Monday, July 20, 2015

Black Diamond Bicycles

11325 Jackson Dr,
The Plains, OH 45780
(740) 797-0880

Established just last year in 2014, Black Diamond Bicycles is a family-friendly one-stop-shop for cyclists of all abilities. Located in The Plains (near the city of Athens) in the Eclipse Company Town (a historic coal heritage site) and less than 5 miles from Ohio University, it is perfect for those who are riding through on the nearby Hockhocking Adena Bikeway in need of a bike tune-up, or for anyone who is looking to for bike repairs or purchases.

Riding  the fat bike!

The shop offers new and used mountain, road, and cruiser bikes for children and adults alike. You can get snacks (such as ice cream or energy bars), or any bike parts or accessories (helmets, seat covers, water bottles, cases, gloves, etc.). Best yet - Black Diamond Bicycles also has an array of bikes for rent, in case you do not feel like hauling your bike to the path, or if you don't own your own bike. It's also great to give new bikes a spin.

They have some cool and unique offerings that I had the opportunity to personally try out on a recent visit! One of the owners, Vince, let me take a ride on a "fat bike" (also known as a wide tire bike) which is basically a bicycle with over-sized tires designed as such so that you can ride in unstable and rough terrain. Notably, the fat bikes are used in snowy conditions, on winter trails and tundras. They are extremely versatile and have been becoming increasingly popular in recent years. Riding the fat bike proved to be rather easy - the wide tires made for a smooth ride!

Next, Vince let me take a ride with him on a re-purposed tandem (meaning two seats) recumbent (meaning you are in a laid back reclining position) bike that he custom-built! Riding this contraption required you to be in sync with your cycling partner. It also required a bit of concentration, because the steering was done by a crank-handle on the left side of the bike. Unlike some tandem bikes, this one is a "social tandem" because our seats were side-by-side (as shown in the photos above). It was a really fun and different experience riding on the tandem recumbent, but I was ready to hit the trail on a regular bike!

The Hockhocking Adena Bikeway is a 21-mile bike path that stretches between Nelsonville and Athens in Athens County. It is named after the first inhabitants of Southeast Ohio (the Adena Indians), and the Shawnee name for the Hocking River (Hockhocking, which means "bottleneck"). It is a "rails to trails" bikeway, because it is located on the site of the old Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad. It is a diverse trail, with both rural cornfields and urban campus streets along the way. You can see not only the aforementioned Eclipse Company Town, but other historical sites, such as the ruins of the Hocking Canal, and the burial mounds built by the Adena tribe.

We rented some hybrid road bikes and rode approximately 5 miles along the path near Black Diamond Bicycles. We were able to see some great scenery along the way, including lush forest and wide open fields. Signs were posted near on the trail leading bicyclists to Black Diamond in case they needed a tune-up or a quick repair (such as air in their tires, gear adjustments, or other fixes). Basic tune-up packages begin at $39. Rentals begin at just $12 an hour, which is quite a bargain! 

Stop in and find everything you need to hit the trails of Athens County (and all of Ohio)!

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