Big Ride Update: Days 41 & 42
– Saturday we biked 60 wet miles from Burton, Ohio to New Waterford, Ohio. There was thunder and lightning throughout the night and we set out at 6 am in a steady drizzle. It was mostly rolling hills and farmland interspersed with small, hard-scrabble towns and a fast-moving, urban traffic. We passed through several Amish and Mennonite communities, including Middlefield Township, the fourth largest Amish community in the world, and spent time wandering through Das Dutch Village in Columbiana. We set up tents in Terrace Lakes campground where it was raining heavily and several people slept in the wooden pavilion with wet towels and biker clothes hanging from the rafters.
–Sunday we biked 62 hilly miles from New Waterford, Ohio to Washington, Pennsylvania, entering our eleventh state. The morning was wreathed in a thick fog which lifted once we crossed into western Pennsylvania. We stopped in Midland and paid six dollars to have a big breakfast at a Veterans of Foreign Wars center with a helicopter gunship outside.We passed two nuclear power plants, one on each side of the Ohio River, in Shippingport, and the big expansion joints on the bridge caused several bikes trouble, including mine. We had lunch before Burgettstown and rode on through rolling farmland into Whispering Pines Family Campground near Washington, Pennsylvania, where we are staying for the night.
Starting the day’s ride with rain jackets under wet skies.
Horse and buggy on the soggy road in Middlefield, which is the center of one of the largest Amish settlements in the world. The local Walmart’s supposedly caters to the Amish community, providing hitching posts for buggies in the parking lot.
White fence, red barn and horse, on the road to Champion, Ohio
Warren coke factory. In 1890, Warren was the first city in the U.S. to get electrical street illumination.
A house in Canfield, an affluent suburb 9 miles southwest of Youngstown, Ohio.
Drag racers zoom past us toward Beaver township
A field of soybeans under overcast skies
A high school in Beaver
Farm with grain silo
Unprepossessing but essential cell phone tower that keeps us from falling completely off the grid.
Entering Columbiana, home of the Shaker Woods Festival
A local store in Columbiana
Eating a Moose Tracks ice cream at a store in East Fairfield. The young woman behind the counter wears a traditional Mennonite dress and head covering.
Big Riders shelter under the pavilion at the Terrace Lakes campground
Once the skies cleared,Terrace Lakes shimmered in the evening light
Entering East Palestine, Ohio, “a little city with a big future” in the fog
A country club in East Palestine
Calcutta, Ohio, along Ohio State Route 170
There is no state welcome sign as you enter Pennsylvania from eastern Ohio on a long descent but this sign indicating that Ohio is one mile away tells you the Big Riders have entered their eleventh state, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
As we entered Pennsylvania, this lumbering train ran parallel to us along the
Ohio River on State Route 68 so I decided to race it and managed to overtake the lead locomotive just before we entered Midland.
An Apache gunship outside the Midland chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, where we stopped for breakfast.
Big Riders eat breakfast with Midland veterans. The two largest employers in town are a cyber-high school and the steel mill.
The cooling towers from one nuclear power plant in Shippingport, Pennsylvania, site of the first commercial nuclear power plant in the U.S.
The gaping expansion joints on the Ohio River bridge in Shippingport that chewed up my bicycle tire and gave me my first flat, as well as a little tumble.
Heading into Burgettstown
Cornfield and a farm near Burgettstown
A house near Washington, Pennsylvania
Our campground in Whispering Pines