Wednesday, July 24, 2013
I got on the road at about 6:45am, I knew I had to start early because there was a 50% chance of rain and I surely wanted to get a good head start on that. I called my husband to let him know I was venturing on my own today, and then headed out. The navigation went pretty well, there was a few mishaps with turns but nothing as serious as the previous days. I was about 15 miles into my ride when it started really raining hard. I crossed under a few bridges and was still going to try and make some more, when it started thundering and lightening.. then that was it. NO way was I riding anymore. So I chilled under a bridge with another man who was homeless. I called my husband to let him know I was stuck for now and wasn't going to be riding anymore until it cleared up. Of course my husband became frantic because I didn't have an exact location and knowing I was solo he was scared. So he of course called the cops who of course made me try and explain my location. So eventually the cops made me wait for someone to show up, so I sat there and waited and the homeless man started talking to me and we talked about my bike ride and why I was doing it. He was hungry and proceeding to tell me how he would take a shower under the bridge in the water that was coming out. and so forth. I reached in my bag and gave him some of my supplies, I gave him my camp stove, some fuel, some matches, some hot chocolate packets and freeze dried food and my mess kit. He was so thrilled.. I wanted to get his picture but the cops came. So I had to deal with the officer. We talked for a long time, and he told me that IF I was his wife no way would he let me continue this venture on my own. He looked at my map and tried to explain to me how horrible some of the areas I was going to have to go through and that I was a pretty girl who should not be alone in those parts of town. HE offered for me to come back to the station and to wait until my husband could come pick me up, but also told me he wasn't' trying to persuade me out of my dream of finishing this either. Ultimately, he told me to think about it and that the offer was there if I wanted it. He told me the directions to my next streets, which if I would of kept going I would of been way off base, so glad the rain stopped me when it did. I sat under the bridge for a little while longer and then decided to suck it up and go. So I headed back out in the rain. Of course as I started to ride I couldn't figure out what street to turn on and low and behold here comes the Officer Bowers to my rescue once again. How nice. he got me back on track and I ventured out. It was funny though because I was riding from bridge to bridge trying to catch a little break from the rain. However the one bridge I was under had no protection, because every time a car drove by all this water would come flying all over me. I was like really? By that point I was freezing and decided to suck it up and ride.. I found a gas station around the corner and stopped in there for some snacks since I didn't have any food now and some hot chocolate to warm up... mmm that was good. I had another car ask me where I was heading and what I was doing with all this luggage on my bike so I explained and they were in awe. Then as I was sitting outside drinking my hot chocolate another gentleman comes up and asks me the same thing.. I tell him and he says oh I am from Cleveland and then proceeds to tell me just as the cop did that I needed to get out of this side of town, it was no place for a pretty girl like me.. very dangerous. So I threw the rest of my hot chocolate out and pedaled on in the rain. I figured I didn't need to be told anymore, this was obviously a bad place to be in. The rain let up, but it still sprinkled, and I continued my venture on and on and on with more cornfields. I never knew until this ride how much of a farming place Ohio is!... Nothing really exciting happened until I got to Alkire road, some how some where I was so deep in thought that I missed my turn and it was so bad that I was 5 miles off... which meant 5 miles back that meant TEN WHOLE miles of wasted energy carrying 50plus pounds ... on my bike. I couldn't believe it, but I had no one to blame but myself for being so wrapped up in my deep concentration. Just as I was almost to my original point, it started to rain again, a light drizzle, and I seen some rail road tracks. So Just like in a car I always drive over them on an angle, well I tried that on my bike. They were wooden tracks, and lets just say the rain made them very slippery and as I was going over them my wheel slipped and I went flying in the air and landed on my hand and my rear extremely hard. I was in shock for a minute and then I hurried up and turn around to see a car coming straight for me, I stand up in pain, and grab my bike and try to move out of the way. I thought for sure the car would stop to ask me if I was okay, but nope they could of cared less. Sad. I hopped back on my bike and continued my journey. It rained on and off for most of the day. I took shelter when I could. I met up with my husband and son and they stayed at the Ramada with me in Xenia. I really loved it there they were all so excited about my trip. They signed my shirt, threw pie in my face, and the guy who threw the pie in my face even donated to the cause. It was so much fun. my husband was such a big help, went out got me a milk shake, took my bike to wash all the grid and mud out of it from riding in the rain, and just helped keep me motivated to do the last day. . I was extremely tired though, I fell asleep around 11... earliest night yet! Oh yeah I did manage a nap for an hour to! All in all, today was okay for as bad as it started out.
