Monday, July 20, 2009

Day 43 Youngstown to Erie PA - Weary in Erie

Pictures are here
Miles: 101
Total Miles: 3330
Time: 6:15
Average: 16.1
Max 34
Flats Today: 0; Total flats:8
Climbing: Flat and generally downhill to lake Erie
Weather: Continued cool, partly cloudy, in low 70's. Moderate northwesterly wind which was in our face until we turned the corner at Conneaut.

I am really missing being at Meadowbrook on Sunday mornings. This makes 7 Sundays I've missed hearing our very special Praise Team lead us in worship to lift our hearts to the Lord. I miss the mutual encouragement. I miss getting caught up on what is going on with Abdul as well as Jeneba and Fatima and now their two little guys. I miss hearing the message God has laid on the heart of the speaker. I miss finding out what is going on the lives of my brothers and sisters the past week so we can rejoice together and pray for one another. To my church family -- I miss each of you! I am very much looking forward to being with you and hearing all God is doing in your lives in a couple of weeks!!!
My Sunday was spent -- you guessed it -- pedaling the back roads of Ohio and PA to get to our next overnight and our last rest day in Erie. I really needed a day off, I must say. I think most of my fellow soujouners did as well judging from the comments and the weary faces at times. Four centuries and all the miles have taken their toll. But I have very much felt the prayer for me as I have had renewed strength each morning and have had no injuries or ailments of any consequence. To God be the glory for that!

Last night I got close to 12 hours of sleep -- about twice what I have typically been getting. To bed at 8:30, up a while early for some reading and then back for more sleep until 8:30. Absolutely delicious!

Since Rick from New Jersey rejoined the trip in Indianapolis, he has been pulling anyone that wishes together for a short time of prayer right after our route raps. This has been a great encouragement to the half dozen or so of us who join in. I roomed with him in Youngstown as the rooming assignments got jumbled up a bit and very much appreciated his meek spirit and his desire to serve God.

We had another wonderful day yesterday. The weather was coolish -- just right for riding with a two layers. The roads were a huge improvement over the day previous. We had one stretch of 25 miles of the same straight road with no turns or interruptions through green pastoral northeastern Ohio on our way to Conneaut on Lake Erie. The ride was kept interesting in other ways as well. The most delicious strawberry shortcake at 33 miles out! So glad they'd run out of pie so that I had to choose that. Two great road works detours that presented fun photo-ops and some logistical challenge in getting through with bikes and cleated shoes. For some reason, I really enjoy these little interruptions because they remind me a tad of my enduro riding days where getting across swollen streams or over fallen trees was part of the package.

There were a variety of riding tempos as well from comfortable conversational paces with Ed, Hans, Alex, Leigh, Bob and Jim, to moderate pace line paces for stretches to out and out down on the bars, see how long you can keep it at 24mph paces.

The second SAG stop was at the White Turkey Root beer stand for lunch. You knew this place was going to be great when it gets mentioned several times at the previous night's route rap. When we rolled in about 1:00 there were people lined up waiting to place their orders for rootbeer floats and burgers. The bevy of young ladies behind the counter were exceptionally efficient and friendly in getting orders taken and filled. And the food was indeed great!
Leigh had her first root beer float ever. She does not do root beer but decided to make an exception here and was glad she did. Hans had also never had root beer as that's definitely not a European drink. While they were waiting to order, Jim encouraged Hans to try a root beer float, but Hans ordered a coke instead. After he'd washed down his hamburger with the coke, he went back for a cone of soft ice. Strange we thought -- why not just do the float and get it done with? And then the explanation came. Hans did not want to drink "beer" and ride the bike. He thought the beer meant alcohol. Now it all made perfect sense!

I am looking out on beautiful downtown Erie from the 8th floor of the Avalon Hotel. After I checked into the room yeserday afternoon, I came back down to the lobby to see about times for route rap and supper on the white board. I glanced in the drop box there next to it and a black something caught my eye. Stooping down it looked suspiciously familiar. What!? It was my long lost windbreaker lying on top of the remaining stuff still in the box. Where had it been these last three week since I last saw it on the way to Pueblo? So glad it found its way back. I will be able to use it in the cool of New England. Thanks to whoever found it!

And this morning now, I've got the worn out cleat on my right riding shoe replaced, I've got the blog entry composed, and my bike is prepped. This afternoon, I plan to walk the mile down to the water front to check out Erie -- the town and the lake. I'll be ready to roll again tomorrow. Thanks for following along with me as I "Pedal, For Pete's Sake!" And for mine as well. :-)


  1. Best gag photo yet---you trying unsuccessfully to "jump" across the construction:) Nice that you manage to bring in yet another aspect of your enjoyment of the challenge of the detours: a reminder of the enduro motorcycle challenges. Hans' reluctance to have a root beer float was such a typical response to the language misunder-standings---he does awfully well with it all, considering... Hope you had a good dinner with Jim---and so glad you got caught up on some sleep. We'll both trudge thru to the end, by God's grace. Terry's coming over tomorrow to help me in the yard---good guy that he is. Thanks for the call tonight XOX, YOO

  2. It's great you are having a great time. I'm at your house reading your writings. I hope and pray that everything continues to go well with you and your ride. Take care of yourself and continue to be safe and strong.

    Terry Jones

  3. Chris - how great that your windbreaker reappeared! How many more good things can happen on this tour? I am SO envious.

    You're almost there now!