Saturday, August 14, 2021

August 14 - Day Off and Trip On Hold

We got ready to go this morning but a thunderstorm was raging outside.  We waited for the storm to pass but there were more storms right behind as a cold front was passing through the area.  We decided to sit tight for the day with predicted clearing tomorrow. While waiting we discussed what been on our minds for the last week, the spike in COVID cases and the new variants.  We have about 3 weeks of crossing areas with a high number of cases before reaching New England where the numbers look better, at least right now.  So we decided to put the trip on hold for now.   We reached 2900 miles and have had the opportunity to ride some of the most beautiful parts of America.  We look forward to returning to Ohio and completely route in the not too distant future. 

To all our friends and family that have supported us along the way — THANKS from the bottom of our hearts!

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Day 59 - August 12, London to Westerville, 44 miles

Today we continued on the Ohio [River] to [Lake] Erie trail through the metro area of Columbus and to the suburb of Westerville. The Ohio to Erie trail system is truly impressive and rivals that of Oregon / Portland.  Riding through downtown Columbus at lunchtime was straightforward and there was very limited traffic  

Columbus skyline from near the trail.  The trail was well marked through the downtown streets

Break time in the shade on one of the many bridges along the trail

There have been numerous thunderstorms passing through the region over the last couple of days leaving debris on the tree covered trails. 

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Day 58 - August 11, Dayton to London, 63 miles

Today we were off again after a break and visit with family in Dayton.  The Great Miami River Trail was just over a mile from the hotel. This trail went thru downtown Dayton and along the river then the Mad River Trail and Creekside trail into Xenia.   Xenia “Station” is the intersection of many of the bike trails in southwest Ohio. Then the Ohio to Erie Trail northeast to London.  The trails are on old railroad beds, paved and very well maintained.  Historical note:  Grandpa Lee was one of the original trail blazers for these trails.  He would head down to the river with his machete and bucket of blue paint and create the footpaths that would become these trails. 

No trip to Dayton is complete without a visit to the Wright-Patterson AFB Museum.  Here is the Wright Brothers Mural. 163,000 tiles each tile depicting an achievement of the Wright Brothers.  

The Mad River bike trail bridge.  The spire is a fountain.

Sunday, August 8, 2021

August 8 thru August 10 - Rest Days in Dayton Ohio

Rest, time with family, replacing the tandem timing belt and chain rings, and planning the ride across Ohio

Day 57 - August 7, Richmond Indiana to Dayton Ohio, 39 miles

Made it to Ohio!  Grandpa Lee sent us a detailed route taking us from Richmond to their house in Dayton.  We stopped for coffee in Lewisburg and as we were leaving Mark’s brother Scott and Grandpa Lee drove up and surprised us.  It was great to see them face to face since it had been a couple of years due to the pandemic. They took our gear and made the last few miles to Dayton easier.  We met again a few miles down the road for lunch.  It is great to be back together with family.  Two of our kids and two grandkids are coming to Dayton too.  After 12 days without a full day off we will be spending the next three days with family in Dayton. 

Tandem team and Grandpa Lee at Lewisburg

Friday, August 6, 2021

Day 56 - August 6, Muncie to Richmond, 44 miles

Temps today continued to be mild with sunny skies as we cruised down the Cardinal Greenway bike trail all the way to Richmond.  Leaving Muncie we rode through the Ball State campus. What a beautiful campus!

The sight of the Shafer Tower carillon stopped us in our tracks mid-campus.  The tower is surrounded by tall buildings so it comes into view right when you are passing

Taking a break at one of the many trail heads

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Day 55 - August 5, Peru to Muncie, 73 miles

Today started crisp and cool again in the low 50s.  We got to ride several trails; Converse Junction, Sweetser Switch, and Cardinal Greenway. They are well maintained paved trails that are part of the Rails to Trails system.  There are numerous trailheads along the way with bathrooms, pavilions, picnic tables and trail maps.  At one beautiful picnic stop in the forest on the Cardinal Greenway we met Bob.  Bob rides the trails on a regular basis and provided us with great info on the route ahead and where to get a good meal.  Thanks Bob!  Bob let us know that the Cardinal Greenway has quite the community following with many committed volunteers. 

Some of the trailheads feature old rail cars from when the trails where rails.  These are displayed on the Sweetser Switch

To get to our hotel from the trail in Muncie we used Google Maps.  We were joking about Google taking us down a gravel single track trail when to our surprise … 

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Day 54 - August 4, North Judson to Peru, 73 miles

We started today’s route on the North Judson Erie Trail a paved trail running for 9 miles.   Unexpectedly the trail provides a lesson about the size of our solar system.   The start of the trail represents the sun and a informative placard is placed along side the trail for each planet at increasing distances.  The trail doesn’t make it to Neptune but they are actively working on extending the trail.   We had this trail all to ourselves. We did see several deer along the way.   When we reached Rochester we entered the Nickel Plate Trail which took us the rest of the way to Peru. This is also a paved trail.  It would be amazing to ride these tree lined trails in the fall.  

Many of the Indiana backroads are also tree covered 

Will ride for treats !

Soybean fields that go on for miles

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Day 53 - August 3, Stevensville Michigan to North Judson Indiana, 86 miles

Another state - Indiana!   No welcome sign.  Over the last two days we have been in and out of Eastern Time.  Indiana has always been a little crazy with its mix of time zones.  Tonight we are back on central time - we think!  Today’s route was longer than expected.  Navigator Sherri had us on the ACA Northern Lakes route for 80 miles. Mark suggested, with several longer days ahead, to short cut part of the route reducing the days mileage to 70.  The shortcut was recommended by Google Maps. What!!  Mark don’t you read your own blog!   Yep - another dead end gravel road and back tracking to the ACA route.  On the bright side the weather was perfect again with highs in the 70s, verdant tree covered roads gradually gave way to quiet country farm roads - in the end a great route. 

Monday, August 2, 2021

Day 52- August 2, Douglas to Stevensville, 49 miles

US Bicycle route 35 continues to provide wonderful scenery and great roads for biking.  We went through the lake resort towns of South Haven, Lake Michigan Beach, Benton Harbor, and St Joseph.   We had a great lunch in St Joseph with views of the lake.  The temps started in the low 50s and the high was 73.  Very nice. 

Lighthouses at the St Joseph pier

Lake Michigan view

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Day 51 - August 1, Grand Haven to Douglas, 44 miles

Today we followed the Adventure Cycling North Lake route through beautiful tree lined roads with glimpses of Lake Michigan from time to time.  Amazingly the temps were cool in the mid 70s with a tailwind out of the north.  We had to interrupt the ride midday for our first major mechanical issue. The front bottom bracket was making a lot of noise and really grinding.  We found and stopped at a great bike shop, Rock ‘n’ Road Cycle, in Holland.  They fit us in immediately and then called in their tandem expert, Matt, from their sister bike shop about 12 miles away.  Matt brought the needed parts with him and had the bottom bracket repaired in short order!  What great service!  After thanking Matt and team for their great service we were off.  However about 6 miles down the road a second issue, the timing belt slipped off again. Matt dropped everything and drove out to help us!  After some adjustments on the belt tension and noting that we needed to replace a couple of components due to wear, we were off again and able to complete the days ride. 

Blueberries !   We had never seen a blueberry orchard before - we had to stop and check it out