Sunday, July 21, 2013
I had a wonderful.sleep at the Harmony Hill bed and Breakfast. It was so pleasant and highly recommended a nice healthy breakfastt....mmmm I had peanut butter on 12 grain bread and a huge bowl of freshly cut up fruit and some coffee. Today was a late start but we only had 36 to do so it wasn't to bad. Didn't have.much to say to Jason its just one of those days where I'm tired annoyed by simple things and just want peace and quiet.. me.time! The ride had some inclines not as bad as yesterday though. So that I am greatful for because I need a break. Got into westerville aat about 2 Kish weeny straight to McDonald's and got food. A grilled chicken ceasar salad hold the meat and a double cheeseburger and Carmel frappe. Mmm food was great I needed it almost passed out from not eating. Now of course I my herd is acting up but when you are to the point if fainting u pick the first place you see. Well I am not sure at this point how much task we are going to accomplish being the amount of miles we are doing each day. But I am going to try very very hard... going to have to penalize myself if I faiil. Well all in all today was ok except for the fact I am sore tired and just want to be by myself...sometimes you just need personal space and peace and quiet. To regroup your train of thought. Got that and I feel so much better.. well I will try to blog more tomorrow.
I don't know where in the world to begin with this day except to say this out off all bike rides including last years big rude had to be the worst experience mentally, emotionally, and physically.
When that alarm went off at 5 I sure didn't want to get up because five hours of sleep just doesn't cut it at all. Especially when you are taxing yourself to extremes. We got ready and were just about to walk outside when Jim said to me on the phone it isn't raining? I opened the door and sure as heck it was. So out came tithe rain gear and swapping out shoes 20 minutes later we were checking out of the Perry inn. So grateful for them sponsoring us for a night. Took a picture and then down the street to McDonald's for a nice fattening Hardy meal since we heard how horrible the stretch was in-between places. (Pure understatement) we collected a signature at mcdonaaldz ate and then were off or so we thought untiil we were lost in massillon for a good half hour or better trying to figure out where the trail was...nothing new there same as yesterday we finally find the trail an d head out it was ok except for the rain and then it hit the trail turned back to gravel along with mud and that my friends was horrid and my street tires are absolutely not made for that. sThen after we make it to Dalton the real problems started hills after hills after hills I could not believe it. Not only was it raiining cats and dogs we were doing. Nothing but climbing hills. 2 hours and two minutes simething geels terribly wrong with my bike its pulling to one side...:so i adjusted my bags look down and low and behold can you guess my front tire is flat.. first official tire to ever go flat on a long trip. So i got the tire off and had nothing but issues. By the grace of God some group of cyclist stopeed.changed my tire trued it.up and left. Wanted to get a picture but it was still pouring down rain but thank you to those four men because otherwise we would still be there. So an hours lost but that ok really pack.my bike and on our way time for.more hills. Aaaaaagh. Would it ever end.... then the.Gps gets us lost for the second time it was pouring lightening thundering no where to go no where to hide you with nature as one..
I was not feeling it at this point...
