He must be living right to get this great weather so late in the season! Chris is riding “door to door.” He departed from from a family member’s house on the eastside of Cleveland on Sunday and is aiming to arrive at his home in Cincinnati on Thursday.
In a nice coincidence Guy and I happened to be on a section of the Ohio to Erie Trail this past weekend and discovered a glitch in Chris’s route just south of Canal Fulton in Stark County. We were able to send him an e-mail which he received just a few miles before he reached the erroneous detour saving him from an unnecessary bumpy ride.
We got an e-mail from Chris last night after he had successfully arrived at the Millersburg Hotel.
Here is an excerpt from his e-mail…
Day 1 was very nice, weather and all, and a good way to start the trip. The ride from the east side to downtown Cleveland was over residential streets through Lyndhurst, South Euclid and Cleveland Heights, then down Monticello, Mayfield and Euclid.
Euclid Ave on a Sunday morning was very easy to navigate. I originally planned to take the Detroit-Superior bridge into Ohio City but decided to go down to the flats instead, taking Columbus Ave to cross the river. Abbey is now open both directions, but it is signed “no bikes on roadway.” I had to take the road anyway because the sidewalk was blocked in one place with construction junk.
After riding through Tremont I picked up the trail above Steelyard Commons. the trail was fairly busy throughout and especially so in Peninsula, where I stopped for a beer and to check out the score of the Browns-Colts game.
Left the trail at Botzum to head to my sister-in-laws house in Fairlawn. It was a long climb out of the valley but I got that back with an easy ride to start out the next morning. Arrived ahead of schedule with tired legs. Dinner was Salmon (thanks Kathleen!) and I was in bed before 10.
Day 2 started mostly downhill to the trail. I kept a steady pace and arrived in Canal Fulton for lunch. It’s a charming little town, built around the canal, and a good place for a stop. On to Barberton and Massillon, which the trail only skirts- I passed Barberton without really knowing it. The Sippo Valley trail was nice and fast. I didn’t notice any headwinds even though it was due west.
Dalton to Fredricksburg was a chore! The afternoon was warm and a little humid (I can’t imagine what it was like for you in 90-degree weather) and I didn’t have good feel for the distances. I kept thinking the next turn should be “soon” but it never was! It was scenic, though, Amish farms, buggies, groups of kids walking home from school. By the time I got to Fredricksburg I was bonked. I took about a 20 minute rest at a pizza place, then ground out the last ten miles to Millersburg. The Holmes County trail was cool. I saw a couple of buggies headed in the opposite direction and lots of evidence (ahem) that the trail gets used that way.
Overall, the trails were far less busy today than yesterday, which I guess should be no surprise.
I feel much better after having a shower!! On to dinner. I am saddle sore. I hope that improves.
Euclid Avenue runs east to west in Cleveland connecting downtown Cleveland and University Circle and passes through the sprawling Cleveland Clinic campus. Euclid Avenue recently underwent a massive re-design that includes bike lanes and the buses run down the center of the street in dedicated bus lanes. Nice, but, still has the typical problems of bike lanes. Particularly the dangerous situation when a motorist cuts off the cyclist when they cross the bike lane to make a right turn.
Chris’s route through the flats (past the Ohio City Bike Co-op) is not bad but the Columbus Avenue Bridge is notoriously dangerous for cyclists as it has a tricky metal grate surface and a medium sized climb up to the Westside Market area.
Yikes! The climb out from Botzum is grievous! It is one of the problems with the Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath. It is profoundly beautiful down there in the valley but is very tough to get up and out.
The stop in Pennisula is more evidence of the connection between beer and bikes!
The Ohio and Erie Canal Towpath passes Barberton about a mile from the town at the Snyder Road Trailhead where there are nice restrooms and a drinking fountain. There is a bike shop in Barberton and The Green Diamond is a great place to eat.
The pizza place in Fredricksburg is Lems and is in the center of town. They also have great ice cream!
Three cheers for Chris for sending this great e-mail after a long day of peddling and before dinner! Go Chris go!
As I am typing this it is stormy but warm in Cleveland. Hoping it is nice and sunny for Chris today as he powers on down the Holmes County Trail, the tough climbing on route 6, the steep and fast big truck Route 62, the bumbity bump Mohican Valley Trail, the fabulous Kokosing Gap Trail, big truck Route 3 /36, The Heart of Ohio Trail, the on-road route into Sunbury and down the Old Route 3 bike trail to Westerville. That’s a lot of peddling!
FOLLOW-UP: Chris made it to Westerville (north of Columbus) as planned on the third day and was heading for Xenia on his fourth day. He started to experience some extreme pain in his Achilles tendon around mid-day. He made it London and then had to make the tough decision to call for help. Cleveland to London in 4 days, 262 miles. Nice!