Day 40, July 30
Sandusky, OH, to Burton, OH
Today was a hot, difficult, but entirely rewarding ride that took us straight through downtown Cleveland and on to some extremely steep hills as we approached the delightful village of Burton, where we spent our next-to-last layover day. We rode early in the morning along the shore of Lake Eire, stopping for water and goodies at Lake View Park. Then we headed toward Cleveland.
Some worried about riding through the big city. Since it was Sunday morning, however, we faced almost no traffic, and we were able to experience the heart of the metropolis with no difficulties. High points included the Cleveland Browns stadium right on the water's edge and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a big glass structure just up the street. As we headed east along the shore we found many fishermen who reported good luck catching white bass. Then we climbed the bluffs east of downtown, where we found enormous homes from the early 20th century lining Fairmont Boulevard. They make current McMansions look downright flimsy and tacky.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
As we continued east, we encountered serious hills. They were short but extremely steep. I have an little inclinometer on my bike. I stopped to measure the grade of the hill that seemed the steepest. It was 14 per cent. I ground up the sharpest slopes in my lowest gear at barely 3.5 miles per hour. So far, I haven't had to walk up a hill on this trip. It was hard work in the 90-degree heat and high humidity, and we all had to drink water continuously as we sweated profusely.
Catching a breath at a lakeside waterstop.
At the last water stop of the day, along a suburban road east of Cleveland, a delightful gentleman, Stan Klatka, who is 77, opened the bathrooms in his home to riders and filled their water jugs. Then he revealed his hidden talent: He can yodel. He consented to demonstrate his skill for my camera.
Finally, we reached the Geauga County fairgrounds, our layover site. The county fair advertises itself as Ohio's oldest. It must also be one of the best. The buildings and grounds are meticulously tended. And the village a few blocks down the road has more good restaurants than we can sample.