It was raining when we got up, but the rain had just stopped when we got out on the road at 7 AM. I guess it was foolish to expect it to stay that way! By the time we were halfway to the first sag (34 miles) we were wet and cold and tired of fighting the quartering headwind... we were so cold that half of the people on the tour dropped into the Crossroads Restaurant for coffee, hot chocolate or just to get warm and dry!
After the first sag a CrossRoads van full of riders and their bikes passed by and I waved as if I meant it... I heard later from one of those who sagged that people got to the first sag and said "forget it, I'm not riding in this" (only they didn't really say FORGET it, but used a different word). We mostly headed north in the first 60 miles, and the wind was from the NW. It was gusty and cold... we got a few short breaks and got to head east, giving us a quartering tailwind, but those breaks were very short... one was 1 mile long, and long after the first sag, around mile 52 we were to go east for 2.3 miles--a real break, or so I thought. Turns out it was scarified pavement, pictured above. It was a pretty rough ride, could not even go fast on the downhills or you'd risk shaking your bike or your brains loose.
The second sag was at an old fashioned root beer stand at 61 miles into the ride. It was very cool, had a sandwich and a rootbeer and carried on. It was 12:30 when I signed into the sag: I ate lunch, stopped at the PA state line for a photo, and put my head down and rode. We were going east after the second sag, which should have been super, but the wind had slued around to coming from the north by then, so we STILL had a crosswind (not fair). I arrived at the hotel at 2:40, a bit earlier than I expected. About 10 miles before the end of the ride it occurred to me that I was very glad that this is not a camping tour!
On our way into Erie, our route took us past large mansions and churches and the courthouse, all very nice. I had been here before, but only to the Yacht Club while pulling a boat trailer to pick up Bill and Crew after the trans Erie race... I did not know the town was so nice! When I got here I found three packages! One was from me with a new book, some sports drink, and whey protein bars. There was also a package from Christy with homemade cookies (thank you!) and one from Kat with trail mix, fruit bars and DARK CHOCOLATE! (thank you!). Barbara and I usually have a square of chocolate after our ride, and I was ready to buy some tomorrow!
Daughter Ali and her baby Adam arrived around 4:00, with more cookies! She drove us to the laundromat and dinner... it was very cool to see them. And Adam did not forget his traveling grandma after all!
Update from yesterday: Brendan's bike is fixed and back on the road. Ace mechanic Rick said he's never seen a chain that convoluted. Brendan told me the dog bit his bike when we were trying to fend it off! Achim and Alex came in late yesterday, but they rode the whole ride after getting a new rear wheel and having it retrofitted for their bike. But it was at the bike shop in Wooster, not Niles.
Life is good! Rest day tomorrow and 8 more days of riding.