Sunday, August 5, 2007

Days 39, 40 & 41--I've got this Erie Feeling and the Eastern Ohio Shuffle

The Day 39 ride from Sandusky to Burton, OH was fantastic. It was a 95 mile run that was about two-thirds flat land initially, with a 30-mile finale of steep hills and rollers going into Burton. Regarding my injured right knee, I had much more strength and range of motion in the morning starting out. The knee got stronger as the day progressed, and I was able to climb the hills late in the day with virtually no pain. With the rest day coming in Burton, I felt positive about my ability to take on the steep hills of eastern Ohio and hills and mountains of Western Pennsylvania.

The ride itself was quite interesting and varied. We first followed the south shore of Lake Erie over several rivers (such as the Vermillion River pictured as it flows into the Lake), through several towns and suburbs, then right into the heart of the City of Cleveland. After a majority of rural and small town riding since leaving Seattle, navigating the bike through downtown Cleveland was quite exciting, dodging buses, workers, and tourists. From downtown, we followed a beautiful parkway through the Case Western Reserve University campus and commercial area, then up through the older suburbs of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights. At that point, the high humidity gave way to heavy thunder showers and lightning as we followed the very hilly, forested, winding highway to the village of Burton.

I was thrilled to complete the day's course knowing that I could continue the ride to DC with confidence in my hill climbing, and enjoy the rest day in Burton. I was also excited to meet up with mom Eleanor and sister Karen who came in that evening from Detroit, and sister Paula and brother-in-law Brad who came to Burton from Granville, OH near Columbus.

We spent the rest day, Day 40, in Burton, a compact town with a town square...well an oval really. Mom, Karen, Paula, Brad, & I (all pictured) hung out at all the exciting town spots...Joel's Restaurant, Kogan's Village Eatery, and the Burton Laundramat (just me at the laundry).

Burton and many of the surrounding towns are home to several Amish farms and communities. Amish people traveling by horse and buggy are very common sights on the local roadways. It is considered bad form to take pictures of the Amish, though photographing one of their buggies with handsome beast of burden (pictured) is permitted.

We had some wonderful family time and lots of fun. I had a rejuvenating day off to prepare for the final eight days on the Ride.

Back on the road, the Day 41 ride took us 73 miles from Burton to New Waterford--our last camp in Ohio. The ride was hilly and beautiful through more Amish and Mennonite country. The right knee is doing well. Please knock on some wood for me. I am very thankful and fortunate that the knee injury was not more serious. Many thanks to my teammates and our support crew for their encouragement and support.

Onward to Pennsylvania. More to come.



CuzKen said...

It's been lots of fun for me to check out your ride Marty! Love your riding and your writing!!! You're makking me feel like a wimp for being nervous about my Grand Canyon hike. I'm glad your knee turned out fine. Hey, it was GREAT seeing the photo of Paula and Karen! Wow! I haven't seen them in like 35 years. I'm sure they don't remember me but it sure was cool seeing all of you together. Give them my love. May the rest of your trip be smooth sailing. Keep up the corny puns!!

CuzKen said...

Oh...and gve my love to your Mom as well. My Mother says hi.

Dennis said...

Ok, the picture of you in front of the Cleveland sign, is that (finally) a bus stop shelter in the background? Ya know, along with the photos of yard art kitch photos of bus stops should be somewhere on yer list!

Glad to hear you're working through the knee pain, too. Hopefully we can blow some cooler weather your way from Olympia. Here's to getting close to that last leg of the ride. Keep up the good work!