There must be some mistake--we had perfect weather again today. Unbelievable... 85 degrees and wind from the SW as we were traveling north and east. Too cool...
We had the 2 road closures that we were able to bike around this AM, and then it was pretty smooth for the rest of the day, except for some very nasty hills at the end... but let's start at the beginning.
Left out of the hotel wearing my jacket as it was only 61 degrees. There was a threat of thunderstorms, more likely after 3 PM, so we wanted to get going and get our ride in. I started out riding with Mike, but could not keep up--I'm a bit of a slow starter in the morning... so I was out there by myself for much of the morning. Stopped at a store at 16 miles, this after making 15 turns! But that makes for an interesting ride. Thank goodness we have no more days of "right turn out of the hotel, ride 85 miles, right turn into the motel"!
The first sag was at 35 miles and I stopped there to make a few phone calls. After that I heard about the pie... next town was Fredericktown, and the rumor was that there was a great little restaurant there with homemade pie. Bill W and Ken, Boston Bob and John were all planning to stop there and I did not want to be left out, so I hightailed it out of the sag ahead of them thinking they would catch me before the town (at 55 miles). Well, I must have really wanted that pie, because they did not catch up with me until I was walking into the restaurant.
There were a lot of other bikers there, whom we did not know, and a live band! What a welcome! Turns out that GOBA (Great Ohio Bike Adventure) was in town too! We talked with a bunch of them and they are pictured above. John, Ken, Bill W, Boston Bob, me and Mike are pictured above eating our treats. The other picnic table photo is a bunch of us and a bunch of GOBAs with the band in the background. (look for Jim and Carol). We had sandwiches and pie and iced tea and left out of the restaurant around 11:30.
Then the coolest thing happened. I'll call it The Incredible Biking Event. I was riding with the guys from my table (above) and we were seeing thousands of GOBA riders coming toward us on State Rd. 95E (they were coming west into town). Someone yelled out my name, and I answered. It was someone from GOBA whom I did not recognize, but I stopped anyway. WELL... it was Sue from Cleveland, one of the people I had called way back when I started this blog, when I was trying to decide which tour to do. She RECOGNIZED ME FROM MY BLOG!!!! No kidding! She has been following our adventures on this blog, saw the CrossRoads flags on our bikes and knew who I was! We stopped and talked a while and had a great time. Is that cool???!!! This is Sue pictured with me above, with Beverly looking back in wonder.
After the unplanned break with Sue, I carried on toward the second sag (at 74 miles). We passed through some very lovely country--horses and cows, cool rivers and streams (that all stayed in their banks--we are out of the flood zone). We had been threatened with STEEP hills after the second sag, and this time they were telling the truth! They were ugly knobby steep hills. Granny gear all the way... I never knew I could go that slowly on a bike and not fall down! It brought to mind Arte Johnson falling down on his little bike on Laugh In (you have to be as old as me to get the reference). I hit a new low speed--3 MPH! I found out after I got here that it was not only me... Don said that he used his granny gear today for the first time on this coast to coast trip! The downhill coasts were pretty spectacular if a little bumpy... top speed in the 30s, with brakes when it got too bumpy. Some of the coasts were miles long... kind of makes up for those wicked climbs.
I got to the hotel at 3:08, not too bad for 97 miles and hills... My friend from Michigan who is a frequent commenter on this blog (Wooster) was waiting in the lobby. We are going out for dinner as soon as we find out what horrors are in store for us tomorrow on the way to Niles (route rap).