Quarter Centuries starting in Winona Lake
Summer of 2013

Around Winona Lake

I've worn a rut around Winona Lake, but the prospect of fried chicken at Penguin Point on Lake street lends some motivation.

I go out Heritage Trail to Roy Street, then go either right or left around Lake John to 225 S; I think left is better (or, perhaps, I haven't done it as many times).

One can get to 400 W by jogging north on Country Club Road to 200 S, or for a few extra miles, jog south on Country Club to 300 S and get to 200 S by way of Ferguson Road. 400 W ends on Crystal Lake Road; a left turn quickly leads to Parks-Schram, which leads to the Chinworth Bridge, which is near the picnic shelter at the canoe launch.

I used to take the Chinworth Trail to Zimmer Road, but it's more interesting --and helps to pad the ride out to a full quarter-- to take 350 W from Chinworth to 200 N and 200 N to Fox Farm Road.

This route avoids the water fountain at CCAC, but you can't depend on finding the water both turned on and not fenced off, so you have to carry the extra water anyway. It also passes a farm stand at Fox Farm and 200 W where one can, in season, pick up a half dozen ears of corn.

Turn right at the roundabout and Penguin Point is right there, together with a dollar store and a gun shop.

Back through the roundabout and along Lake Street, past the greenhouses and a second-hand store to Avilla's, where, alas, one can no longer stop for an ice lolly, but the shaved-ice stand might be open. Cut through their parking lot to West Street and your choice of routes through Warsaw to Winona Lake. If you want to get to the boardwalk quickly, take Fort Wayne to Park Avenue or Cook Street.


Around Pike Lake

Did it once, found it rather dull. The Wong place was too early in the ride, and the food was too heavy. Now that Meijer is on the route, I may try it again -- but now that Husky Trail is off limits to bicycles, it would be difficult to include a stop at Martin and Menard. On the other hand, there was some rumor about Meijer selling part of its lot to Penguin Point.

I went clockwise, by way of the boardwalk, Park Avenue, and Anchorage. I think I missed the turn onto Husky Trail and came back by way of 175 E -- which I would do on purpose, now that Husky Trail has more traffic than it can handle.

Since then, a Meijer has been built at the intersection of Anchorage and Husky Trail. I stopped there once on my way to Leesburg -- which is when I discovered that Husky Trail is no longer usable. Perhaps it is better in the other direction?


Another update: a side trip to Walmart delays one just long enough to lunch at the Wong place or Panda Express. One can turn left on Anchorage and go under US 30 on Detroit, or turn right, cross 30 on Anchorage, and get to 250 N by way of Biomet Drive and Bell Drive. It's definitely better to come back by way of Bell drive, as Detroit is nastier going south.

One can also dilly-dally in Meijer until lunch time.

But no matter how you slice it, it's still only thirteen miles.

Around Center Lake

Starts same as Pike Lake: boardwalk, Park Avenue, Anchorage. One can turn left on Anchorage and get under US 30 on SR 15, or turn right, cross over 30 on Anchorage, and get to 250 N by way of Bell Drive. Return by 300 N, 200 W, and Fox Farm. Taking 350 W instead of 200 W and coming back by way of Chinworth Bridge looks good on the map, but if I recall correctly, there's a badly-kept dirt section of 300 N in the path.

I went to Walmart in Albany all the time, even though it was a much longer ride, and required me to use 155, which appeared to have shoulders and didn't, which puzzled and angered motorists who couldn't understand why I wasn't on that nice wide breakdown lane -- they couldn't see the frequent gaps or the car-spinning drop-off that made it very difficult to get around the obstacles.

This Walmart is much less appealing, perhaps because when I want something from there, it's one of the products that you have to luck into instead of shopping for. Pocket watches, for example. The last one I bought was a charm on a bracelet.

To Leesburg

Can't go again until it's cold enough to carry frozen duck for several hours. I need to find an alternative to Husky Trail, which was not fit for the most-expert cyclist when I attempted it, owing to constant traffic on a narrow road, so I backtracked on Levy Lee to Old 15. (Well, the guys who regularly do four-hour centuries might be able to blend in.) Perhaps 175E will do.

A Google Map showed Old 15 continuing all the way into Warsaw --a perfect route to Leesburg! How could I have overlooked it!-- but closer inspection showed that it was the railroad. Pout.

When I go again, I need to leave Leesburg on Prairie Street, not Main Street. The shoulder of SR 15 is loose gravel with occasional sand traps.

Returning to town on Fox Farm Road was viable.


To Pierceton

A classic ride, but too short even if I go out by way of Roy Street, and I've done the antique shops. Would be a good group ride, with lunch at one of the nice little restaurants in town. Also seems to be an inescapable way point in all rides that go east.

To Spring Creek

Ride out Pierceton road, zig south on 600E to St. Francis Cemetary, follow 350S to Hillcrest Cemetary, Ryerson Road to Old Trail, Old Trail into Larwill, take a rest at the gazebo, follow E. North Street to W. CR 100 N, get onto SR 30 at N 650 W.

The shoulders of 30 between 650W and Spring Creek are reasonably clean, and the rumble strips are non-lethal. Go down a long hill; Spring Creek is at the top of the next climb. Watch the landmarks so that you can find your way back to 650W, particularly 550W and the bridge across the Schuman Ditch.

On the way back, just for variety, hang a right when you are halfway around Hillcrest Cemetary. 700 E leads into the outskirts of Pierceton, and every left turn that isn't a driveway leads to Pierceton Road. Market Street is Pierceton Road.

To Sydney

Good ride, but in desperate need of motivation.

To Pisgah Marsh

Pleasant ride, good length, but little alternative to going and coming by Piercetion Road. Boardwalk is worth the trip, but only once. Could be combined with Denniston in one trip for extra miles.

To Denniston Resource Area

Pleasant ride, good length, but little alternative to going and coming by Piercetion Road. Main attraction is foot-paths through the woods, which we have in plenty in The Old Boys Camp.