Total Miles: 3137
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:8
Climbing: Flat, rollers and real 15% hills
Weather: Cool, overcast, partly sunny and finally a real Ohio thunderstorm with buckets.
This morning Marcia returned to Columbus. It was so great to have her with me for the past 4 days or so. She is my encourager, calibrator, perspective provider and as someone said -- the wind in my sails. She got a first hand view of life on the road, got to know many of the riders and generally supported, fit in and connected with many of our fellow riders. Thanks, my love, for joining in on my grand adventure!!
Jim and I were first out of the parking lot after load and headed out at a nice brisk pace. Soon Tom and Sean came zipping by and we hooked up behind them at a much brisker pace. My goal was to crank out the first 12 miles as quickly as possible since Les, Joe, Bob, Dave, Chris and Terry were waiting for me at Warrensburg to join in for 20 or so miles. Sean and Tom graciously pulled us along. About 8 miles out, there was Bob already to hook in behind. We chatted a bit and before we knew it we were at the Scioto River where the others were waiting. Got in some hellos and hugs and handshakes in and pictures taken and were soon heading east.
We had a great ride in the cool overcast skies. Everyone got to experience a bit of a double paceline with Judy, Gerard, Bob and Hans joining in as well. Soon Brad, who had ridden from his house in Genoa township joined in too. We rolled on this way to the first SAG stop where we stopped and visited for a while. Soon after the SAG, in Marengo, the gang stopped for breakfast and our paths split as they headed for a loop toward home and I continued on toward Wooster.
Just as we entered Fredrickstown, I caught Bob, Gerard, Jim and Judy and we stopped for lunch at the Taste of Country -- great food again today but no TdF. After lunch we headed into the hills of Ohio. The ups and downs got bigger and bigger with grades up to 15% in short bursts. Lots of chances to climb and then swoop back down again. Another side of Ohio riding that most everyone appreciated.
Plenty more hills after the second SAG stop to tax the legs and lungs. I was hustling to get to Wooster to try to get laundry done, the bike cleaned up and as it turned darker -- hoping to out run the storm that was very obviously heading our way. Well -- 12 miles out and the wind picked up, those huge drops started pelting down, tree branches began to whip to and fro. I headed for the first cover I saw -- a lit garage housing a well used race car. The lights were on and the radio was playing but the owner was nowhere in sight. I hollered several times but noone responded. By that time Alex, Gerard, Judy and Bob had already gotten the same idea and there the five of us were. Jokes, hypothetical scenarios, weather predictions,
I rolled into Wooster at 3:30. The Best Western had no laundry, so that was out. I showered, cleaned up the bike and as I was getting ready to buy chocolate milk and gatorade to replenish, Pete and Chris pulled up along with Dick and Joan, old GOBA friends. The latter are a very spry mid 80's, full of life and questions and stories.
We enjoyed a very pleasant few hours talking, eating and reminiscing. I had not seen Pete in a long time and it was really good to reconnect and hear what has been on his mind. He's been having shoulder pain and is experiencing some difficulties in getting up when he falls, and pulling himself into cars, bed etc. A number of riders introduced themselves and chatted with us which I very much appreciated.Thanks guys!!
And thanks SO MUCH to those who have donated to PwP in support of my XCountry ride! Pete and I and all the PwP volunteers so appreciate your support for all those who continue to struggle in bodies that don't work.