I had the pleasure to visit Dayton, Ohio this past week and weekend. Most people I spoke to before the trip did not have much to say about Dayton. However I had a lot of ulterior motives on going to Dayton. First off there is no greater place to see where cycling had its heyday. The Wright Brothers, were cyclists first and flyers second. They were there capitalizing sales during the peak of cycling in modern society. This was the time when bikes outnumbered cars and horses, that twilight where every third person in America had a bike. So Dayton has that history.
Of course it also has the collapse of that history as well. That in fact was what I was most interested in. For years I had been hearing about a visionary named Greg Brumitt, in the Five Rivers Metro Parks system that was trying to remake this struggling industrial town into a Recreational Adventure town. Complete with purpose built single track for off road cycling, paved trails, whitewater parks and climbing gyms etc. To me that was amazing and it also falls squarely into what we are trying to do in places like Crosby, MN and Duluth as well. I was stoked when I was invited to do a presentation at the Adventure Summit that they put on over the winter. They also brought in Gary Fisher to be the key note and my boss, Mike Van Abel to be part of a round table speaking about the future of off road cycling and IMBA. So that said, I was able to add two new outfits to my Gary Fisher photo collection. I think that I am up to 10 now.
In any case congrats to Dayton and the Five Rivers Metro Parks. They put on an awesome event and they are making great strides in changing their community. I was impressed and hope to come back again some day!