We rest in 2 days, but until then we have one more long ride. Tomorrow will be 89 miles bringing us north and to Erie Pa. We will cross our 10th state line tomorrow. To date we’ve ridden 2740 miles and have another 660 to reach bean town. Tonight we bed down in Niles Ohio just west of Youngstown. Yep we’ve reached yet another memorable location, Niles the home of Rubbermaid !! I know you lust with jealousy right.
Yesterday we rode through several Amish communities. It was such an amazing experience riding a bike and having them wave and say their hellos. I saw ladies tilling their gardens by hand with a shovel and pushing hand rotor lawn movers. And kids driving small buggies with donkeys. We’ve been through a number of these communities and it’s fascinating. It is truly like seeing historic lifestyles in today’s world. Just seeing and following their horse drawn buggies along on a bicycle is hard to describe.
Also yesterday we got to a heavily wooded area along a river. We could hear a loud buzz but none of us were sure what it was. We stopped and asked a man who was trimming his trees. He told us they were Cicadas and they only hatch every 17 years. He wanted to ask about our journey and we wanted to find out about Cicadas. They were really loud and one of them flew and landed near my bike. They are loud but pretty ugly buggers. Kind of creepy actually
We’ve noticed a change and transformation since we crossed the Illinois River. We could feel the mid west disappearing and the east coming out. More people, more traffic, faster pace and driving habits. As we pull out of towns we now feel the commuter buzz. People aren’t as willing to sit and wait at stop signs and at the end of their driveways. More and more people are pulling out in front of us. Also people are driving foreign made cars. People are giving us less of the roads as well. Much fewer friendly waves for sure.
Sadly we are starting to see and feel the end of this adventure. Chuck who’s doing this ride for his third time says we are the first group that doesn’t want it to end. Past groups that he rode with were anxious to get it done. I have to say, our group is exceptional and we’ve bonded like a family. It’s amazing that every single day everyone’s spirits and moods are so pumped up. The owner of the tour company and her staff keep saying we might be the very best group ever in 21 years !!! Everyone’s always laughing despite the difficulties of making it into the next day’s hotel. The mileage alone everyday is a challenge and add in the climbing and winds and this is no walk in the park. Most of us attack it and try and get the rides done earlier rather than later. Rest and recovery are premium as is consuming enough calories. Like someone said early on, if this was easy, more people would do it. It’s truly an experience of a lifetime.