We stopped and found a house and Jason went and knocked on their door to get directions... it was only a few more miles up the street. Once we got to then end of the street we stopped there was a little community park and we took shelter there from the rain and cooked our freeze dried breakfast food changed clothes at we had been riding in the rain for three hours. Soak and wet shivering. After we regrouped and charged our phones we headed on out to the Holmes county trail. That was nice and wide and a lot of Amish travel trhough there. Then we get to killbuck and the trouble started again we went way Wayout of our way and stopped at at another random strangers house to get help yep we had to turn around. I was not happy... once we got into downtown in killbuck we found a grocery store and picked up some stuff then outside a lady was telling us exactly how to get to the trail but said we were a good 18 miles from it. Oh no! She told us how bad millersburg rd was and we kind of just blew it off because we had done hills all day. Little did I know that she wasn't kidding...it was insane. I literally broke down and cried on and off for about 10 miles. The hills were so steep and I was physically fatigued.. Jason was getting pretty tired himself. Words cannot describe this. This was the hardest bike ride I ever ever had done. Maybe if it wasn't so many miles in a day we would of been ok..but it to me was horriffic. I literally thought I was going to just quit right there. I was so angry like can we catch a break. None the least when we got to Mohican valley trail we couldn't take if because it was being worked on so had to take 62 all the way in....more inclines and hills. Once we got to the kokosing trail life was great pretty flat we were going much faster. Smooth ride all the way in... well last 15 miles were. We stopped into town before We went to harmony hill Jason was sick from not eating. When I got off my bike at Wendy's and waalked in I literally almost fainted everything was closing in and Blury. Things were spinning...I only managed to eat a small chili and felt like I was going to vomit. Jason ran to bathroom while being in line and was dry heaving. Nothing came up because he had no food in his stomach. This is very hard. But as I always say you can do anything you want if you put your mind to do it. Even when you wanna give up you find true strength to pull through and keep fighting. You must believe in yousrself. I must go now. I have a long day ahead of me. Sorry for typos doing this from phone.
Friday, July 19, 2013
5am came way to early after going to bed after 11 then woken up at 1 am with about 30 different text from your sister sharing a newspaper article. Lol then back to sleep tossing and turning from sirens constantly. Lol gotta love cleveland. We left at 6am to beat true heat but instead we were lost for an hour and a half. Yep that's right between maps and the stupid GPS taking us in circles and giving wrong directions we were not happy. Then its been nothing but issues since we got lost at rock side tthen the trail splits so many ways and it gets confusing so you constantly have to turn around. Wish we would of ridden some of this trip first. We have only stopped a few times and that was to buy ice glory our water back packs its just blustering outside. We have had trail detours as well which led us up this crazy steep slope. I thought last year was crazy this day has got it heart by far. Just yo hard with all our stuff on gravel with this heat. And mind you its very fine gravel not big chunckks of rock and it just slows you down... not to mention climbb climb climb...blah. well taking a break for lunch we have almost been fifty miles and 10 of those have been out of our way. But here to hoping the next thirty are better. I will try and write more later.
Friday, July 12, 2013
I had a terrible night sleeping. I think it is from all the stress of the bike trip and trying to make sure everything is organized and well planned being we only have a week till take off. None the least I surely did not feel like going on a bike ride this morning with my riding partner. My legs were achy and tight from yesterdays 40 miles, but I am one of those people when I say I am going to do something I do it! So I crawled out of bed my eyes all swollen and puffy and started getting ready.
It was a slow start, Jason got to my house shortly after 9:30 and I made him wait a few minutes today as I was talking to Jim about what days needed filled for our hotel spots! Then ventured out. I already told Jason that todays' ride was not going to be 40 miles I am to wiped out and just drained mentally and physically. So my goal today was between 10 and 20 miles tops, because I had a busy day ahead of me.
We stopped down to see Ray for a minute and check on him then headed on the bike trails in Warren, of course as soon as I get on the trail a bunny darts out in front of me. Third one this week! Then when we get to 169 I see smoke thinking a building is burning and it was just a barbeque.. lol So we ride the trail to the end of Burton then we turn around and head towards North Road. I wasn't to talkative this morning and my pace was extremely slow. I felt bad, but my legs just couldn't push today. Once we get near the end of the trail near North Road, I spot a wild turkey, he just sat there and I had Jason hold up so I could snap a picture but my brakes squealed when I hit them and the turkey ran off. i was so mad.. It would of been a great picture.
