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Bicycling Through Paradise is a collection of twenty historically themed cycling tours broken into 10-mile segments centered around Cincinnati, Ohio. Written by two longtime cyclists—one a professor of history and one an architect—the book is an affectionate, intimate, and provocative reading of the local landscape and history from the perspectives of cycling and Cincinnati enthusiasts. Tours, navigated by Smythe and Hanlon, take cyclers past Native American sites, early settler homesteads, and locations made know through recent Ohio change-makers as navigated by the authors. With extensive details on routes and sites along the way, tours between 20 and 80 miles in length are designed for all levels of cyclists, and even the armchair explorer.
Riders and readers will visit towns called Edenton, Loveland, Felicity, and Utopia. Along the journey, they’ll encounter an abandoned Shaker village near the Whitewater Forest and a tiny dairy house called “Harmony Hill,” the oldest standing structure in Clermont County, Ohio. They’ll also take in the view from the top of a 2,000-year-old, 75-foot tall, conical Indian mound at Miamisburg. Riders can follow the Little Miami Scenic Trail and take a detour to a castle on the banks of the Little Miami River. Other sights include a full-scale replica of the tomb of Jesus in Northern Kentucky and the small pleasures of public parks, covered bridges, tree-lined streets, riverside travel, and one-room schoolhouses. And if all this isn’t exactly Paradise, well, it’s pretty close.