Monday, 7/26

We had a good night at the campground. It cooled down to the low 60’s overnight, and the air was dry, or at least much drier than it has been much of this summer, so we slept well. We were up at 6:00 but didn’t make it out of the campground until almost 8:00. We did eat before leaving camp – a cup of tea, some instant oatmeal, a bagel, and some fruit — but by 9:00 we were sitting in a restaurant we saw at a small crossroads eating our second breakfast. If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, then it makes sense to eat it twice!

It was only 63 degrees when we left the campground this morning, and riding in thr sunshine felt great. There was almost no wind, and we made pretty good time.

I had a flat tire yesterday, so I guess Jodi was conscious of the state of my tires and at one point told me she thought my back tire looked flat. We stopped so I could check, and everything was fine. Then I started off again only to hear Jodi call from behind “I have a flat!” Apparently Jodi had been riding all morning with a slow leak, letting her front tire get softer and softer. She was wondering why she was having such a hard time pedaling, and was worried that she wouldn’t be able to do her share of “pulling.” Well, once we changed her tube and got her tire back up to normal pressure, she was back in her usual strong form on the bike.

The town of Painesville has a beautiful town square, with the county courthouse on one side, a couple of churches anchoring either end, the town offices, and a bank or two; all of the institutions that lend solidity to a community. We stopped for a rest and a snack sitting on a bench in the town square, and passed a comfortable half hour or so before continuing on our way.

Somewhere after Painesville our route took us down a steep grade and we built up speed in anticipation of the upcoming climb back up the next hill. Unfortunately the road was under construction and we were stopped in a long line of vehicles being held by a flagman. When we were allowed to go we had to tackle the step climb from a standstill. Since the road was reduced to a single narrow lane a line of cars had to crawl up the hill behind us. We’ve seen a lot of road construction already, much of it with signs proclaiming that it is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

In early afternoon we passed through Gates Mills, which is a beautiful, and obviously expensive, suburb of Cleveland. We were overdue for lunch and passed a restaurant in an old building with an inviting outside seating area, so we stopped. What a wonderful lunch we had! The food was excellent, and for the area the price was much more reasonable than I had expected.

Finally, we pushed on to Cleveland Heights, where we are staying with a host in her lovely, comfortable house. We’ve had a meal with Ann and her friend Mary, taken a walking tour of the neighborhood, and swapped cycling stories.

Since we started this tour with way too little training, I am definitely feeling the miles covered the last two days in my legs. We are planning to take a day off tomorrow and be tourists in Cleveland. We might spend tomorrow night with another Warmshowers host, or we might get a hotel room somewhere in town.

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