After that we headed off to my mom's house to see if she could donate, she told me to come back on Monday but reached in her purse and gave me the change she had on her which was bearly $2.00 but hey every little bit helps.
After mom's we started riding back to the trail and I missed the trail because I was to busy stuffing my face with a granola bar so we had to turn around. Then after we ride the trail for a bit, I decided to get off the trail and ride down North Park and cut over to Mahoning avenue to go and see what Packard Park looked like after all the rain.. OH MY is all I have to say, that was a hot mess with fish actually up in the baseball fields and on the drive swimming.
After that we ventured down the street and ran up to a homeless man and I sat and chatted with him for a little bit. Shortly after that Jason told me that I should live i Georgia because I am so polite and say hello to everyone I see. Well my theory is on that, that you should say hello, or good morning. Sometimes people don't have anyone and sometimes people taking the time to ackowledge other people means the world. No one knows what the impact of hello or Good morning can have on anyone. It's just me. THis world could be so much of a better place if we all treated each other with some respect. (ok enough of my rant)
Once again downtown today a car decided to pull out even though they clearly see I am crossing the walk. I don't get it.
We rode a little more, and then headed back to my house. Jason filled up his bottles and was going to go back out and venture.
I spent the rest of the day doing some fundraising, picking up my kiddo and shaving my father in law. It was really a good day. Everything was falling into place, hotels, secured. Donations coming in, then the UPS guy comes delivers the bike rack for Jason and as I just get done putting part of it together I get a call from Jason.. Someone just stole his bike.. I get my husband and we take two separate cars andwe are searching all over Warren. I just felt so bad, everything finally coming together and then yet another hiccup falls upon us. After about 30 minutes, i felt the need to go up the hill and there at the top of the hill, sits two kids smoking a cig and one of them was on Jason's bike. So I called my husband for back up. Here Jason was with him. So we are chasing this kid on a bike going down 422 and the kid hops off the bike and goes back up towards dunkin donuts, we are in the middle of 422 i am in the car with Ray and the kids, jim jumps out of his car snatches the bike and puts it on the bike rack, jason is running to catch up with the kid, and jim is back in his car chasing jason and the kid. The kid finally stops and we call the cops and then that was the end. I told Jason that we are even now.. lol he saved my life, and I saved his bike.. he claims we are not even,because a life is more valuable. But I just still laugh because it's funny how when people help you out at one point or time the favor is always repaid.. So yeah I got to play secret investigator today and retrieved stolen goods.. God is good though he is really helping us out and I can't thank him enough for helping us through.
Well as I said before never seem to have a dull moment in our daily bike adventures. Sure hope our bike trip isn't this crazy.. lol
Well 15 miles accomplished today
and a stolen bike was retrieved..
Bike tour is going good.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Finally we get on the road, I was excited to finally be riding with someone, yet nervous because I wasn't sure how he road. So we decided to take the trail out to Canfield. Figured what's another 40 miles? Well I was sure hoping I could make it that was for sure. These legs are sore! We only made it to the Niles Bridge and I was already stopping to take a picture as I was fascinated with the fact that part of the rail road tracks were under water. Never seen that before, and was wondering how would a train know if that area is flooded and what would happen if it came through there. ( I know I am a weirdo)
The ride went really smooth we pace very well with each other, so that really helps ease my mind about this whole trip. We talked about our different plans and how and when we were going to work on accomplishing our tasks and before you knew it we were in Canfield.
We did stop at the Sunoco to get some fresh cold drinks and rest for a bit and then headed back home. The ride home was a little bit slower, I was just tired, not physically, not mentally, my legs just didn't want to keep the pace I was going so of course I have to listen to them. Right? We seen a beaver, some chipmunks, squirrels, oh and the bunny who wanted to take me out again. Everything was pretty good though.
