Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Seen On Ride, Not Seen Tomorrow

Seen on Ride: Door County, WI
We call it the World’s Largest Swing Set.  Appearing as a Barnum & Bailey Circus cast off, the blue monstrosity towers in a yard on the summer time trial course in Cleves, OH.  Please tell me it’s for adults, because there’s no way someone would put their kid on that thing.  On the other side of the Ohio River, there’s “The Cult,” as some call it, the historic homestead at the western terminus of Route 8 in rural Boone County, most recently home to a church group.  A little creepy and always intriguing, this past week I noticed a for sale sign on the property.  It could be as eye catching as a catfish sculpture in Door County, WI or as mundane as a rusting front end of a 50’s era car just off the trail 5 miles deep in the woods at Caesars Creek State Park, but you notice when the sculpture is turned a few degrees or the day the bumper falls away from quarter panel.  As cyclists, those ride markers hold the same sway for us on our daily rides as the picture over the mantle.  In the past few weeks in Cincinnati, we learned we’ll keep one, and sadly, lose another.

Storm Damaged Wesley Chapel in NKY
If you’ve ever raced Shababerle near Flag Spring, KY or took part in the summertime time trials on KY 10 in Northern Kentucky, you may not have noticed the intricate details of Wesley Chapel.  Standing at the top of a hill at the intersection of KY 10 and 1121, for 156 years Wesley Chapel Church has withstood war and weddings with its wrought iron arch and two entry doors (one for women, one for men).   Like the Civil War soldiers who staged there years ago, I’ve stopped to swap water bottles and tuck a vest in my rear pocket while allowing stragglers up Shababerle Hill to catch up.  Now, with it’s piano lying under a debris pile, without a roof and windows, the Chapel appears shoulderless after being damaged in the high winds and tornados that swept through the area on March 2ndAccording to a member of the Wesley Chapel Cemetery Board which owns and maintains the building and grounds, it may be too expensive to save it.   While we may never again be greeted by music through the windows on the next stop at the top of Shababerle, the 400 souls buried there always will. 

The Gapped Planks of Stonelick Covered Bridge
Where’d you ride?  Oh, we went out Roundbottom to the covered bridge route.  To Cincinnati area cyclists that route is as commonplace as a trip to see the Reds at Great American Ballpark.  Damaged a while back by what was initially thought to be  my teammate's face plant, but turned out to be an overweight truck, the 140 foot long Stonelick Covered Bridge has been closed.  For months cyclists and walkers have been ducking under the barricades on either side to get across Stonelick Creek while officials and residents struggled to find an agreeable solution between preserving the historic integrity yet allowing the 134 year old structure to handle 2012 traffic.  According to this March 18th article, the bridge will be reinforced but maintain its historic look.  While I always enjoyed walking across to spend more time on the bridge and save a trip to the dentist, as a positive note for cyclists, the wheel-eating gapped flooring will replaced as part of the project. 

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