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First, a huge thank you to Hara and Ellie who have consistently given me the strength and words of inspiration to do this crazy endeavor. We read every blog comment that is left for us on our website. Their comments today pushed me to keep moving through 90+ degree heat over so many tough hills. Also thanks to Penny (Pen-tertainment) for her ever supportive comments, too.
We got an early start this morning and put the rubber to the road at 7:15 am. We left a thank you note on the door of Rick, who allowed us to camp in the yard of a vacant property his family owns. It was our first time camping in a stranger’s yard and it worked out great; it also reinforced our faith in the goodness of people.
Since we were in Ohio … and everyone has told me how “FLAT” Ohio is … I figured we’d have a pretty easy riding day. Again, I was wrong … and so were all those people who said, “Ohio’s as flat as a pancake”. UGH! Not even close. We rode route 172 west most of the day and it was hill after hill after hill! Yes, I know … stop whining, right? I’ll try. I just got a little disillusioned yesterday and today.
Around 11am, it started to get brutally hot as we rode on a seldom shaded road. There were 10 mile stretches where there was no shade at all and we all began to feel it. We used more of our drinking water than usual by squirting water into our helmets, to keep us cool enough to ride. We found it hard to find places to get water and ice along the back roads.
When we came into the town of Paris, we figured we’d find an open market or gas station or something. We didn’t. We did find a lot of businesses boarded up, as we’ve seen in most of the states we’ve ridden through.
We spotted some picnic tables under a pavilion and we parked our bikes and sat down for a rest. Knowing we needed water, Frankenbutt took 3 of our water bottles and knocked at the door of the house next door. No one answered but we spied an outdoor spigot and decided that the situation called for us to “take hose in hand”. In fact, we filled all of our water bottles once we considered how far we rode without seeing water.
We rode on, hoping to make Wooster, Ohio for the night. As we rode more hills, all of us were feeling fatigued and a little “woozy” from the heat. We pushed on and arrived in the town of East Canton. We were all starving so we stopped at the Subway to eat and refill water bottles.
I thought for a long time about Evelyn’s generosity and also Rick’s, who gave us a place to spend the night. Being a fan of the “My Name is Earl” TV show, I can’t help but wonder if this was a case of “Karma”. A few days ago, Frankenbutt changed the tire for a fellow cyclist after she fell on the street near us. It was the right thing to do and I believe that Nichole, the cyclist, appreciated having her tire changed while she assessed the bruises and scrapes from her fall. It was a short 10 minutes out of our long day of riding … but I can’t help but wonder if by doing so, we triggered the “Karma of the Universe” in our direction.
We finished riding at 7pm, having not made the total 80 miles we had hoped to do. But our bodies were tired and we need to recuperate for the 55 mile ride to Ohio Dreams on Sunday.