Once we got into down town Niles, that was a little bit more rough. I was sitting at a stop light with Jason, who was behind me, and the light turned green, so I proceeded to go and as I was going a black truck was turning right into me and Jason Yelled the guy stopped and I slammed my brakes! NO kidding, I was 1 inch away from being a sandwich to the tires on that truck. Phew.. Now I know I have a good bike partner! Thanks to him I am alive and Well. That was a close one though. Seriously people need to pay attention at all times when driving!
Other then that the ride was good, it was pretty rough for the last five miles for us both, but it was a good day and I definately feel more at ease. Now if I could feel that way about traveling 70-80 miles a day that would be better. But I am no pro and those my friends are some serious miles to be doing 5 days in a row. Well 1 more week and the journey will begin. Until then I guess you guys will just get stuck with my training stories!
Today's ride 3 hour 20 minutes 22 sec
|Tracks in Niles|
|Um cows, bulls or Steers?|
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
My ride went well, although an hour into it, i had to reach for my granola bar, because once again I was famished, I had only managed a cheese and mustard sandwich and it was going on 2. ( I seriously need to learn to eat) But thankful that I was smart enough to put a granola bar in my back pack. So I munched on that while I was riding, hoping that I wouldn't choke while riding. My mouth was so dry, and I had already managed to drink 20oz of water and my other water bottle was already warm. (So disappointing when that happens, and it's more sad that the bottles are insulated and can't keep things cold enough) I didn't see a whole lot of riders or walkers until I started getting close to Austintown. That is really a fitness city I tell you! There are always people on the trail and they are so friendly!
Anyways once I got to Kirk Road I stopped to refill one of my bottles and use the restroom, and while I was there I decided to light up a cig and take a few puffs. (yes I know I am still smoking, however my goal is not to take any cigs on the trip and quit totally while I am out there) anyways this elderly man rides up as he see me shorting out my cig and proceeds to tell me, you smoke and exercise? What sense does that make? He shakes his head as I tell him that I am working on quitting, that I know it's a bad habit. Well why he is in the restroom, I am using the water fountain to douse my arms and neck with water to try and keep my body temperature down. he comes out and yet again makes another comment about my smoking habit. I mean I get that it's a bad habit and a lot of people don't like it, including myself, but seriously I think I got the hint the first time. Then he says why don't you just grab a beer instead of smoking I mean really. I just chuckled and hurry up and got on my bike because I couldn't take another minute of that. I mean logically yeah it's probably a lot healthier to drink a beer then smoke, but if I were to drink and hop on my bike or stop and have a beer and then get on my bike, is it really that much safer for me? I don't drink so I would be a hot mess trying to ride a bike and probably end up hurting myself and someone else. I don't know, people mean well I know, but it's just the way they go about it.
anyways, the sun seem to be scorching me, I was pouring sweat and drinking every few minutes. It reminded me of the days Ashley and I rode last year! It was just soooo HOT and HUMID! Everything went fine, I made it all the way to the end of the trail at Western Reserve Road. I called home to let Jim know that I was turning around.( The usual routine, I always call when I am to my half way point to say Hey I am alive and this is where I am at) So on my way back I was cruising averaging about 14-16mph on the way back, always seems easier because instead of going up and incline you get to go down! about 4 miles into my ride I spotted a sunoco gas station, and I had no choice but to stop and get some more Ice cold fluids and a protein bar because I was running on fumes and my thirst just couldn't get quenched! So after a few minutes there it was back on the trail.
I got into my ride a few more miles and almost had an accident with a baby bunny! Those things are everywhere out there today! My ride was smooth sailing until I got back to Niles,. I was riding on part of the trail, probably about a mile and half before the trail ends and there are some people and kids on the trail just standing there, having a social hour, or something. They clearly see that I am coming as they are staring right at me and do you know they would not even move over? i mean why do people act like they own things and that people should have to cater to them as not to interupt there conversation. I just though how rude! Make me get off the trail and ride in the grass because you are to lazy to move to one side? Sorry but trail rules are you move over! Sorry I was just a little mad at how ignorant some people can be.
