Local Cyclist Completes Great Lakes Circle Tour

Split Rock Light house overlooking Lake Superior.

A 4200-mile bicycle journey around each of the Great Lakes came to an end on May 31, 2019. I, Mark Looney, a resident of Lakewood, Ohio started my first exploratory trip around Lake Erie in 2015, then adding a new Lake in each of the four years that followed.

For me, a childhood curiosity of living on the shores of Lake Ontario to “see what was on the other side,” grew into a series of authentic adventures into adulthood. I continued to question that which I could not see and feel without the steady cadence and sensory inputs that cycling provides. Cycling has brought me many enjoyable miles through the lens of the student–athlete. I enjoy the outdoor nature of this sport while at the same time savoring the contemplative time in the saddle to appreciate the environment and beauty of our Great Lakes. Taking pen to paper on each trip I sought to document my personal discoveries of local history, food, cultures and encounters with other people living within view of the lake. In many ways we have lived in and out of harmony with this vast and limited resource, and it has been a privilege to have the opportunity to look objectively at our impact as humans on this diverse ecology.

In 2014, I released my first book “A Path Through Ohio” chronicling my five day journey across the state of Ohio. In a similar pattern I am documenting my travels around each of the Great Lakes and plan to release my next book in the near future. When I am asked which of the five lakes was my favorite? I provide a simple but layered response: that each has its own personality that is characterized by the people, wildlife and the history that prospers in the region. That being said, I am particularly fond of the natural splendor of Lake Superior. A rugged terrain where practical peoples and descendants of ancient civilizations that date back some ten thousand years, still prosper and happily embrace visitors to their culture. Having lived on both Lakes Ontario and Erie, I have a personal connection with each that spans many friendships and interests, that I would be remiss not to include on my short list.

Mark Looney is a Trans-American cyclist who completed a California to Connecticut journey in 1983. He is also a Board Member for the Ohio to Erie Trail fund (OTET) and actively rides with Spin Bicycle Club, in Lakewood OH.

Mark Looney

Three year Resident of Lakewood.  Author of A Path Through Ohio and sells his book at many local shops in the Cleveland area.  Was Published in the Lakewood Observer two years ago as part of a Book tour at the Lakewood Library "About the Author Series".

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 2:55 PM, 06.19.2019