'Healthy Earth' ride recap

 Riding the Lane Ave bridge on a beautiful day. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Riding the Lane Ave bridge on a beautiful day. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Thanks to ride leader Rahel Babb for a fantastic experience and this write-up!

For April’s Year of Yay ride, we celebrated a Healthy Earth by joining our friends at FLOW (Friends of Lower Olentangy Watershed) to plant trees along the banks of the Olentangy River at the OSU Fawcett Center! It was a beautiful day spring day and everyone was excited to get on the road. For some, this was their first big ride of the year.

 Ride leader Rahel Babb (in green) greets people as they arrive to Whole Foods Market. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Ride leader Rahel Babb (in green) greets people as they arrive to Whole Foods Market. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Because the FLOW event had already started by the time we departed, we took the most direct route to get there, which meant tackling 5 miles on Morse Road. Some riders were a little nervous about this part of the route, but our experienced leads and sweeps were there to make sure everyone felt comfortable and confident with the ride. 

 A long ride down Morse Road is better with friends. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

A long ride down Morse Road is better with friends. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

We made it to the Fawcett Center ready to work. FLOW provided all of the tools: gloves, shovels, clippers, etc. Not realizing this, one of the riders brought his own shovel!

 An extra shovel is never a bad thing! Photo credit: Rahel Babb

An extra shovel is never a bad thing! Photo credit: Rahel Babb

FLOW had a goal to plant 2,100 trees along an Olentangy River floodplain, and we were excited to help them meet that goal. However, because of a large volunteer turnout, by the time we got there, most of the trees had been planted. Instead of planting trees, we were tasked with removing honeysuckle (a very invasive shrub). Armed with saws and clippers, the group was led to an area overrun with the invasive plant. After a brief instruction on what to cut, the group got to work! It wasn’t long after we got going that a FLOW volunteer showed up with a bucket of tree saplings that had been overlooked, so some of us got to plant trees, too.

 The crew clears invasive plants. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

The crew clears invasive plants. Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

 ...a LOT of invasive plants! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

...a LOT of invasive plants! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

 Snip, snip! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Snip, snip! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

 Not to be messed with! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Not to be messed with! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Unlike the ride to the site, our route back was much more leisurely and laid back. We meandered our way through North Linden over to Stelzer Road. After the ride, some of us gathered around the fire at Whole Foods and continued to enjoy each other’s company and the beautiful day. 

 Mmmm...post-ride beverage, fire, friends! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Mmmm...post-ride beverage, fire, friends! Photo credit: Keith 'Lugs' Mayton

Thanks to everyone who rode with us this month! For more information on our ride partner and invasive species, check out Friends of Lower Olentangy Watershed (FLOW) and Ohio Invasive Plants. Cheers!