Today I made 91 miles, to the White Star campground in Gibsonburg, Ohio. Or 94 miles, if you believe the Runtastic cycling app, which always seems to give you two or three miles more credit than the mapping apps, which is really frustrating, when you think you should have arrived and you have three more miles to go. Any way you measure it, it’s the farthest day of the trip so far. But it was easy rolling, all flat terrain with gentle (and occasionally favorable) winds.
The routing maps made it look like I would be riding along the Lake Erie shoreline, and I had pictured one of those coastal roads with a beach on one side and the houses on the other. It was the draw of this inland coastline that pulled me north to Cleveland instead of drawing a straighter line west. But I was disappointed to see that nearly the entire coastline was private houses and clubs, with only occasional glimpses of the grey horizon of the lake in the cold morning rain between the mansions, or one of the few public parks. The Supreme Court may have declared 150 years ago that Illinois could not sell the entire Chicago waterfront to one company under public trust principles, but that didn’t stop the privatization of the Great Lakes shoreline piecemeal, apparently.
As I rolled farther west of Cleveland, the waterfront mansions grew smaller and less ostentatious. My rule for lunch is the later of 11 am or halfway to the days goal. Fortunately, I made my 46 miles in Huron, Ohio, my last chance for the Erie waterfront before turning inland. The local breaded perch and sidewinder fries at the Harbor House were excellent, but check your bill carefully, or they will try to charge you extra for the coleslaw. The place was a Mecca for bikers on this sunny Saturday afternoon, and I don’t mean the quiet kind with derailleurs on their chains. But they were courteous bikers.
I am following the Adventure Cycling Northern Tier Route now, for the next 500 miles to Muscatine, Iowa. This route took me south of the lake from Huron, then west for 15 miles on a road as flat and straight as a line of latitude. I joined the North Shore Inland Trail bike path near Clyde. The shaded trail was a nice break from the open farmland and bumpy roads. The trail took me to Fremont, where scores of fishermen were up to their waists in the Sandusky River hauling in perch. I bought groceries for dinner there and pedaled the last 12 miles west to the White Star campground, a county park.
Camping is a friendly sort of lodging, I have made friends here at the campground here already, with a young couple recently relocated from Portland, and with an older couple wearing Great Allegheny Passage cycling shirts.
Tomorrow promises to be challenging, with 20-30 mph winds in my face and likely thunderstorms