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Arts, wine and events make great fall cycling itinerary in north central Ohio

Porch at Riverdog

We’re back to our typical, beautiful October weather! The leaves are changing, the sun is shining (and promises to do so at LEAST through the weekend) and there are lots of great events for cyclists to take in. I would suggest grabbing some reservations for this weekend and plan a great cycling, arts, wine and cuisine-filled adventure around the Back Roads and Beaches Route. First off….lodging reservations.. Here are some great suggestions:

Riverdog Retreat. I took my first extensive visit to this property the other day with artists/owners T.P. Speer and Deborah Banyas. This property is spectacular! You might not want to leave the pristine, beautiful property to ride your bike! Terry and Deborah tell me they still have openings for this weekend if you act quickly. Riverdog is a hard property to describe. It has a high-end, artistic feel while still maintaining an ease and comfort that can only be found in nature. T.P. and Deborah have skillfully blended their artwork into the renovated buildings throughout the property. The entire property, wooded trails, art gallery and lodging facilities located throughout hold many, many whimsical, cheerful surprises around every corner. Their dogs are an absolute delight. Riverdog is located on Gore Orphanage Rd., right between Vermilion Valley Vineyards and Matus Winery on the west side of Lorain County. From here you can jump right onto the BRaB route. Here are a few more images from my visit:

Riverdog Gallery

Riverdog is full of little surprises around
every corner.
Rooms are spacious and have many personal
touches from the artist-owners
Down every hallway…
more whimsy and delight
Area for guests to relax

Other great options on and around the route include the Hallauer House Bed and Breakfast and The Oberlin Inn. The Oberlin Inn is right in the center of Oberlin. You can enjoy a fabulous meal there, or walk to many fine restaurants and shops steps from the hotel. The Hallauer House is a great choice for history buffs and those cycling Underground Railroad history. The owners have painstakingly developed beautiful gardens and an interior full of Civil War era history. I visited with them the other day as well and got some images from this charming property as well:

When you’re not enjoying your lodging facilities, check out the many things there are to do this weekend at our wineries, art galleries, museums, shops and restaurants:
Right now at the FAVA Gallery in Oberlin: Untangling Threads: Women Artisands in Morocco’s Rug Weaving Industry. This exhibit offers the viewer a glimpse into rural Moroccan life as it documents the life, culture and craft of female weavers. It specifically focuses on artisans from rural weaving communities in the Middle and High Atlas mountains. Anna Beeke and Alia Kate collaborated on this current exhibit. 
Untangling Threads at the FAVA Gallery, Oberlin

After you’re finished at the exhibit, stop in at FAVA’s gallery shop, Uncommon Objects, which is located just across the hall. This is the perfect place to find treasures for hard-to-please gift recipients. The shop has an assortment of paintings, prints, jewelry, pottery, glass, clothing etc. All from local artists. Walking through town, you’ll find many more of these quaint, artistic shops as well. Ginko Gallery, Inspired, Ade’s Place and Bead Paradise are just a few.

The Allen Art Museum in Oberlin is now open and better than ever, following a year and half renovation effort. The Allen (and all the other mentioned businesses) are very friendly and welcoming to cyclists! 
Don’t forget about our wineries located on the route! Several have live entertainment and events this weekend. Starting south and moving north, on the west loop of the route:
Friday: Relax and enjoy Rotuno’s BBQ dinner at 5:30 followed by entertainment with Scott Stiert at 8pm. 
Saturday: Entertainment by The Killer Kings beginning at 8pm
Friday: Enjoy wine and food with entertainment by Dann and Lilly
Saturday: Enjoy wine and food with entertainment by Ally & Co- folk, rock and country music. 
Saturday: Paper Moon Octoberfest! German food and entertainment. Bratwurst, smoked sausage with sauerkraut, cabbage and noodles, German potato salad, red beets and strudel. Dinner from 5–8pm and live music by Bob Lawitske. Check the link for more details.
Kayaking from Lakeview Beach in Lorain, OH 
The temps are supposed to be in the 80s with sunny weather around BRaB. Still time to kayak the Vermilion-Lorain water trail. If you don’t want to bring your own kayak you can rent at either West River Kayak (Vermilion River) or Great Lakes Kayaking on the Black River. 
If you also enjoy mountain biking, the Thorn Trail at Findley State Park is now in great shape! The rains have passed, the trail has dried so come on out and ride! The North Coast Mountain Bikers even blow the leaves off the trail to help you find your way!
These are only a few suggestions for a great October cycling weekend! Check out for more planning tools, calendar of events, dining options and more. You can also call 800.334.1673 for personalized assistance to help you develop a customized itinerary. See you on the route! 
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posted by lorain at 4:04 pm

It turned out to be a great day for the Inland Trail Marathon and the Red Flannel. The sun came out late morning and hung around all day! You can find lots of photos from both events at the Back Roads and Beaches Facebook page. Blog feed

posted by lorain at 8:08 pm
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