Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014. Cleveland to Austinburg, OH. 58 Miles.

I came down to breakfast and the breakfast room was mostly filled with cyclists! I sat with Cindy from TX and Robin from IN. They are both going to be SAGs on this trip.

We were supposed to line up for a group photo before cycling out of the hotel this morning, but our group was somewhat abbreviated: several riders had already left on their bikes and a few were still in the hotel when Michelle took our photo. There are 26 women on this tour, but only 18 in our photo.

We left the hotel and took a wrong turn at just over a mile into the day--the name on the street sign on the left side of the road was different from the one on the right side. We've seen that a lot on this trip. But no harm done; we circled around in front of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and got back to the right road. We were on and off bike paths for about 7 miles, right along the shore of Lake Erie.

We cycled down Lakeshore Drive, where we caught glimpses of the lake through the tall fences and beyond the mansions along the shore. It looked a little scary after that; the mansions gave way to apartment buildings and gas stations, some of which were open... Soon enough we were out of town and passed through small towns along the shore.

About halfway through today's ride we headed inland on a state road and did not see the lake again the rest of the day.  It was quite hot, in the upper 80s with high humidity. Robin set up a SAG around 20 miles into the ride. Dianne and I stopped for lunch in Painesville (mile 33.7) because the cue sheet did not mention any other options, but when we found Robin in Madison we wished we had waited. Madison is a very small town about 44 miles into the ride, right where we would like to eat, and there were several restaurants there. There also was a Veterans Park with a monument to those from this area who lost their lives in the Civil War. There were engraved stones around the bottom of the monument with names and dates; I was not sure if they were actual headstones or just a memorial.

Dianne and I arrived at the hotel around 1:30 and by the time we got our luggage from the truck the room was ready. But boy was it hot! We put the air on full blast and it did not make a lot of difference. Finally at 8 PM our room is starting to get cool enough to be comfortable. In the meantime we played Scrabble in the breakfast room (it was not much cooler than our room) and went out to eat dinner with the group. Fortunately there was shade on the side of the building and it felt about 15 degrees cooler there.

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