Last weekend was an incredible experience. So sit back, grab a snack, and let the pictures load :)
As you know, my dad‘s been cycling across America (you can read the first 3 updates here, here, and here) and over the weekend, I was given the amazing opportunity to meet up and ride across part of Ohio with him. My mom picked me up from the airport late Thursday night, and on Friday we met up with Dad in middle-of-nowheresville Ohio and we took off! On Friday we rode from Ashley, OH into Wooster (my college town).
My mom and I love cat tails so when we saw these, we had to stop for a quick picture – the first of the day (please ignore the fact that I look albino and slightly like a dude). We rode primarily on quiet country roads and it felt like we had the whole state to ourselves. It’s just gorgeous in Ohio’s countryside.
We rode by fields of soybeans, through tunnels of corn, under bridges, and over huge hills. And for any of you who haven’t been to Ohio, let me tell ya one thing: that state is not flat.
Friday’s relatively short 35-mile ride (short for my dad, that is… he’s used to riding ~80-100 miles/day!) brought us into my college town. Rolling onto Liberty Street, I was ecstatic and nostalgic, ohhhh man do I miss that place. But our first order of business: stopping for some well earned ice cream at Dari Land.
There are about 30 other riders on this trip with my dad and they’re all so nice! It was a pleasure finally meeting them all.
After checking into our hotel rooms, I threw on my running shoes and ran the mile or so up to campus.
Ohhhh, the memories! I peered into the windows of my old dorms and houses, past the rec center and student union. It felt so weird being on campus without my college buddies. I miss you guys, I wish you could have been there with me. The rest of Friday night was spent laughing and enjoying the company of many of my dad’s friends from work and home. So many people drove down to celebrate and encourage my dad on his journey, and it made me proud to be his daughter.
Saturday morning we were up and on our way by 7:30am. We passed old rickety barns and over railroads. We passed ALOT of road kill. We passed fields of delicious-smelling flowers and clean laundry hanging to dry, but we also passed cow farms that smelled less than ideal, cheese farms that smelled even worse.
Before Saturday, my longest ride to date was 42 miles. I was having so much fun with my dad that the miles just flew by. Before I knew it, we passed the 50-mile mark.
We were, by no means, in a hurry to get our miles in. We took our time, enjoying each other’s company and the scenery. We stopped to eat, top up our water bottles, and catch up with my mom. Though my dad’s group has a “SAG” wagon (support and gear), my mom followed us and took care of us along the way on Saturday :)
After 92 incredible/exhilarating/exhausting/memorable miles, we finally rolled into Niles, OH after a full day of riding. 92 miles! My longest ride by 50 miles! Oh, and boy could my backside feel it. Oddly, my quads weren’t that sore but my thumbs, knees, and rump were achin’ the rest of the evening. Before showering for dinner, I literally laid sprawled-out on the floor for a good 10 minutes. I can’t believe my dad does that every day!
It was such a blessing being able to join my dad for part of his America By Bicycle experience. This’ll be a memory I’ll never forget!
And now for my dad? He’s 45 days down and only 7 more to go!