Be Prepared For Weirdness - America's Most Naive Bike Tourist Rides From MN to MA - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2014

Be Prepared For Weirdness

Vermillion, Ohio

On a much cooler day, I saw Fremont in a more favorable light.  It had some nice Victorian homes and I learned President Rutherford B. Hayes lived and is buried here.  I got to see a little bit extra of Fremont because I had trouble finding the North Coast Inland Trail.  Once I did find it, that trail provided eight miles of nicely-paved, car-free, tree-lined riding.

There was, however, a peculiar odor that I just could not identify.  Later it came to me.  It's just a guess, but maybe last night's heavy rains dredged up the smell of the damp fur of every squirrel, chipmunk, rabbit and groundhog living along the entire length of the trail.  And let me tell you, I saw an abundance of all of those animals.

At one point, a squirrel began to run out onto the trail in front of me.  It could have easily made it across but I surprised him and he became incredibly confused.  I have never seen an animal reverse direction so many times in the space of a couple of seconds.  By the end of its frenzy, it was spinning like a deranged tornado before finally regaining its composure and running back into the woods.

Fifteen minutes of rain after the town of Clyde did not bother me at all, but missing a turn that cost me about two out-of-the-way miles bothered me a little bit.  Twelve miles of my route paralleled the Ohio Turnpike where I saw a steady stream of traffic 1/4 mile to my left.

Rural Ohio's version of the Seattle Space Needle, captured in all the grandeur and clarity of a smart phone with about 20 pixels.
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They probably hee haw too much.
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I was looking forward to reaching Huron and then U.S. Highway 6 East.  I was expecting unbroken views of Lake Erie, but all I got were sporadic views.  The lake was gray because the sky was gray.  The wind was blowing from the northeast across the lake.  To take my mind off the headwind, I tried to think of what I would write on my blog for the day.  I didn't think a story about an insane squirrel would be enough.

So I thought, "What would it be like if I actually wrote down EVERYTHING I was thinking at any given time?"  I had delusions that it would be a thoughtful experiment, maybe even something profound, but certainly something interesting.  Wrong!  Between Ruggles Beach and Vermillion, my thoughts were like this:

Only 7 more miles to Vermillion.  It must be 6.8 miles now.  There's the lake again.  Bye lake.  Probably only 6.2 miles now.  Come on, wind, help me out here.  What're you looking at jackass?  My thumbs hurt.  There it is, mile marker #23.  Only six miles to go.  What am I gonna write about for today.  I don't know.  Five miles to go.  These mileage signs seem awfully far apart.  Keep pedaling Greg.  Pedal harder.  I'm tired.  Four miles to go.  Thanks for moving over Mr. Truck Driving Bastard.  Good shoulder here.  Why do they even post those damn mileage markers.  They just torment me.  I should be able to see the curvature of the earth out there on the lake.  The next mileage sign should be coming up soon.  Maybe they skipped a mile.  Shift hand positions Greg, or you'll get Carpal Tunnel.  What the hell is that over there?  Oh, just a tractor pulling some damn thing.  You just went back to that same hand position.  Ride the top bar for awhile or you'll get Carpal Tunnel.  You want surgery?  That's what you'll get.  I'll take surgery as long as I can do it AFTER this trip.  Please don't let me have an appendicitis attack or any other damn thing that requires hospitalization before I get home.  Mile marker #26.  It seems like it has been three miles since marker #25.  I should be to Vermillion by now.  I'm working my ass off.  There's no WAY these markers are right.  The next marker BETTER say 28.  I think I see it.  Yes, there it is.  It says . . . 27.  Damn!  Hey, nice Camaro buddy--if that's what makes you happy.  My bike is every bit as good as that thing, except for size, speed, and protection from the weather, and, maybe, just maybe, as a tool for picking up chicks, which of course I don't need.  One mile to go.  Hey, there's another bike tourist.  I'll wave first.  Let's see if he waves back.  Woo hoo, he did!  What's that, a toothache?  Please don't let me have a dental problem right now.  Nope, pain is gone.  I'm a hypochondriac.  There's Vermillion.  I can see it.  Hopefully there is a dentist in town--just in case.  Hi.  Thanks for waving, ma'am.  Where'd the shoulder go?  I could go for some cheese right now.  There's a Mexican restaurant.  I think I'll have Mexican food tonight.

And that look into my mind is only what I could REMEMBER thinking after more than an hour has passed.  What in the world possessed me to write this stream-of-consciousness nonsense?

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Today's ride: 47 miles (76 km)
Total: 903 miles (1,453 km)

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