Since Larry Bell is 6 foot 6 and 245 pounds, it comes as no surprise that he can muster the strength to bike the 150-mile, two-day Pedal to the Point ride between Cuyahoga County and Sandusky, which starts on Saturday. But jaws drop when people see what Bell's pulling: an air-conditioned carriage containing a dog.
That's Judge, a 13-year-old greyhound, whose 62-pound frame weighs more than the buggy itself. "He loves the ride," says Bell, who's chauffeured Judge on the lakeshore route for four of the last six years.
This weekend, Bell and 2,000 other bicyclists will make the two-day trek to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Society. They'll camp out at Sandusky High School and eat breakfast before heading back. And it's a given that Bell will pamper his canine companion with a smooth ride there and back. "Greyhounds don't bark," says Bell. "They're not mean. And they're the world's worst watchdog. But he has a very, very important job when he's riding with me, and that's to make people smile." Biking starts at 7 a.m. Saturday and ends at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds, 164 Eastland Road in Berea. Registration fee is $50; call 800-667-7131. -- Cris Glaser
Bikers hit the gravel trail.
After four years of pedaling the Lake Metroparks trails, Bill Plessinger has figured out why his free Introductory Mountain Bike Ride is so popular. "We try to counter the image that people who ride mountain bikes are all young males who drink Mountain Dew," says Plessinger, the park system's recreation specialist. "It's not just for one exclusive group." From grade-schoolers to retirees, riders can take a spin on either a beginner-friendly gravel trail or a more challenging path. "There's flat terrain. There are hills. There's mud, and there are creeks to go through," says Plessinger. "Just don't wear your brand-new shoes." Rides start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lake Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland; call 440-585-2800. -- Cris Glaser
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