Tuesday, June 17, 2008
June 17 Wooster to Niles, OH: 91 miles
If you think that all we do is eat and ride, you are right! First photo is last night's dinner--George, Barbara, me, Bill F, "Wooster", and Beverly. At this point we were just drinking! But we ate dinner and then had ice cream. It is a requirement to have either ice cream or beer every day on a bike ride, but some days you need both! Second photo is lunch today at a little hole in the wall restaurant. Jim A, Peggy, Ken, Boston Bob, John, me, Bill W and Carol.
We woke to a cool cloudy day and it stayed that way, which is not a bad thing... 55 degrees in the early morning, got up to 64 in the afternoon. I never took my jacket off all day. I said goodbye to Wooster and left out of here around 6:30 riding with Scott H (of the tattooed arm warmers). We started out with a detour that had to have taken us up the 2 highest hills in Wooster in the first 2 miles of the ride. We could see no reason for the detour, unless it was to take us up the 2 highest hills in Wooster!
We had been warned that the first 35 miles would be hilly, and it was true. More of the knobby hills like yesterday, no chance to warm up the legs before pouring it on. I am still trying to do more spinning to preserve my injured knee (right) and hamstring (left). So I dropped down into granny gear to keep the pedaling torque on the low side. It sort of worked.
At 31.9 miles we were supposed to turn left on Waywood Dr. The only problem was that the road at that location was called Shuffel St. When Scott and I got to the corner, we ran into Don, Jim S, Brandon and George. We were all standing around talking about where the right road could be--Jim S had already gone up the road a mile and did not find it. I walked up to a woman in a van at the stoplight and asked her if this was Waywood Dr. She told me it was, without giving an explanation as to why the sign said Shuffle St. I gave the guys a hard time, told them they were lucky I was with them at that point, since it was against guy-code to ask for directions...
The first sag was at 34 miles, at a cemetery. It started to sprinkle a little, but no real rain materialized. I heard right after the sag that Achim and Alex's bike broke. They have a custom tandem, front recumbent and rear upright that they shipped here from Germany to do this ride. (You can see it on the blog with the helmet decorations June 12--they are wearing viking horns and wigs). They are among the very few people on this tour who have done every inch of the tour! I heard that they got a ride from a local person in a pickup truck, who hauled them and their bike to Niles where the bike shop was going to fix it. Then the local was going to take them back to the very same spot where they were picked up, so they could finish the ride and still be EFI! I have not seen them yet, so I am assuming they are still out there on the route.
After the sag, I went on ahead of Scott H and Amy (who had joined us at the sag). Rode alone until the second sag when I ran into Peggy, Bill W, Ken, Boston Bob, and John. We formed a pace line and went fast and sure to the little restaurant where we had lunch. Shortly after we arrived Jim A and Carol joined us. The waitress was a real hoot (I think we confused her), but the food was good. I was way cold after a cold sandwich and iced tea, so I went on ahead of the group. Terrible roads, some with lots of truck traffic, a few more hills (I think total climbing today was 5,100 feet, a little less than yesterday).
At about mile 86 I saw Brendan and George off the road waving for help, so I stopped. Brendan's chain was tied in knots and wrapped around the frame of his bike--I never saw such a mess! I tried to help him, as I have replaced my chain before, but it was beyond me... Jim A stopped as well, and we finally told him to catch the sag van! While we were waiting with him for the van, a kid and a big barking nasty dog came by--the dog lunged at me and I put my bike between me and it, and yelled at the kid to get the dog away from me. Brendan was also yelling at him to control his dog and he finally took the dog and left. The van came and took Brendan and his bike, and the rest of us fought the traffic the last 5 miles into the hotel and here we are. Another successful day on this nearly ended bike tour!