Favorite Spots, Fundraising and Falls: Century Rider Spotlight on Robin Barnby

The Huntington Towpath Century Ride, June 10-11, 2017, is a fully-supported 101-mile bicycle ride on the historic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail that celebrates the trail and promotes development of the regional trail system. Now in its eighth year, the Century Ride raises more than $140,000 annually for continued development of the Towpath Trail, connector trails, and community resources throughout the National Heritage Area.

Robin Barnby is a member of Team Cascade Auto CPR in this year’s Huntington Century Ride. Heading into her third ride, Robin shares a bit about her experience, including the importance of fundraising and the event’s only broken bone in its eight-year history.

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Pat Primm and Robin Barnby during the 2015 Century Ride. Photo by Meghan Meeker.

How did you first get involved with the Century Ride?
In early 2015 a young girl in my office, who knew I had started bike riding a few years before, told me all about the ride over lunch. Ending with – You should do it! I was intrigued- I didn’t think I could/would do it. After all I was a novice bike rider – and 101 miles! I went to the website and read all about the ride, and decided to take the challenge. Next up was talking my bike riding friend, Pat Primm, into joining me. Before you knew it we were signed up and here we are getting ready to do our third ride.

Why have you decided to return as a rider in the Century Ride?
The ride is FUN! Plus once involved, you realize how vital the money raised is to preserving and improving the Towpath Trail. How can you not?

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Riders pose for a group shot before the 2016 ride begins at Settlers Landing. Photo by Gail Ebey.

What is your favorite section of the Towpath Trail to ride during the event?
Wow, that is a tough question. Without doubt the start of the ride at Settlers Landing is amazing. So much excitement and positive energy, riding through Cleveland streets in a police escorted penalton. I also delight in riding up out of the valley and seeing downtown Akron pop into view (plus lunch is only a mile or so away!). I also enjoy the straight, flat, tree-lined area around Canal Fulton, it’s beautiful and you can get into a meditative rhythm. Did I forget to mention the ride up to and stop at Dover Dam? Fantastic. Needless to say, I enjoy every inch of the trail.

What is your most memorable Century Ride experience?
Ha! Well not sure if I should say this but….. (Go for it, Robin!) Last year a young bike rider pulled in front of me, causing a fall in which I broke my arm. (not a bad break I was riding again in 3 weeks)  The SAG [Support and Gear] staff and Ohio Erie Canal staff were so wonderful – they really work hard to take care of everyone and make it a great ride for all. Needless to say memorable….. and I’m back riding this year.

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Robin Barnby, Tom Strauss and Pat Primm take a break at the Merriman Valley water stop. Photo by Tim Miller.

What advice do you have for a first-time rider?
Ride as much as you can in preparation. It’s a fabulous way to get to know the Towpath. Don’t be intimidated – you can do this!!! Raise as much money as possible, this is such a worthwhile cause, benefiting so many communities. Prepare to have an amazing ride, meeting amazing people and making amazing memories!

Are you interested in supporting Team Cascade Auto CPR or one of our more than 130 riders? Visit the Century Ride participants page to see a full list of riders and donate today.

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