Anyways, as I head into Niles on North rd, I always ride on the sidewalks because to me it's safer then the road with no Helmet. Well I was cruising at about 13-14 miles and hour and I hit a bump on the sidewalk tried to swerve and almost hit the fire hydrant! yep that would of led to some staples in my head, or worse. My heart about sunk to my stomach. If I wouldn't have got control in that split second.
Then comes the good ole hill climbing home. That hill is so ridiculous, my heart beating what felt like 200bpm and the sun beating down on me, I so wanted to just get off my bike and walk up, but I refused to and kept telling myself that I need to do this because I will encounter hills next week. I have to be strong. But boy sometimes you just want to give up. I love riding, always pushing myself some how and some way and it's never dull!
Well I have to get going for now, 9 days until I head to cleveland to get ready to depart for my crazy adventure! Please take the time and spread my fundraiser. It means a lot to me, to be able to give back. If you can donate that even better! Thanks so much!
Pictures from today!
Monday, July 8, 2013
As I was sitting at moms trying to cool off and rehydrate with a ice cold Diet Pepsi, she looks at me and says Tabitha when did you get that big mole? I was like what? Where? She was like right there on your arm by your armpit. I looked down and looked again and screamed and flung this bug off of me. This my friends was a tick! AAAAAAGH... none the least, I guess it was a great thing that I stopped at my mom's before that thing attached into my skin and I wouldn't have known! I scared my mom's company when I screamed and it was embarrassing to me, but I surely didn't expect to see a tic! As I was visiting mom, my dad text me and says he is home I can come out! I was like really after I am almost to champion you want me to turn around and go clear back out there? I was torn, because I knew it was going to be a hard journey and I was already getting pretty tired just from the 16. Then my husband calls and there was a problem with Tyler, then Tyler text me and says mom you got to come home now. I said buds I am riding a bike, he text back. you need to turn around and come back now. He wouldn't say why, So I give my mom a hug and hop on my bike and go flying home, of course in record time to me, because I figured it would take me at least an half an hour. I was there in about 15 minutes, but I guess that's what you do for your babies.
When I got home, I dealt with little Tyler. It was a personal matter, poor baby, he needed his mommy to tell him it was ok. After that I made a cheese sandwich as I was famished, filled my bottles back up and then headed back out on my bike! Phew! Off to dad's house now. Hoping I can get in my 30 miles. I was not looking forward to this ride because I new with the inclines and hills I was not going to like it one bit, however, I knew it would help me on my trip since there is a good bit of hills I heard on this bike adventure next week. I took probably the longest route in history there just because it was a lot of road riding. Once I hit downtown Niles, I figured it was best if I swung over and caught part of the Niles trail that way it was less of a chance of me getting hit. That felt like the longest ride in history though, my legs felt the burn with each hill I climbed, and each incline, but I quickly learned to adjust my gears to put less stress on my legs. I made it to my dads in under an hour and was ready to pass out when I got there. My mileage tracker finally hit 30.49 miles.. Goal accomplished! I parked my bike in the grass and headed over to the pool to see my dad.
I was surprised to see my Aunt Lisa and Aunt Shelly there, so we all sat and talked, and then this little boy comes out of my dad's house and I was shocked... It was my little brother... I don't get to see him much and he has grown so much! Then my other little brother who is now 15 came out and he was so tall. I just couldn't believe it! So my day was very family oriented, I seen so many people today.
Highlight is sitting there talking to my dad, and then you hear the squeak of my cow horn and we all look over and my bike had fallen over.
Dad says, Tab your horse died! lol Yep guess all that riding today, my bike had, had enough. So instead of riding my bike home, I just called Jim to come get me, so that I could catch up with my family. I never get out to see anyone and it was so nice to see them all! What a day!
and my bike died, it was tired.... lol