Open Mic Night

Hank – We left Cleveland on a very nice bike route and headed east. Our first order of business was stopping at the Blue Sky Bicycle Shop in Eastlake and replacing Kathy’s tires. She’s had too many glass cuts and the rear tire was really worn.

Our destination today was Painesville, OH. I had called a church there to ask about camping on the lawn for the night. There are no campgrounds near the town. We arrived a little after 1:00 pm and wandered through the center of town. A police officer verified there was no camping in the city. Bummer. A couple of people drove up next to us to find out what we were up to. For good eats they directed us to Jimmy’s Cafe. They were right. The food was delicious. I hadn’t heard from the church yet and rain was in the forecast so we checked The Rider Inn, which is a hotel listed on the Adventure Cycling route. It was built in 1812 and it was part of the underground railroad sheltering runaway slaves. They had a couple rooms available. And the price was right.

Checking in, we learned it was open mic night in the pub. Yes, they have a pub and a separate restaurant in the place. They’ve been doing open mic here for 17 years. We cleaned up and relaxed for a while. While we had dinner and drinks in the pub Dave Nared showed up and started setting up a sound system for the evening. Dave is a huge KISS fan so he and Kathy had a lot to talk about.

The open mic is intended for musicians to try out original material but it’s not mandatory. I was really wishing I had a cigar box guitar but I would have to make do with the ukulele. There were few people in attendance and most of them were there to play. Dave played a few songs, some of his own material, and then asked me to go first.  I played four songs and then sat back to hear everyone else. It was a fun night with some good music. Frank followed me and did some of his songs. One song that struck me was about Sacajawea. “Sacajawea, what were you thinking, you silly girl? You made friends with the men who came to end your world.”

Joel and Chris did original songs. They perform as Sunshine Rose. Bill Rebol performed a kick ass version of Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath. He also did Purple Rain. He likes to push the envelope and he does a good job of it. Mark and Dave both remembered some deceased musician friends–Mark just came from a funeral–and sang songs that helped pass on their stories. It was very touching.

Kathy got part of my attempt at performing Mandolin Orange’s Waltz About Whiskey.

Kathy – It was a good day of riding.  We rode 37 miles with only about 500 feet of elevation.  Not much headwind either.  Our temps were in the mid 80s so that was good as well.  It’s been almost 3.5 months on the road.  Hank and I are both getting a bit tired of riding everyday.  We normally only take one day off and it is spent seeing city sights and doing chores like laundry, replacing food/bike/other supplies, and figuring out future travel routes/plans.  We do not have much down time. Our days stay pretty busy riding for 6-7 hours, consuming calories to sustain us, figuring out lodging/camping set up, cleaning up, sleeping, and starting over again the next day.  We are on the go everyday and are feeling the need to slow or stop for a bit.  We are not thinking about stopping our journey, just maybe taking a few days break some time in the near future.  We don’t have any plans yet. We may wait until we get to Maine or maybe take a few days before then.  Still need to work that out.

However, our day today was wonderful overall. It was a good ride, happy to have new tires, and our evening at this wonderful historic hotel was amazing.  I loved relaxing and listening to all the great music.  Chris one of the local singers gave me one of his paintings.  The Chinese calendar says it is the Year of the Dog. So he paints dog pictures and gives them away.  He also painted his guitar case and added painted shells to it.  Pretty cool guy.  All good things must come to and end, so I was tired and retired to our room at 9:30 pm before Hank.  No doubt he continued to enjoy the evening.  A good ending to a good day!

A couple of notes…

About the author hankgreer

All posts by hankgreer →


  1. It’s not surprising you’re feeling kind of tired! Even working folk take weekends!


  2. Nice job stepping up to the mic Hank.


    1. Thanks. It was a lot of fun.


Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: