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Kickin’ things up with a Fresh challenge

It’s been really hot–and dry–lately. So, when planning your ride along BRaB, make note to stop and check out all the opportunities for fresh fruit and produce offered along the way, from orchards to wineries to farmer’s markets. Stop for a quick breather, do some shopping or tasting, and then hop back on the route. With this in mind, you could even shop for a dinner while on your ride.

If you don’t mind carrying along some items —we’ve seen people on the route carrying everything from bottles of wine to kayak paddles!— challenge yourself to collect the ingredients for this Harvest Vegetable Baked Casserole, courtesy of About.com (or any other great local recipe you choose), while exploring the trail. Here’s a list of ingredients you’ll need for it:

  • a rutabaga (1-1.5 lbs) 
  • 6 carrots 
  • some celery 
  • 4-6 medium sized potatoes 
  • 5 tablespoons butter 
  • 3 tablespoons flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg 
  • 1.5 cups milk 
  • 1 cup mild Cheddar cheese 
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs 

You should be able to find most, if not all, of the ingredients locally. Depending on the day that you make the trip, you might pass the Wellington Farmer’s Market at Williard Square in Wellington (Fridays, 4-7pm) or the Oberlin Farmer’s Market near the Oberlin Public Library (Saturdays, 9am–1pm). Miller’s Apple Hill, at the intersection of Milan-Elyria Road and Vermilion Road, rounds out the three that are pretty much directly on the route.

Miller’s Apple Hill
Vermilion Valley Vineyard

Four wineries are either right on the route or just a short distance off the route. You’ll be able to not only quench your thirst, but grab a bottle or two to take home with you. This dish is likely to go well with a Chardonnay or Merlot, or some other full-flavored white or medium bodied red, so keep that in mind while you’re tasting. Stop by Paper Moon Vineyards near the top of the trail, where Routes 2 and 60 intersect. Or you can try Vermilion Valley Vineyards, located at the intersection of Route 113 and Gore Orphanage Road and also just down the street from Miller’s Apple Hill. Even further south is Matus Winery, near where Route 20 and Gore Orphanage Road meet. If you’re exploring further east (such as near Fitch’s Farm Market), check out Klingshirn Winery on Webber Road in Avon Lake.

Klingshirn Winery, Avon Lake

While you take a break from riding and shopping, try some of the Chardonnays, Merlots, full flavored whites, or medium bodied reds. Don’t be afraid to ask for opinions from the vintners on what wines they would suggest for a vegetable casserole. They know their wines!

If you would rather stop and pick up items after your ride, other local growers include the Grobe Fruit Farm a little ways east of where Bechtel and Route 113 meet (9am-6pm), the Donald A. Schuster Greenhouse at the corner of Murray Ridge Road and Leo Bullock Parkway (M-F: 9am-7pm, Saturday: 9am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm), Spiegelberg Orchards at the corner of Cooper Foster Park Road and Middle Ridge Road, and Fitch’s Farm Market on Route 83, near Bob-O Link Golf Course (M-F: 9am-7pm, Saturday: 9am-5pm, Sunday: 10am-5pm).

 Many of these locations can be reached via the spur routes or the Lorain County Metro Parks bike paths. All of them are great for picking out fresh produce and local wine, and you’ll be supporting local businesses while eating healthy and cycling. Sounds like a win-win situation to me. Let us know in the comments how it works out for you!

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posted by lorain at 9:09 am

Arba and Dave bike to Seattle

Today I met up with two great guys Arba and Dave who are biking Adventure Cycling’s Northern Tier Route all the way to Seattle. They were taking a break along the Back Roads and Beaches Route and enjoying Lorain’s Lakeview Park, the beach, the Rose Garden and the Rose Cafe. You can check out their […]

posted by lorain at 5:05 pm

A Historic Holiday Weekend in Oberlin

A Historic Holiday Weekend in Oberlin

Traditions are great especially when it comes to holidays. Why not step outside the backyard cookout and start a new tradition with a ride into Oberlin, one of BRaB’s most eclectic towns. Old and new always seem to be meeting in Oberlin, especially with new graduates and alumni descending on the town making it even more of a […]

posted by lorain at 7:07 pm

3rd Annual Kayaking Symposium May 20, 2012

3rd Annual Kayaking Symposium May 20, 2012

Kayaking Symposium at Lakeview Looks like another beautiful weather weekend around BRaB! Saturday and Sunday’s forecast calls for sunshine with temps in the 80s. Perfect! The Lorain County Metro Parks will again host their annual Kayaking Symposium at Lorain’s Lakeview Park and Beach. Symposium will run from 10am–4pm. We will be there handing out our […]

posted by lorain at 1:01 pm
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