After what seemed like a lifetime of pedaling past fields of corn and soybeans it was finally time to say goodbye.
When we left Fremont, OH this morning a little before 8a we knew we’d be encountering a big change today, we just didn’t realize how dramatic. After riding on a great 8 mile paved bike path to Clyde, OH we had a few more miles pedaling east before turning north at Milan, OH (the birthplace of Thomas Edison). During this stretch we came across two other cyclists. They were two college guys who were pedaling from Washington to Cleveland. They were carrying their own gear and had been on the road for 55 days. We shared a few stories and they were pretty excited to be almost home. It was fun to run across them and only reconfirmed how lucky were to have a SAG vehicle!
Almost immediately after turning north in Milan, we left behind the corn and soybean fields that had kept us company for over a thousand miles of our journey. At first the transition was a few horse farms and then before we knew it we were in Huron on Lake Erie.
We went from the wind creating waves over the fields of crops to the wind creating waves on a lake that looks like an ocean. When we reached Huron we turned right and spent the next 60 miles riding along Lake Erie past Vermillion, Lorain, Avon Lake, Rocky River, through Cleveland and eventually to our destination east of Cleveland in Wickliffe, OH. Surprising to all of us was the mile after mile of lakefront estates on the road to Cleveland. In fact, Brenda claimed she’s ready to move to one of the lake towns east of Cleveland. I suggested she might try visiting in the winter or frankly any other day as a few locals said this was the nicest day they’ve had all year.
Yes, that’s right, our weather bubble continues to follow us. As Matt says everyday, “look blue sky and sunshine are following us”. I keep thinking he’s going to jinx us but we just continue to have nice weather. In fact this morning it was a refreshing 64 degrees when we left and hit a high of 75 today. There could have not been a better day for our 104 mile ride to Cleveland!
One of our stops right out of Cleveland we stopped for pictures on a pier and met two nice people. There was Brian the country station DJ who moonlights in the bait shop and Francesca the Italian woman who works for a company that sets up bike trips in Italy and wanted us to come bike in Italy. Who knows…maybe that will be the next country I ride across?!? From there we rode through Cleveland and were loving the waterfront area with the Cleveland Browns football stadium, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (on the list of things to do tomorrow), the Science Museum, etc. Then after what seemed like a few short miles we were in an area of Cleveland that we wanted to get out of quickly. Let’s just say it’s not where you’d want to be at night. We rode about another 10 miles up the road to our hotel (Quality Inn this time).
A couple of observations from today. We only averaged 16.3 mph today not because we were riding slow (our average speed when pedaling was 19-20 mph) but because we encountered more stop signs and stop lights than the last month of our trip combined, no kidding! Of course all the traffic lights mean we also encountered way more cars and people than we had been used to. It was a real change of atmosphere for us today. It will be interesting to see how the next two weeks unfold as I expect we’ll encounter a little of each end of the spectrum.
Finally, as the toll of the 3,166 miles pedaled take their toll on us, Matt and I are looking forward to another off day tomorrow. We’re planning a nice slow morning and then spending the afternoon at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Should be a good day! Here’s today’s photos: