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Published: Thursday, 5/8/2008

Outdoor alternatives worth taking a shot at

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Jesse Decker tries to get  past the defense of goalie Tom Robertson during a practice session of the new Toledo Street Hockey Club. Jesse Decker tries to get past the defense of goalie Tom Robertson during a practice session of the new Toledo Street Hockey Club.
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From cycling to windsurfing, the Toledo area holds a bountiful supply of alternatives for the outdoor enthusiast.

• Cycling: The Toledo Area Bicyclists organization is one of many in the area for cyclists and has about 200 members. It features nine group rides every week through September. Weekend organized rides continue through October. The club s breakfast rides begin at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays and cover 40 to 50 miles. Wildwood park serves as the launching point for the Sunday morning rides all year. Club membership is open to all, and Toledo Area Bicyclists President Rick Metcalf points out that everyone is invited to come out to any of the organization s rides. Individual memberships cost $12 per year. Family memberships are $17 per year. How to join: Go to tabnet.org, click on the About the Club icon on the left side of the page, then click on the membership tab, and scroll to the bottom of the page to find the TAB Membership Application link. Applications are also available at most area bicycle shops, or you can also contact TAB membership director Ron Toneff at 419-344-2408.

Lake Erie is a haven for windsurfing because of its warm water and calm wind compared to the rest of the Great Lakes. Lake Erie is a haven for windsurfing because of its warm water and calm wind compared to the rest of the Great Lakes.
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• Windsurfing: A little-known fact is that Lake Erie is one of best havens for windsurfing in the Midwest because of its warm waters and calm winds compared to the rest of the Great Lakes. Anybody can learn to windsurf, says Scott Haas, a certified windsurfing instructor. It doesn t take a lot of strength as long as you go out in normal conditions with some light breezes. Mr. Haas maintains a blog on the Toledo Area Board Sailing Web site (blog.toledoaba.com) and will begin offering lessons once the water temperature reaches 62 degrees. Lessons usually begin at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and are given at the inland swimming lake at Maumee Bay State Park. Cost for a one-person, three-hour lesson is $90 and includes equipment. Two-person lessons are just $10 more. How to join: Contact Scott Haas at 419-290-1269 or shaas@amoka.com

• Road Runners: The Toledo Road Runners is open to anyone with an interest in running and/or jogging. Founded in the early 1970s, the organization has more than 800 members. The Road Runners sponsor more than a dozen events per year. Road Runners President Jim Troknya said the organization is always accepting new members. Cost for a single-person membership is $18. Family memberships are $25, and a youth membership costs just $8. How to join: Go to toledoroadrunners.org, click on the Membership icon, download the 2008 membership form, and mail it in to Road Runners membership secretary Lisa Stevens, or contact her by phone at 419-931-4418.

• Street hockey: After moving from Pittsburgh seven years ago, Tom Robertson quickly noticed a lack of avenues to play street hockey in the Toledo area. In the last month, Mr. Robertson created a Web site (toledostreethockey.com) designed to bring together street hockey and roller hockey enthusiasts with the intention of establishing a league. More than 20 people have contacted Mr. Robertson so far, and he recently secured a permanent playing location through the Toledo Parks and Recreation Department at an enclosed, unused tennis court at Joe E. Brown Park on West Oakland Street. The group meets every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. and is accepting competitors of all ages, as well as those playing on foot and on roller blades. How to join: Contact Tom Robertson at 419-410-3509 or toledohockey1@yahoo.com

Contact Zach Silka at: zsilka@theblade.com.



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