Got up to overcast skies and a forecast for rain. However, the first 10-15 miles were a breeze along smooth paved roads with a good shoulder. Green farmlands. Then, it started raining. Randy started whining a little and I pulled out my rain jacket (thanks, Nancy Perkins). Pretty much a light steady rain, but not cold. However, enough to get wet. I told Randy to stop whining – at least it wasn’t 35 mph headwinds, or a cold rain. Plus, we had not had rain in since I can’t remember when. And it was actually pleasant and we had good roads. He called me Pollyanna. I told him I took that as a compliment, it is all in how you choose to look at it, and biked off.
We followed the Adventure Cycling northern tier route along the shores of Lake Erie. The rain eventually tapered off. There were miles and miles of huge houses with massive lawns along the shore. Beautiful big trees. Several drivers in cars gave us the thumbs up or shouted encouragement. After what seemed like forever, we reached Lakewood where we stopped for lunch at an Italian restaurant named “Danny Boys” that boasted it had been voted as having best pizza in Cleveland. Lunch was fabulous. I had a lunch special that included a piece of pizza and salad. I got this lemon asparagus salad that was to die for – had artichoke hearts, pine nuts, feta cheese.. Awesome. The pizza was also awesome, as well as the free breadsticks the waitress gave us to give us a little extra “carbs” for the ride. She took really good care of us. The food was so good Randy even got excited. I told him that as far as I was concerned this meal ranked in the top 5 on the bike trip as a whole. Good stuff.
After lunch, we found another bike shop and got a really good map of Cleveland. Then, started the 15 mile ride through Cleveland to our hotel. What a nightmare! While some of the streets were OK, there were others that were in awful condition and you had to pay close attention to avoid the many pot holes. The worse part was the final 5 miles that, unbeknownst to us, was under construction. I hit some really deep holes and am amazed I didn’t get a flat. Talk about getting jolted. And the traffic was bad. The only accurate description of all this is that it was grueling. Finally, we reached our hotel, where we will be taking 2 full rest days. Another Hotwire find – 3 1/2 stars for less than most low end hotels. Kind of made up for the last 15 miles of the day.
While in Cleveland, Randy and I plan on going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I also want to get to the Cleveland zoo. Randy says he will pass on the zoo. The first time I questioned his character – I mean, who doesn’t like animals or zoos?