Saturday, July 18, 2009

Day 42: Wooster to Youngstown -- Rough road to go

Pictures are here
Miles: 92
Total Miles: 3229
Time: 6:25
Average: 14.3
Max 40
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:8
Climbing: rollers with some hills.
Weather: Cool, overcast, with high in upper 60's and threat of rain mid afternoon.

Our first two days of Ohio riding brought lots of ooooohs and aaaaahs from our out-of-staters. Smooth roads, tailwind, flat at first, then gentle rollers and then full fledged 15 percenters by the dozens. Lots of intersting little towns with bakeries, sandwhich shops and interesting buildings. Straight roads, curvy roads, twisty roads, up roads, down roads and into the woods roads. Lots of corn for sure, but soy beans, streams, woods, cows and pigs and horses, hay fields and lots of other stuff thrown in. Blue skies, bearable humidity, and temperatures in the 70'. Oh yes, did I mention the tailwind? Amish folks, intersting detours to ride through and plenty parks, rivers, lakes and other attractions of which to snap pictures.

But some of that came to an end today. Oh yes, the rollers were still there. We even added farms that grow squash and beans and cauliflower and other vegetables for variety. The day was chilly but pleasant for riding. And we had plent to look at with motorcyle tracks, kids, dogs, cemetaries, bakeries and charming little towns like Canal Fulton to ride through. But the big difference was the roads!! We saw a lot of different road surfaces today. A freshly poured 10" thick cement road with no traffic to ride on. Or you could choose the cycle cross dirt rad next to it. Then there was the half mile of brick road to ride on as well as a glass smooth bike path.

But, what we were on most were the roughest roads we have seen all trip. So rough that it was now embarassing to admit this was part of Ohio. Roads that had been patched and rerutted and then patched again. And again. And again. Roads that had been cracked from winter's freezing and thawing cycles. Roads that had patches on patches on patches. Roads that made your teeth rattle and then loosened your fillings. Roads that emptied your bladder and compressed your spine leaving you 2 inches shorter. Roads that made you search for smooth spots at the risk of getting run over. Roads that made 14 miles seem like 40. Roads that made you want this ride to be over but it never seemed to be. And the further into NE Ohio we got the worse the roads got.
But, as I told Gerard at route rap, if all you get is roses, you will never appreciate them.

And after the wheels are trued again and the water bottles are refilled, and the memories of this trip are aired, I believe I will still conclude that Ohio has ome of the best riding in all the US!

Supper was at Perkins, but the special part of that was Sarah and Korey came to enjoy it with me. Great time chatting and catching up on this and them.

Tomorrow is another 90 plus mile day to Erie and then comes our last rest day before the final push to the Atlantic. We are all in need of it as most of us are dragging.


  1. Nice pic of Korey and Sarah---and all of your pics make Ohio look so inviting----even the road shot, if you didn't have to bike on them:) Good descriptions of what the different roads brought with them---liked the one about the fillings...
    Good to talk to you---hope you get an uninterrupted night's sleep---maybe you could hypnotize Zero without him knowing it----NOOOO SNNNOOORRRINNNG TOOONIIIITE... Love you, Me

  2. Great to see you today, dad! Thanks for taking time to visit with us!