New trail guides now available for purchase and visit "plan your trip" for info on shuttle, lodging, maps and route ALERTS.   Trail Guide '22-'24


Ride bikes, study geology – Retired geology professor to conduct informative ride


Retired geologist Scott Brockman, left, points out to fellow rider, Gene Pass, what riders should look for on the south side of the Prairie Grass trail as they proceed toward South Charleston. Brockman will lead a geology study ride at 10 a.m. on Saturday from the shelter house behind the senior citizen center, 280 W. High St., London.

By Dean Shipley

Even though he’s retired from teaching geology, Scott Brockman now combines his lifelong study of the earth’s layers with bicycling. A recumbent bike fan, Brockman will conduct a geologic exploration ride at 10 a.m., which will depart from the Prairie Grass trail head and move southwest toward South Charleston. All are welcome and the ride is free.

Brockman taught geology for 10 years at the Marion campus of The Ohio State University. Prior to that, he worked as a geologist for the Ohio Geological Survey for 25 years.

Even as a child he and his brother were interested in rocks. “Where I lived (Cincinnati), there were fossils everywhere,” Brockman said standing trailside on Monday, where he was doing some preliminary exploring to be ready for Saturday’s ride. “I set up a museum (of rocks) in second grade.”

While he went on to pursue professionally the study of the earth and its layers igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, “everyone has had some experience with rocks,” he said.

Brockman’s branch of geology was the study of glacial deposits and glaciers existed in this area in the relatively short time ago, 15,000 to 20,000 years.

“London was once covered with ice,” Brockman said. He described a glacier as a “conveyor belt of stuff scraped up from the bottom.”

When climate change came — it existed b ack then — the glacier “stopped for a while.”

With the help of geologic and topographic maps, Brockman will show the glacier’s progress and at what points climate change caused the melting of the front of it.

He will mix in some more recent history, a mere 150 years ago, when London gained a reputation for livestock trade and why it was well suited to do it and South Charleston was not.

To learn more, come out Saturday morning at 10 a.m. to the shelter behind the senior citizens center at 280 W. High St.

Dean Shipley can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617, on Facebook at Dean Shipley or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.

Dean Shipley | The Madison Press