Monday, July 3, 2017

July 3--Day 21--A Pleasant Day With a Fellow Rohloff Rider

I had a great night's sleep at the hostel! I schlepped all my bags back downstairs to Tilmann, and had breakfast in the coffee shop (it's called Passengers). 

I headed back out to conquer the rest of Cleveland around 7:30. The streets were quiet for a very short bit. Of course, I was riding right through the heart of downtown, and it seems not everyone had the day off. However, there was a bike lane, and when there wasn't, there was a "Bikes May Use Full Lane" sign. It was especially handy going over the Detroit Superior Bridge.
Interesting wall art
I could take the whole lane

I missed one turn, but all it meant was that I went around the back side of the First Energy Stadium. I got back on the route quickly. I never did see the street sign for the street I was supposed to be riding on. When there is a lot of traffic, and a billion signs, it's often hard to see the one you need. But, no matter, I figured it out. 

The route was still following the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway--not always on a bike path, but occasionally. I went by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center, and an airport that had a Blue Angel plane and an Air Force plane on display at the entrance. 
The Science Center

Blue Angel
Air Force

The road I was riding on was right next to I-90. It was funny to think, if I had a car, I could take I-90 all the way back to Seattle! 
That's I-90!

I rode a short bike path before getting back on the road. As I came through the town of Bratennahl, I was again seeing the large estates. I stopped to take a photo of one (sorry, it wasn't a good photo), when a gentleman rode up to me on his bike. He stopped and talked for awhile. He said most all of the estates are still privately owned. He said if you go into one of them, you'd notice all the rooms face the lake, except the servants quarters. He continued on his way, and so did I. 

In Euclid, I stopped for a donut snack at Dunkin Donuts, and noticed there was an Aldi Market behind the Dunkin Donuts. I was almost out of oatmeal, so I decided to see if Aldi in the US is the same as Aldi in Germany. Yep, I'd say they are pretty similar! Maybe they are a little bigger than the German shops, but they even seemed to be laid out the same as what I remember. The selection was pretty limited. I kind of wanted some bananas, but they were very green, and you had to buy a whole bunch.

Back on the road, I continued, like yesterday, through little towns that all ran together. I think it was near Eastlake where I saw the same guy I'd talked to earlier fixing a flat. I stopped to say hello. He said, "You're just in time, I'm finished!" His name was Oliver. With his bike upside down, I noticed he also had a Rohloff hub. I commented on it, and he said he'd gotten one of the first 100 Rohloff hubs that came into the US. This was a newer one, but he's had a Rohloff for a long time! 
Oliver, my fellow Rohloff rider

Earlier we had talked about how my son, Dillon, had gone to CIM. Oliver and his wife have season tickets for about a third of the Cleveland Orchestra's concerts. He said they have tickets for when the orchestra is playing in Hamburg, Germany. Yes, they are going to Germany to see their own city's orchestra play! They are going because they want to hear the orchestra play in the Hamburg concert hall. 

As he finished putting his flat repair stuff away, he said he was out today to ride 80 miles because his 80th Birthday was coming up. He was riding to Painesville, then back to Cleveland. I too would be riding through Painesville, so we rode together. First he took me on a more scenic ride through a nice neighborhood. It was great to get off the busy Lakeshore Blvd for a bit. At one point, he got ahead of me. I caught up to him at a light, and told him not to worry about me. He said he wasn't in any hurry. As we came into Painesville, my map wasn't clear, and we ended up on a different road, but Oliver knew the roads, so we made it back to the route just in time to stop at his planned lunch stop. I asked if he'd mind me joining him for lunch. We ate at a little cafe he'd been to before. It was pretty good. Over lunch, I determined he had been a fairly prominent attorney. He had done his undergrad at MIT. He spoke fluent German and French. He was quite the interesting guy.

After lunch we parted ways. He still had a good 40 miles to go. I had about 20. Now I was getting a little more back out into the country, but still a fair amount of traffic. I arrived at Geneva State Park close to 4:00. Fortunately, they still had two tent sites available. I asked what would have happened if they had been full--would they let me stay? The gals said no. The ranger wouldn't allow it. I think that is ridiculous! They have a bunch of open space, plenty of room for a cyclist. Oliver said he wants to work to make Cleveland more appealing to cyclists. At the moment, Cleveland is more appealing than Ohio State Parks. On top of their rigid policy, it costs $26.00 to be in an overflow non-hookup swampy area! At least there are free showers (a bit of a hike to the main campground), and wifi.
Swampy campsite

Definitely, the highlight of my day was meeting Oliver. I certainly hope that when I'm 80 I can still ride 80 miles in a day!

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