Meet Michael, a return participant in the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Towpath 50. Michael Evans is Cleveland Clinic’s Director of Government Relations and he has been riding in the Towpath 50 for the last three years. We asked Michael about his previous experiences with the Towpath 50, how he prepares for the ride, and advice for new riders.
Michael’s testimony to this event and the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail will inspire you whether you’re a first-time Towpath 50 rider, Towpath Trail enthusiast, or a return event participant.
Q: What is your favorite part of the Cleveland Clinic Akron General Towpath 50?
A: I most enjoy the camaraderie and sense of community that is felt while riding in the Towpath 50. There are so many smiling faces of participants and other folks you encounter along the way enjoying the Towpath. I am always in such a good mood during the ride, and in the days following.
Q: What is your favorite section of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail?
A: My favorite section of the ride is when we get to cross over the boardwalk of Summit Lake. It’s just so beautiful and a really unique experience riding over the lake. I also love the section much further south that goes along the canal in Canal Fulton. It’s a nice quaint town and it’s so enjoyable to ride through.
Q: How do you prepare for this ride?
A: I prepare for the Towpath 50 by first getting my bike serviced so that I ensure it’s ready to take on the 50 miles ahead. This includes getting air in the tires and making sure everything is in working order. Then, I am ready to take on some practice rides with friends in the weeks leading up to the event. I usually ride a few times in advance, 10-25 miles at a time. It’s also important to stretch and have regular strength training days to make sure my endurance is up.
Q: What advice do you have for first-year riders?
A: Remember that it’s not a race! Clear your day so you can take your time and enjoy the ride. Make a point to stop at every rest area along the way to hydrate and stock up on snacks. Use this time to socialize and relax before hitting the trail again. Soak up the moments and take in the scenery. The purpose of the event is for you to recognize the beauty that the Towpath has to offer!
The Towpath 50 is a 50-mile bicycle ride from Lock 3 in downtown Akron to Crystal Springs Trailhead in Canal Fulton, and back. Participants can fundraise at the $50, $100, or $150 level to join, and receive special swag for each level achieved. Included in registration is SAG support, water stops, and a boxed lunch at the end of your journey. All proceeds benefit the continued development, activation, and enhancement of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, connector trails, and surrounding public spaces. Register today! The deadline to register is August 6.