2020 Huntington Towpath Century Ride


Bike and Tire Suggestions For the Century Ride

By. Tim Miller

At the March 12, rider meeting, I did a short presentation regarding the best type of bike and tires for the 2019 Huntington Towpath Century Ride.  I have summarized this presentation in the following article.

As the organizers of this event, our top priority is to do our best to assure that you have a safe and fun ride.

One of the great features of our event is the fact that it begins in central Cleveland and winds through a national park, various other local parks, the City of Akron, small villages and continues through rural farmland and woods.   Along with this variety of scenery comes a wide variety of riding surfaces. 

Beginning on public streets, our event then proceeds on to paved trail, crushed limestone, sidewalks, country roads and, in some cases, the streets of small towns.  Although the path we ride from Cleveland to Massillon is typically smooth and solid, the trail south of Massillon can be a bit more challenging particularly after rain.

In fact, in some sections of the trail in Tuscarawas County, the trail may be used as a horse trail.  Even after the trail had dried from a recent rain, it can be rough from the previous use by other cycles, hikers and horses.

So, for these reasons, we recommend that a road bike, with smooth tread, skinny tires have proven to not be appropriate for ride.   Our suggestion is to ride a hybrid/comfort bike with wider tires that feature a tread pattern that will improve traction on a wet or muddy trail.  Riders have also mentioned that some of the bridges on the Towpath Trail can be slippery when wet from dew or rain and treaded tires can help in this situation, too.

Most hybrid/comfort bikes have a front or front and rear suspension that will help ease a bumpy ride over dried ruts and foot (or hoof) prints.

Recumbent bikes are gaining in popularity and would also be good bike to use for our ride if it is equipped with proper tires, as defined above.

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