This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Rule #9/ Hall of Fame Tour recap

 On April 1st I posted a notice on the local club's Facebook page that I would be taking a
 Hall of Fame Ride on Saturday.  300+ miles all downwind.  Strange that nobody offered to join me.
But then, on Saturday we had a freak snowstorm of 4-5 inches. 
 Even I chickened out and set everything back a day.  
Saturday came. I waited for the temps to rise and headed off on the journey.
 The wind had shifted and my plan to make it to Indiana proved ridiculous.  The SSW wind was screaming across the open fields so I let it push me East to the Coldwater area.
 You have to be flexible and I was in position for the wind to help again on Monday.
The wind shifted again. Monday was predicted to be the coldest day of the week.  I decided to take it easy and stay warm by sailing downwind to awake with the energy to pedal again.  The greater question, "will I be awake long enough to tolerate the NCAA championship?"
No, apparently I missed the greatest second half in the history of basketball.  Oh well.

Tuesday provided picture perfect skies across northern Ohio.
 The farmers haven't planted and I could swear you can see anything from anywhere.
Wednesday the train came and went, came and went, again and again.  Wind was helpful most of the day, but I must have stopped a dozen times to put my rain cape on or take it off. 
 It's all part of the trip, along with sunsets on the Maumee river.
Thursday proved to be the most productive day.  I still was able to take it easy. The wind was following me directly down the North Coast Inland Trail all day for 65 miles to Elyria.  
The trail is a well developed and well used rail trail built on an abandoned section of  NYC railroad bed.  The surface from Florence to Bellevue is relatively new and excellent asphalt.  Between Bellevue and Kipton the surface varies between fast, hard packed limestone and coarse rough gravel.
It's easy to complain about trails, the surface and intersections slowing down travel, but
they take us to places we wouldn't normally see. 
How fast are you planning to pedal a 70 pound bike anyway?
This old bridge is a real wonder of architecture.  It was built over a hundred years ago
 to support the first mainline connecting New York City and Chicago.  
A double arched bridge built of 10,000 hand cut sandstone blocks, 
         it supported modern rail traffic until 1976 when a new line was built 50 yards south.  
                                  For those of us who are railroad geeks, that is a real treat.  
Since the conditions were good, the wind was right and I felt brave, I pushed on. The last hour, it snowed. I know I live in the Midwest, but this is getting a bit weird.
I awoke Friday with little over 30 miles to go.  It could have been shorter but I trusted Google Maps which led me on an extended tour of Elyria Ohio's extensive MUP system.  It's nice they have that, but I really wanted to leave.  You just can't place full faith in Google.
Once I got past the mistake, it took little time to ride down Detroit Rd to Cleveland.  
I began to see signs of enlightenment, including a Bike Share program, bike lanes and, where ever bike lanes didn't fit, sharrows and signs reminded drivers that bikes would use the full lane.

Early afternoon the quest was over I reached the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I didn't take as many pictures of the exhibits as I should.  I think I was a bit transfixed by all the memories the music evoked.  The museum focuses on the music more than the visual history.  The sound system is, of course, excellent and there are hours of recordings and videos throughout the displays.  Interactive booths provide both replays of favorite songs and groups along with historical commentary.  A theater exists which plays a continuous loop of inductees from year to year and reminds us of the complexity that occurred in the development from Robert Johnson, Leadbelly, the Supremes, The Beatles to Van Halen.  There are a bunch of memories to grab onto.  Displays of memorabilia are extensive.  Elvis, The Beatles and The Stones are the largest.  Graham Nash had an extensive display of his career, not too surprising with the highly publicized release of his latest album.  In one area there was a collection of performance wardrobe with David Bowie's attire next to Michael Jackson's and, directly opposite, the dresses worn by the Supremes.  Oddly, they looked quite natural together.  One couldn't help but enjoy the irony of Jim Morrison's Cub Scout uniform on display. 

After the museum closed, I was left alone on the streets of Cleveland.  
It was a surprisingly lovely experience.  With two of the major sports arenas downtown,
a thriving theater and nightclub area has developed.  I left the bike, fully loaded, locked on the street without a worry since there were security guards circulating in the crowd throughout the evening.
The real challenge was staying sober enough to find the Amtrak station when it opened at midnight.
Such is the problem when one decides to use Amtrak to or from a bike ride.
You leave yourself dependent on their schedule.
The accommodations are improving.  Here is a look at the bike compartment on the Capitol Limited.
There are wall racks to hold 7 bikes and the door opens right to the platform making it effortless to roll on and load or unload a bike.  I sure hope they expand the idea to other lines.
Waiting for my Michigan connection in Chicago was entertaining as usual. 
There's always something of interest in one of the great shopping and cultural areas of the world.
After a nap on the ride to Kzoo, I stopped a local bar before going home to crash.  The bartender informed me  I was crazy to do anything like this.  Crazy is a bit harsh I think, but let's review.
I only spent a week riding 50-70 miles a day through freezing temperatures, rain, sleet, single digit wind chill, freezing rain and snow.   I've done sillier shit for worse reasons, after all...
I got a t-shirt for this!

6 comments:

  1. What a great ride. I think I would prefer warmer temps, but then again, I'm a wimp!

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  2. Ah yes Amtrak's schedule for baggage Aka bikes is ridiculous. Is the large saddle sack working out as well as you hoped?

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    1. Yes the large Saddlesack is working well. So far I have resisted the urge to bring extra stuff and it just adds a lot of convenience compared to the Gunflint Trail.

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