“Trike-ing” from Piqua to Farrington Road.


Wesley Jones

So, what is trike-ing? It's one of those word's I periodically make up. My doctor suggested that I use a recumbant bike for my exercise. There's been a difference of opinion on what he meant by that. My wife was thinking about a stationary bike for the house. My thought was a recumbant three wheel trike for the bike trails that Miami Valley has provided for we citizens.

Well, I went out and bought me a Terra Trike, it has two wheels in front and one in the back and nine speeds. We haven't asked the doctor what he meant, but I'm sure I'm right. Needless to say, my wife thinks just the opposite. I've been riding now for several months and when my wife sees the pleasure it brings me she's beginning to see my point of view.

With my new interest, (Trike-ing)  combined with my old interest (local history) I am able to expand my horizons. Today I trucked my Terra Trike to Piqua. From the Lock 9 park I headed back to Troy. You might ask why I didn't start from Troy and go to Piqua. Simple enough, the trail hasn't been finished yet. It lacks about another mile or so before it's connected, which may happen some time in 2013.

So... Didjano that Piqua was known as the Atomic City? It's true! It so happens that this stretch of the trail passes right by the Piqua Atomic Power Plant. Obviously I stopped and took pictures and read the historical marker that is across the street from it. 

It all started in 1956 with the Atomic Energy Commission who chose Piqua as test site for a municipal power plant. In 1957 the federal government promised $11.4 million for construction. In 1959 ground was broken on the east side of the Miami River. In 1961 the reactor was turned on for tests. 1962 uranium arrives in Piqua. By 1963 the reactor was operational and the atomic produced steam is piped across the river to turbo generators at the municipal power plant creating electricity. By-the-way the bridge for this pipe line also served as a pedestrian bridge between the two plants. It is now a part of the bike system or trail system. The bridge is very narrow and will only allow on bike rider across at a time. On the east side of the bridge is a set of stairs, so you have to walk your bike down them, but they did provide a rail for the bike tires to fit into.

In 1966 the atomic Energy Commission terminated the contract with the city of Piqua saying the facility was outdated. From 1967 to 1969 the reactor

dismantled and radioactive materials were removed from the site. Annual monitoring of the facility will continue until 2018. On my way south in front of the reactor the doors were closed, but on the way back they were open and to my surprise there was a fire truck parked in side. Which would explain the reason I saw a Paramedic bus and another fire engine parked near by. This has got to be one of the most unusual fire house in existence.

As I said I've expanded my horizons and it's not costing me a cent, except for a little gas if I transport my bike to a new area. I might even go back and take a tour of the fire station and look for more historical markers.

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