Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2--Day 20--Tilmann Goes to Cleveland!

I finished off the evening with the sunset last night, and there WERE fireflies at Firefly Beach!

Sunset over Lake Erie



I was on the road around 7:00 this morning. I knew I was going to have a full day of urban riding, on a holiday weekend no less. I wanted to get going before some of the traffic. It was pretty quiet for awhile. I stopped at the library in Vermilion to upload yesterday's post. Turns out there was wifi at Firefly Beach, but I didn't think to ask until it was too late to get the password. Fortunately, so far, Ohio libraries have all been password free. So, even though the library was closed, I was able to sit outside and poach the wifi.


Later I stopped to get some Gatorade. It was the weirdest thing, all these bugs were on the window and the walls outside the convenience store. I asked the gal what was with all the insects. She said they came from the lake. She thought they were all dead. I didn't want to find out they weren't, and be covered in these things!




Although I went through a number of towns, they mostly ran together. I stopped at a park in Lorain for a snack break. The "Beach Zamboni" was smoothing the sand (actually, cleaning the beach). There was this sign about how they use border collies to keep the beach free of seagulls, therefore keeping the beach cleaner. By the looks of it, they needed to get busy!

Beach Zamboni

Here's the sign about the border collies

Me thinks the dogs need to get to work--seagulls AND Canada Geese!



Lorain melded into Sheffield Lake, then Avon Lake, Bay Village, and Rocky River. I was riding on Hwy 6 the entire time. Between the lake and the highway were mansion after mansion. If I'd had a shoulder (by now the traffic had picked up considerably), I would have stopped to take a few photos. Some of these homes were unbelievable! 


I stopped at a place called Huntington Reservation. It is a park now, but it used to be the country estate of the industrialist and philanthropist, John Huntington (he was instrumental in establishing the Cleveland Art Museum, which I have been to with Dillon). Wealthy Clevelanders had homes in Cleveland, and these country estates along the lake. It's a very nice park.

The water tower at Huntington Reservation

The beach below



At Rocky River I stopped and picked up some lunch and went to a park next door. There was a pier, and several people were fishing...and sleeping. I talked to a gal who was out for a day ride. I didn't get her name, but she was nice.

The pier



After Rocky River, I switched to the detail map for Lakewood and Cleveland. The first part was a little tricky, and for a while I wasn't on the route. But, I knew the route was closer to the lake, so I just headed down a street toward the lake where I intercepted the route. 


Coming into Cleveland, there was a bike path through Edgewater Park. As I came around the corner I saw a big "Cleveland" sign. I got in line to do a photo with Tilmann and me. When I was in Mexico they had these big colorful city signs. You just kind of gathered around waiting for an opportunity to do your photo. This was a very orderly line with the next person usually taking the photo for the people ahead. It was very civilized, and the line moved quickly. The guy that took my picture jokingly said, "You want the Cleveland sign in the picture?" Funny guy...




The beach and the city

This being A sunny Sunday of 4th of July weekend, the beach at Edgewater was packed. In general, the whole park was pretty crowded, and it was slow going on the bike path. I made it to where I left the park, but continued on the bike path. There was this fun mosaic, so I took this photo of Tilmann.

Tilmann and the mosaic riders



Just after the mosaic, I was back onto city streets. At the park I had checked my phone to see exactly where the Cleveland Hostel was. Since Dillon moved home for the summer, I had to alter my lodging plan. The next nearest campground is another 50+ miles. I was already at 45 miles. Plus, it's slow going through the city. Anyway, the hostel was just a handful of blocks off my route. I figured, even though it's a holiday weekend, the hostel wouldn't be fully booked. 


On my way to the hostel, I saw this bike shop. I stopped in to chat with the guys, and get a sticker. They carry Surly, and when I told them about Tilmann, they wanted to see him. The one guy even wanted to take a picture. While I was standing outside, a bunch of cyclists rolled up. They looked like they were out for a day ride, but actually they are riding NT to Washington from New Hampshire. They have a van that carries their stuff. There were 35 of them. Their ride was called Bike and Build. They are riding across the country and stopping along the way to help Habitat for Humanity build houses. I thought that was pretty cool!

Joy Machines Bike Shop



I rode the few more blocks to the hostel and got checked in. I'm in a 4-bed room with a private bath. It costs $28/night, and I get a 10% discount for being a cyclist. There's no one else in the room. It's awesome! Tilmann is locked up downstairs next to the pinball machine. I was glad I didn't have to carry him up the stairs! Of course, there is a fully stocked kitchen. I would cook my dinner, but my avocados still aren't ripe. There's even a coffee shop/cafe downstairs. I'll maybe get breakfast there in the morning.

My room (and only my far)

Nice kitchen!

Big common area



Although there is definitely more stress involved in urban riding (especially when the roads are not the greatest--harsh winters are to blame...I think), it is nice to have parks and nice places to take a break, instead of just next to a cornfield...or soybeans. Tomorrow will be similar to today as I make my way through the rest of Cleveland and it's neighboring suburb towns. I'm a little concerned about camping, but where I'm headed has three options. Surely, one will have a spot for me and my little ol' tent!

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