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- Check out our blog on www.bmxmania.com for exclusive details you won’t find here.
Although we had been sleeping in until 9 or after the last few days, we managed to get up by 7:30 am and start packing up for our ride out of Dayton. The Beast and Coco were the last two out of bed; I suppose they needed their beauty sleep. Frankenbutt met Jamie (of P.A.L.) out front around 8 am; Jamie brought the Beast’s swim suit back from our evening at their home and Frankenbutt thanked him again for he and his wife’s generosity and kindness during our stay.
The Beast and I cleaned up our dishes, the bathroom, etc and packed down supplies, tossing pannier bags out the front door for Frankenbutt to load on bikes. We were extra diligent in making sure we left the camper as nice as it was lent to us to use. It reminded me of our old days of RV travel when we wrapped up our stay somewhere. Back then, we each had our areas to handle: I cleaned up and secured everything in the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. He closed down the awning, vents, antennae, and disconnected power, water and sewer, raised the levelers. My last task was always to make a pot of coffee for the road. I really miss those days. But, at the same time, I’m enjoying making new memories of this trip.
We managed to roll out of the BMX track around 9:30 am. Although we wanted to visit the Air Force museum, we realized that it would have to be another time. Having Coco with us has prevented us from visiting most museums, restaurants, etc. We love having her with us and we figure that we’ll add those missed places to our “bucket list” and venture there again a day in the future.
We followed the Metro Parks officers’ directions and got onto the Miami River Bike Path and had a really relaxing morning ride through the city of Dayton via the path beside the waterway. We had previously searched and found a Smoothie King store in Dayton and when our GPS alerted us we were close, we got off the path and rode to the Miamisburg Rd. Smoothie King (next to Smash Burger, love that name!) and had yummy smoothies compliments of our sponsor. Frankenbutt and I had “joint repair” added to our orange/vanilla/banana drinks and the Beast had her favorite: Angel Food with strawberry and lemon.
We relaxed at the outdoor tables and chairs and I took the time to call and catch up with my mom. Now that we’ve made it this far, she seems less worried and focused on our riding and now just fills me in on all the family news I’ve missed. She also let me know that her high blood pressure is back in check now that she’s on a new medication. It was good to hear.
Our next stop was McDonald’s: Free Wifi and $1 menu. Although we’d like to eat a better diet, our budget works well with $1 menu items, especially after 3 ½ months on the road. I posted our Sunday blog after the Beast did her internet surfing; once she finished lunch, she went outside to watch Coco and Frankenbutt came in to review the blog, check his email, etc.
We rode the trail to its end and re-set our GPS for the Hueston Woods State Park, which participates in the Passport America discount program. There were other campgrounds along our route but all of them were $35/night or more for a tent site; Hueston Woods was only $12/night after the 50% P.A. discount. At this point, we have more time than money, so the discounted campground off our intended path is the best choice.
We only had 28 miles to ride West to the campground, along roads instead of bike paths. We followed the GPS which led us down relatively busy Routes 73 and 4. There were some rolling hills but it was all pretty nice riding. When we were about 18 miles from the campground, I heard the familiar “hissing” of a flat tire. Then I was “slimed!” Our tire tubes are filled with slime that fills in a hole and allows us to keep riding until we find a suitable place for a tire change.
I liked the pic of Frankenbutt in his riding jersey that Jamie and Linda gave us. It’s bright colored and shows up beautifully in pics. I told him he should wear it more often. He said he hopes that someday the jersey will be a collector’s item … when MS is cured and there’s never again a need for the MS 150 rides. Jamie’s wife, Linda, lives with the challenges of MS every day. With all the advances in genetic and cell level research, we hope that Linda (and so many amongst us) who have been ravaged by this disease, find relief and live long and happy lives.
With the fresh tube installed and the sun sliding lower in the sky, we wasted no time getting back on the bikes. I figured that 18 miles shouldn’t be too tough to ride and that we’d arrive about dinner time. I was wrong … again! The last 15 miles turned out to be hill after hill, with 2 tough climbs that had me pushing my bike to the top. Frankenbutt and the Beast managed to stay on their bikes and I was envious of their ability to stand up and ride uphill. My prior attempts to do the same have been thwarted by an inner ear issue that tends to make me dizzy if I stand up and ride uphill. Due to a groin tendon pull about 2 months ago, I can sit and pedal uphill to an extent; then I get shooting pain that forces me to dismount.
I used to feel bad about having to push my bike uphill when I couldn’t ride it; now, I just accept it as an option I have, and can use, when the traditional way just doesn’t get the job done. Luckily, Frankenbutt and the Beast are pretty patient about it; they typically enjoy a little “rest” at the top of the hill until I arrive and we resume the ride.
With all the hills, we didn’t arrive at the campground until 7:30 in the evening. Once we got checked in, Frankenbutt started dinner: Chef Boyardee ravioli while the Beast and I put up the tent, inflated the bedrolls and rolled out the sleeping bags. Coco looked pleased to see the tent … she was the only one! We immediately missed all the comforts of the camper that we’d called home for the past 5 days. After dinner and a trip to the shower house, we crawled into the tent for the night. I’m quite sure it shrunk at least another foot all the way around since last we’d been in it. : (
Just before falling asleep, I got a few nice text messages from our new Dayton BMX friends. We miss you guys already and can’t wait to see you at the Grands. It appears that Track Director, Mike Taylor, got my “misspelling” of his name joke. Up to yesterday’s blog, he was about the only one whose name I spelled correctly. Our next stop is Cleves, OH BMX track this Thursday. Since we are only 35 miles North of it, we may stay an extra day here to let my groin tendon rest again. I know it won’t fully heal until after our bike ride ends. Until then, I’ll nurse it along and be glad that it hasn’t stopped us from meeting our goals.