Start: Columbus, OH
Finish: Muont Vernon, OH
Weather: 80 degrees, sunny
Distance to date: 2,106
I got up this morning and was fortified by donuts at my continental breakfast. My first donuts of the trip. Actually, my first donuts in about five years. Fortified by all that is bad for me, I rode into Columbus. It was a remarkable experience because I had passed many of the areas yesterday in the car with Ken Stevens, and I was once again struck by how different things look from a bicycle. You see the street you are on,
but also the side streets; you see all the signs and get a better sense of scale. As I approached downtown I spent some time looking at their really unusual train station, sort of Egyptian windmill style,
and revisited the State Capitol, which I liked so much yesterday. Then I headed out on the bike path along the Scotio River.
Oops, that one ran out and ended. I pedaled over to the Oligrachy River path. Oops, construction. I pedaled over to the Alum Creek Path. Oops, more construction. Guess it is fair to say the bike paths through Columbus are still a work in progress, but no matter. Like all good Midwestern cities, it is a gird of north/south and east/west streets, so I wound my way from the southwest to the northeast and about 20 miles later crossed I-270 and was out
of the urban area. Along one bike path detour I came upon a high school band group practicing their routine in a parking lot. Great fun to watch. Ohio State has a very famous band, and I understand
that bands are big all over this area. These kids were very serious in their maneuvers.
I headed north and east and hit bike paths about half the time, and roads about half the time. The unfinished paths are under construction, so this is a very real project to connect Cincinnati and
Cleveland. Guess I’ll just have to come back when it is all done…
Ohio has very patriotic and basic names. Today I left Columbus for Mount Vernon. I have been in Madison, Franklin, Knox, Jefferson, and Monroe counties. Along that line, I stopped for lunch in Centerburg, which, you might guess, is the geographic center of Ohio. I had incredible meatloaf with a huge warm roll, cottage cheese and salad. The waitress, who had enough attitude to get
a job at Durgin Park in Boston, looked at me crooked when I ordered those sides. “Don’t you want mac’n’cheese?” I figured, with meatloaf and gravy and a roll, there is a limit to the carbs I need.
Mount Vernon is a lovely town with a great square and I am staying at a hotel right on the square. I always enjoy it when I am away from the highways. No Internet access, but the good folks at the YMCA let me use their lobby to post this. Ohio specializes in people who are blond and friendly.
Old Railroad Mile Marker along a Bike Trail