Outspokin’ Wheelmen ride again to benefit bike trail



CORTLAND — Debra Miglets was not reluctant to talk about her brakes during her break.

“The thing I love about my bike is the disc brakes. When I’m flying down a hill at 30 mph, I’m so thankful for the disc brakes,” she explained while taking a brief rest before resuming her long ride.

Such brakes protect the tires from premature wear-and-tear and provide better traction for stopping, especially in rainy conditions or if motor oil is on the road, she said.

Miglets also is vice president of the Out-spokin’ Wheelmen bicycle club, which hosted its 46th annual Northeast Ohio Century invitational bike ride Sunday morning, which began at the Trumbull County Fairgrounds on Everett Hull Road.

Bicyclists chose from six loop-style routes near or around Mosquito Lake. The configurations ranged from 12 to nearly 27 miles, though riders were able to use the Garrett Wonders Bike Trail, Trumbull County Greenway Bike Trail and adjoining roads, with no limitations on how far they could go or how often they could stop, noted Mary Merritt, club president.∫3

“They can ride all day if they want,” she said.

Proceeds are to benefit the Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail.

Miglets, a spinning instructor and retired accountant, joined the club in June 2018 after having developed a recent interest in cycling. Other features of her bicycle that she bought at Trailside Bicycle Co. in Boardman include an app that is a ride global positioning system, along with a battery pack that keeps her iPhone charged for up to 120 hours, she said.

After her short break, Miglets joined Merritt for what both women planned would be a 100-mile ride. An ideal weather combination of low humidity and temperatures in the mid- to high 60s greeted them and the other participants.

Also poised to complete a 100-mile trek was Sarah Brandt of Lakewood, who was accompanied by her husband, Chris, and her father, Joe Gensert of Elyria.

“My brother-in-law painted the frame,” Brandt said about the purple addition to her vintage 1978 Cannondale bicycle that also sports thin tires.

Traveling 100 miles in such a fashion is nothing new for Brandt and her husband, both of whom completed a ride of that distance in May.

“My husband found this event,” she said about Sunday’s ride. “He said, ‘I really want to do another Century this year.'”

Jack Henderson of Damascus, who became an Out-spokin Wheelmen member in 2011, has logged his share of bicycle mileage. His longest effort was an 11-day, round-trip ride between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C., which he estimated was about 750 miles.

Whether Henderson takes a vacation in Colorado, New Hampshire, Florida or elsewhere, you can bet a bike trail probably isn’t far away. He also embarks on many smaller rides through southern Mahoning County and parts of Columbiana County, said Henderson, who owns a Serotta Ottrott bicycle, the likes of which were produced by a company that’s no longer in business.

When he’s not outdoors, Henderson likely is performing virtual indoor cycling, especially in the winter, he added.

The Out-spokin’ Wheelmen, founded in 1973, has an estimated 220 members, with about 80 being active riders. The club’s other main event is its Spring in Columbiana County, Ohio (SICCO) gathering that takes place in Firestone Park in Columbiana, Merritt noted.

Members take part in numerous organized rides throughout the year, which can average 50 per month. In addition, the club sponsors hikes and cross-country skiing events in winter, said Merritt, who came with her husband, Greg, and several other friends.

Many of the events the Out-spokin Wheelmen host attract people from beyond the region. For example, Sunday’s ride included a couple from Wisconsin, she said.

“It seems we get more people each year from far and wide,” Merritt added.

For more information about the club, go to www.outspokinwheelmen.com.