Thursday, July 4, 2013

Day 6: Highlights

1. Making it to Cleveland in one piece! 340 miles!
2. Dipping my front tire in Lake Erie, 6 days after I had dipped my rear tire in the Ohio River. 
3. Getting an early start from Massillon and making it to Akron by 9 am was a huge confidence builder. 
4. Having my friend Rachel drive up to Cleveland to pick me up. She's awesome!
4a. Taking my first Truck Stop Shower on the ride home. It was actually really nice!!!
5. Seeing how well the history of the Ohio and Erie Canal is told along the towpath
6. Great celebratory dinner at Cheesecake Factory with Rachel. 
7. Lying in my own bed at home!
Cleveland Metro Parks has built two really nice suspension bridges on the Towpath. 
Trail goes through an area called Industrial Valley in Cleveland 
First glimpse of downtown!!!!
Downtown has some really cool spots
Exhausted, sunburnt, beat up, sore, filthy, sweaty, hot, smelly and happy. Dipping my front tire into Lake Erie six days after I dipped my rear tire in the Ohio River!!!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


Pulled into Cleveland around 4 today! 

Day 6: Heating Up Toward The End

So I'm getting closer to the end of the Towpath trail. It is beating me up. Only paved in a few sections. Getting really hot. My feet are starting to hurt bad. 

I stopped into a restaurant for a sandwich and to rest my feet. I call it an SOS or Shoes Off Stop. 

Hopefully ill be finishing up this afternoon

Day 6: Early Morning to Akron

It's 9 am and I'm having a bagel in downtown Akron. 30 miles down so far today. Got out of the hotel before dawn to try and beat the heat

Following the Towpath Trail along the old Ohio and Erie Canal. Here is a picture of the locks just south of Canal Fulton. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Day 5: Pain, Heat, Frustration

Today tested me physically, mentally, and emotionally.  My body is wearing down, especially my feet.  There is a dull pain in my quads at all times.  My shoulders ache.  My feet were in some serious pain today.  At one point, I stopped on the side of the road...took off my shoes and just lied down in the grass.  Some Amish guy stopped by to see if I was ok. 

I'm learning a lot about my bike, myself and what works for me and what doesn't.  After killing some Wendy's tonight in Dalton, I got on the Sippo Valley Trail to Massillon.  I was disappointed initially to see that the trail was gravel and dirt.  But then, something happened and I pedaled faster and stronger than I had all day.  I was moving!  I decided back in Dalton that I couldn't make it to Akron tonight so I better come up with an alternate plan.  I hate leaving 70 miles for tomorrow but I need rest and there are no hotels for 30 miles past Massillon.  I ended up finding a Hampton Inn right downtown and they had availability. 

I've showered, put on my muscle rub and I'm getting ready for bed.  I've researched tomorrows route and its all on the Towpath Trail so that will eliminate a lot of navigational uncertainty.  It also means it will be flat which is huge.  I noticed this evening that I ride a lot faster when its cool.  This happened on Day 3 when I pulled out of London at 6 a.m.  So I've got a 5 a.m. wake up call.  Its going to be a long hard day but I'm going to give it all I've got to make it to Lake Erie.  My friend Rachel is going to meet me there.  She rocks for driving up to pick me up! 

Good night all!  Tomorrow is a big day....wish me luck! 

Day 5: Rough Day

Had my second flat tire of the day and luckily a nice man that lived next to the trail helped me out. Eventually we discovered that the tire had a gash in it that was exposing the tube to added stress. Eventually he drove me to a Menonite bike shop where i bought a heavy duty rear tire better suited for the trip. 

Larry Badger saved my butt today!
More hills and countryside today. 
More buggies than cars

My feet are in bad shape, constant pain. Add the heat and the tire issues and its been my toughest day so far. Not going to make Akron tonight :(