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Felt Like A Work Day

Hank – We left the campground around 7:30 am and made our way through Monroe. A guy riding a bike on the sidewalk let us know he had a bike shop and they’d fix us up if we needed anything. Our bikes are good but we thanked him.

Leaving town we headed south on Michigan State Route 125 to Toledo. For most of the ride we felt we never left the city. Toledo, being a large city, was a mad house. Our daughter, Steph, mailed our ballots to us via general delivery. Riding to that post office would have added another 10-12 miles. Instead, we parked at the hospital in Oregon, OH and I took an Uber to the post office and back. Our ballots are in the mail. Today felt like we worked all day. There was little joy of riding through quiet countryside.

After taking care of that we went to a Mexican restaurant. We hadn’t had a meal all day. We each had a margarita. They were very strong so I had a second one. Whew! I was feeling pretty good during that last 8 miles to Maumee Bay State Park where we had reservations for the night. We got our site, set up camp, and took showers. Everything is so much better when you’re cleaned up.

We couldn’t find an available campground or a reasonably affordable hotel in Sandusky, tomorrow’s destination, so I tried calling churches to see of they’d let us tent on the lawn. The first church I called, a United Methodist Church, said they’d open the building for us so we could shower and sleep inside. How awesome is that?

Kathy – It seemed like we rode longer than 43 miles today. Maybe it was because of all the traffic in Toledo, Ohio. The temps were in the high 80’s and a bit on the warm side. Our first 22 miles were on a road with a very narrow shoulder. There was a lot of traffic too so along with being extra careful we also but on our bright green reflective vests to ensure we were seen. We did not have much headwind and the ride had minimal elevation. Because of all the traffic and maneuvering about (including about an hour in a really sketchy Toledo neighborhood) today was not one of my more enjoyable rides. I guess they all can’t be great.

So 13 weeks on the road and today we hit Ohio, our 13th state! The way we are going we are hoping to get to Maine around Labor Day. Thank you to Steph for mailing our ballots to the Toledo post office. We did our civic duty today and hope our vote makes a difference. So tonight I am happy to be clean, tucked into our tent keeping those pesky mosquitoes at bay, and thankful for the cool evening.

Bicycles Not Allowed–We Think

Hank – We packed up a dew-covered tent and rolled out of Maumee Bay State Park on our way to Sandusky, OH. Google maps and maps.me both created routes taking us south and adding eleven miles to what I thought was a more direct route. The direct route was following Ohio Highway 2 the entire way.  I searched for anything showing bike traffic was not allowed in Highway 2 and came up empty. Street View showed plenty of shoulder on every part of Hwy 2 I checked so we had two votes for that route.

The morning was very pleasant and it was great to get some miles out of the way before the day heated up. After 20-some miles we stopped to eat at the Wild Wings Restaurant and Lounge next to the Wild Wings Campground and Marina. Breakfast was good and as we got back on the road we could feel the thermometer getting closer to the red zone. We passed by a yet another nuclear power plant, which is something I’m not used to seeing.

Highway 2 traffic ebbed and flowed. It would alternate between rush hour traffic and quiet country road. As we got closer to Port Clinton it became more like a freeway. We stopped at a convenience store for a cold drink. I checked Google maps again and for the cycling route it called for a 45-mile detour from Port Clinton to Sandusky. That’s when I wondered if bikes were not allowed on part of the roadway ahead. So I asked a guy in the store and he confirmed bikes were not allowed. We hadn’t seen any signs saying that and a 45-mile detour was not going to happen so we decided we’d play the “we’re not from around here” card if we were stopped by the authorities.

Back on the road and we’re soon crossing Sandusky Bay. Aside from the speeding and noisy traffic and the fact that the shoulder hasn’t been swept of debris for a very long time it wasn’t that bad. The authorities did not bother with us nor did we see any signage on that section of the road stating no bikes.

Going into Sandusky we happened upon Margaritaville, a biker bar. A cold drink was in order and the sign said “Bikers Welcome” so we grabbed a seat in the shade and hung out for an hour or so. Then we finished the last four miles to the Columbus Avenue United Methodist Church. Our friend, Annika LaVoie, has toured a lot and she told us she used churches often. So I took a chance and called this church to see if we could tent on their lawn overnight. While leaving a message Bill Couch picked up the phone and spoke with me. He said they’d be happy to host us and we were welcome to stay inside. And they have showers!

Bill and his wife, Sharon, met us at the church and showed us around. He gave us a key and showed us where to leave it in the morning when we left. Kathy and I got cleaned up and walked over to the Kroger store and ate in the deli. We also picked up a few supplies.

I contacted a WarmShowers host in Lakewood, OH for tomorrow and he said he has three hosting requests but he might be able to make it work. He let me know later on. We just might be asking someone if we can camp on their lawn.

Kathy quote of the day: “I don’t like snakes. But if I have to be around them I like the dead ones best.”

Late update: Kathy understandably picked up some glass in her rear tire. Flat tire score is now Kathy – 8 and Hank – 0.

Kathy – Our 54 miler was a bit warm with temps in the low 90’s. It was a pretty flat route with minimal headwinds. The shoulder of the road was pretty wide and smooth most of our ride. Today views were mainly countryside, lots of dead animals, the nuclear reactor, and for some reason lots of banana peels on the side of the road. We literally saw at least 20 banana peelings today on the road. I have never seen so many scattered about. Not sure what was going on but I’m happy we didn’t slip and fall on one of them! πŸ˜„

No real excitement, just the usual people asking us about our travels which follows comments of disbelief and looks of shock. Then a barrage of questions about where we are going next, how many miles we ride a day, do we camp or hotel, how much do the bikes weigh, etc. Nothing new for us anymore. It’s crazy but this lifestyle almost seems normal for us now. Not sure if this is good or bad. 😊