Miles to Date: 1,465
May 30, 2015 – Sun and storms and 75 degrees
The bank time and temperature sign registered 75 degrees before 7:00 a.m. It was going to be hot one. I had a straight shot of over 60 miles on Ohio Route 18. The first ten were the usual litany of parking lots and stores, all empty on an early Saturday morning. Then the road became a nice four-laner with a wide shoulder. I worried about the lack of local color on a busy road, but it found me anyway. I stopped to chat with a guitar-carrying hitchhiker from New York and a jolly Kiwanis member picking up litter on his stretch of adopted highway. The road turned local through Medina, the birthplace of raising bees, where I came into a throng of half marathoners at the town square finish line. Medina is a vintage Mid-west town with brick storefronts facing a landscaped square of tall trees and center gazebo. The wholesome, healthy runners reinforced that image.
Beyond Medina the road became country, passing beautiful fields and dramatic cloud formations. They kept the temperature from climbing, but looked ominous enough to keep me pedaling to beat the storms. Forty miles in, on the outskirts of Wellington, I had my first flat of the trip. I limped my bicycle two blocks to a Subway, filled my belly before I tackled the repair, and spent a few hours waiting out a series of thunderstorms. How fortunate to have the flat and bad weather correspond with a welcome rest stop. When the sun shined steady again, I kept on toward Norwalk.
I detoured to see the Lincoln Funeral train car, on display courtesy of the Lake Shore railway Association. I’m pretty sure the two local train geeks would have talked to me past dark, but I extracted myself to cycle the twenty remaining miles to Norwalk. I got town just before another big thunderstorm and spent the night with Cathy and Don Mayles, my housemate’s sister-in-law’s cousins. That may not sound like a close connection, but they treated me like family, fed me well, kept a beer in my hand, and gave me a comfortable place to sleep for the night.