The View From Here

musings by John The Irishman

Archive for the ‘CLE’ Category

Gone Bikin’

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Well, it finally kicked in.  For some, Summer means Softball, Volleyball, Any-ball.  For me, it means biking !  To some degree I cycle year-round, but for obvious reasons I’m more prolific now that the “better weather” has arrived.  I play Basketball and used to engage in other sports, but free-time is tight – somehow biking always wins out.  Not only is it an excellent, non-impact (usually) activity, it also forces you to focus and clears your head. 

I have a Raleigh M30 for the trails and a GT Vantara for the road.  I usually hit the Rocky River Reservation, which is part of the CLE Metroparks and has an excellent network or trails – a lot of which are usually blocked with logs and debris – very challenging.  There are also creek beds, large rocks, drop-offs and hills – anything you need to really challenge you and give you a good workout.  I also do some “technical work” on the car-sized boulders at Edgewater Park on Loch Eire.  It’s mostly low-speed balance work, but I’ve really never seen anyone else do it – that should probably tell me something !

I also love urban biking in Downtown CLE – in fact, I’m going today !  DT is large enough and has enough going on that you don’t get bored, yet small enough that you can see & do what you want in just a few hours of riding.  It’s remarkably challenging in it’s own right as there are taxis, buses, peds, curbs, stairs, wheelchair ramps, construction sites and other architectural and infrastructure “obstacles” including Security Guards and CLE’s finest that try to enforce ordinances. Whitey always be oppressin’ me !

When I trail or urban ride on the M30 it’s normally 15 to 20 miles worth, but usually very punishing.  I average around 30 miles on the GT, which is a Hybrid I converted to a road bike with the help of those fine folks at Century Cycles.  The road rides are a lot less gruelling than the trail rides, but I do ride both bikes DT depending on the type of ride I crave.  Sometimes I need to tear up the trails or the concrete jungle, other times I’m just cruising the Loch Eire shore on a gorgeous Summer day, seeing how the “old money” lives and watching people enjoy our resources.  Whatever I end up doing, now you “know how I roll”…

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Written by johntheirishman

Friday, 13 July, 2007 @ 7:21 at 7:21

Posted in CLE, Gears

It Happens On The Hill !

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Murray Hill, that is.  Even more accurate, it happens at Mayfield & Murray Hill – Cleveland’s Little Italy !  Little Italy has been around since the 1800s, and was founded by Italian immigrants.  The Italian portion of the population has dropped to roughly half of it’s former glory, but there is no mistaking where you are.  The “Trendy & Cool”, along with artists and students from nearby Case Western Reserve University make up the balance.  Also close by is Lakeview Cemetery, permanent home to President James Garfield, John D. Rockefeller and many other titans of the Industrial Revolution.

Little Italy is one of the best places for people watching in Cleveland.  It’s long been a romantic date destination, or a place just to stroll the the shops and galleries that pepper the landscape.  I have been going there for many years and try to take friends and family there since it’s such a unique place.  Cleveland’s full of unique areas and things to see & do, but this is definitely Top 5 material – maybe even Top 3 !

Slim had a hankering for some good Italian, so I said let’s go to The Hill.  I had already spent a good part of the day biking to Downtown from 44107 on my road bike, and was a bit hungry myself.  I had only done 20 miles, but I hadn’t ridden in a while, so it was a good “break in” ride – break in my butt is more like it.  I prefer around a 30-mile ride on average, so this was nice.  I ride, talk to tourists, check for new restaurants, see who closed, and just enjoy the architecture & the scene.  The Cleveland Grand Prix was going on too – I can hear the cars practicing as I type this !

Sorry for the interuption – back to Little Italy.  We ate on the sidewalk at our favorite place, Trattoria – perfect for watching the T&C, well dressed Clevelanders enjoying themselves.  Since it was earlier, we also got to see the buzz of activities : restaurant help getting breads and desserts from Presti’s Bakery & Corbo’s Dolceria (Corbo’s made our Cassata Wedding cake), bussers & wait-staff bringing out fresh linens, the bevy of nice looking, black-clad hostesses enjoying a coffee and a final smoke before the dinner rush.  With more than a dozen restaurants near by, it was quite the scene.  And since I was with Lisa in one of our favorite places (we may move there one day), it was quite the day… 

Written by johntheirishman

Sunday, 24 June, 2007 @ 7:48 at 7:48

Posted in CLE, Randoms