trail because the entrance in to town was not complete. So we rode the other trails, one each on the riding days. The trails are fabulous, extremely well paved, and wide enough for three riders abreast. Most of the trail length is bordered by trees and bushes, serving to mitigate any wind. There is about a yard of mowed grass on each side. Hills were not high and were gradual. At street crossings, the drivers were courteous and frequently stopped, although they had the right of way. A couple of times 18 wheelers stopped for us.
Unlike the KATY Trail in Missouri, these trails don’t have a comprehensive map showing milepost numbers to compute distances, nor trailhead locations for SAG purposes. There are a multitude of map sources giving different bits of information. We used the mvrpc map (www.mvrpc.org/recTrails) as the riders’ map by copying 8-1/2 X 11 sections of this rather large map for use on the bike. After we got there, Joe got a county map from the C of C which helped for SAG purposes. It turned out that we didn’t need any SAGing. These maps don’t have Cue sheet instructions for those sections where you have to take to the road, but we didn’t get to those sections.
Although Xenia is about 800 miles away, we recommend considering this as an excellent ride.