Big Ride Update: Days 38 & 39
–Wednesday we biked 88 miles from Napoleon, Ohio to Sandusky, Ohio. It was a flat route along gentle farmland that showed Ohio’s agricultural and rural side–the Buckeye State is part of the Grain Belt as well as the Rust Belt. We stopped at a bike shop in Bowling Green that opened early especially for us and continued along Greenburg Pike through small towns like Ballville Township, Fremont– home of President Rutherford B. Hayes–and Erlan and Castalia until we reached Sandusky on the shores of Lake Erie, home of the Cedar Point Amusement Park and a major tourist destination as well as formerly a major stop on the Underground Railroad’s freedom trail. We are staying in cabins at the Bayshore KOA Campground.
–Thursday was a rest day as we prepared for six straight days of cycling through Ohio and the daunting hills of Pennsylvania. The Big Riders went to Cedar Point Amusement Park, agreeing to don official bike shirts and pose for a group photo with bikes, in exchange for free admission to the amusement park.
Leaving Napoleon just before sunrise
The sun starts to come over the horizon on Country Road P
The sun breaks the horizon
The sun begins to spread its light over Country Road P.
A field of soy beans fresh in the first light of day
Water mirroring the sky on West Poe Road
Tall turbines on a wind farm
Cycle Werks bike shop in Bowling Green, which opened its doors to the Big Riders at our first check point. Bowling Green has over 30,000 people, is home to Bowling Green State University, the National Tractor Pulling Championships and the Black Swamp Arts Festival.
The village of Portage, Ohio, population 428.
Fremont, Ohio, home to the Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) Presidential Center, a Heinz Company Ketchup Factory billed as the world’s largest and many cutlery companies.
The Miles Newton Bridge which crosses the Sandusky River shortly after Fremont.
A farm on the road between Erlan and Castalia.
These beautiful wildflowers lined the roadside for miles and miles
A Big Rider standing in a tall cornfield.
The village of Castalia which has a spring-fed pond that never freezes so when Lake Erie freezes during the winter, many waterfowl take up residence here.
A lumbering farm vehicle that was so slow, we had to overtake it. On a good day with tail winds, the Big Riders average over 20 miles per hour.
As we enter Sandusky, Todd and I stop for milk shakes and ice cream. Sandusky is on Lake Erie, about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland. Among its impressive number of references in American culture, it was the hometown of Sugar, aka Marilyn Monroe, in Some Like it Hot.
Two Big Riders wash and lube their bikes at the Bayshore Campground where we are staying. We got to stay in the compact cabins, which have air conditioning.
Downtown Sandusky, on Lake Erie. We ate dinner nearby. Lake Erie, the fourth largest of the five Great Lakes, is bounded by Ontario on the north, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York on the south and Michigan on the west. It provides hydroelectric power to Canada and the US.
Big Riders wait outside Cedar Point Amusement Park entry for a group photo with the Park’s marketing staff
Cedar Point features one of the largest collection of roller coasters in the world and the largest collection of rides in a single park.
The Raptor, which along with the Dragster and the Maverick, are among the largest, fastest and scariest roller coasters anywhere. The Dragster hits 120 mph in four seconds.
A Big Rider relaxes on the Sky Ride after floating down the Lazy River.