Monday, July 13, 2009
You may have guessed from Joe’s foreshadowing in the last post, but on Day 6 we started off with some heavy rain and thunderstorms. The six riders (two were in the car) decided to take shelter and ended up at Wolfe’s produce market, just outside of Findlay. We were immediately greeting by Tiff, an aging farm dog who had lost her sight due to glaucoma but she kept our spirits up during the storm. The owner also told us about the history of the land and the farm, gave us cucumbers, and showed us a picture of the farm in the “olden days.” As the storm abated we got back on the road, raincoats on and rear lights flashing. Lunch that day was our usual buffet of bagels and toppings, but on our way to the port-a-potty some of us discovered a playground with see-saws! I’m pretty sure some of them weren’t meant to hold the 350+ pounds we put on each side, but we had fun. One of my favorite parts of this trip is that we all love to laugh and see each other having a good time. The stories, jokes, and farts start flowing and we all forget our aches and pains as we are crippled by hilarity.
That night we stayed in Richwood’s city park (a venue we are quite familiar with by now) and chatted with a local policeman. Shayna was even handcuffed! Just for laughs though. The next morning we took off towards Columbus. We met a lot of other serious cyclists en route that day, whether it was the Sunday morning weather, training for an upcoming half-Ironman, or some inspiration from Lance Armstrong. We also saw a man walking 4 little dogs at once, instead of them chasing us down the street as usual. Day 7 was our shortest day yet mileage-wise and time wise. We’re getting up earlier and earlier (today’s 5:30am was rough though given that the sun wasn’t even up), taking more efficient pee-breaks, and carrying our lunch instead of relying on the car. Also, instead of riding as one big group, we split into partners. Everyone is gaining strength and confidence on the road, but we don’t quite know what will happen with our riding pace and groups once we join the larger group tonight.
Instead of going into Columbus yesterday, we actually skirted it and spent the night at the Darby Creek Metro Park. Arriving in the early afternoon, we had plenty of time to relax, napping on the soft grass and washing off the daily grime with a hose shower. As the sky got darker, the park visitors emptied out and we fell asleep with our tents circled like wagons around the pile of bikes. At breakfast, we FINALLY finished the mass of bagels. A few went moldy, but we’re quite proud of ourselves for eating so many free bagels. Thanks Kevin and Big Apple Bagels!
Lastly, tonight in the Lancaster Fairgrounds we’ll meet up with the Northern Route group. We’re SO EXCITED!
This week's route:
July 14th: Athens, OH
July 15th: Racine, OH
July 16th-18th: Charleston, WV
P.S. Here's a print version of the State News's article.