Columbus, OH to Massillon, OH - Cincinnasty to the Mistake on the Lake - CycleBlaze

July 31, 2020

Columbus, OH to Massillon, OH

After yesterday's partially rainy ride, the forecast for today looked perfect, and we were up and ready to go reasonably early.

I was annoyed that the expensive room at the hotel did not include a free breakfast, so I walked away in a huff without eating anything, while Marc ordered an expensive avocado toast. It apparently was delicious, so I experienced mild regret as I rode off on an empty stomach.

It was much easier riding out of Columbus than it had been yesterday when we fumbled our way through the city in the drizzle. Temperatures were cool. Perfect riding conditions.

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Rick TresslerNice shot! I’ve been an Ohio resident since 1991.
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5 months ago
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We rode on downtown city streets that were almost completely empty, and then found our way onto the "Interstate 670 Bikeway", which was alright, except for the occasional scattered broken glass. I was paranoid about getting a flat tire, and carried my bike a few times. Marc was bolder, and rode around the glass rather than dismounting.

After a few miles, the Broken Glass Bike Path ended, and we rode onto the much, much nicer Alum Creek Trail.

It wound its way among shady trees and neat, manicured parks and ball fields. Great riding.

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Rick TresslerHow’d you like the instructional sign telling cyclists to dismount and walk your bike across this thing? Never done it. Might have considered it if it were wet though.
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5 months ago
Jeff LeeI rode that bridge, although pretty slowly, because it was dry the day we were there. The next day, though, I very slowly inched across the many wet wooden bridges in the rain. I learned the hard way a few years ago on the Katy Trail how slippery wooden bridges can be when they're wet.
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5 months ago

We left the Alum Creek Trail near the town of Westerville and stopped at a gas station, where I sat outside and ate a breakfast consisting of Peanut M&Ms and a Little Debbie Double Decker Fudge Round, washed down with Diet Pepsi. Marc, whose phone had nearly run out of juice yesterday, charged it in the gas station with a charger that he had acquired a few hours earlier in a slightly unorthodox fashion that I won't describe in this journal without his permission ;)

We left, and Marc, not yet having learned that I frequently take wrong turns while bike touring, followed me onto an unplanned scenic loop ride in a nearby park before I realized my mistake and got back on the route, which for the next several miles consisted of quiet city streets and a couple of different bike paths. A very pleasant ride.

After a while we arrived in Sunbury (population 4,389), which had an attractive town square. We spent some time there, me walking around and taking photos and reading historical signs, and Marc beginning his search for chain lube. Apparently the rain yesterday had washed the lube off his chain, and the raspy sound of the dry chain was annoying  him (although, with my lower standards, it didn't sound that bad to me.)

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Marc on his quest for chain lube. He didn't find any in Sunbury.
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Johnny Appleseed.
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We left Sunbury and rode on empty country roads until we reached the Heart of Ohio Trail a few miles outside of Centerburg (population 1,773).

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Centerburg's claim to fame is that it's the midpoint of the Ohio to Erie Trail. It is also apparently near the geographic center of the state.

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There was a pizza place right alongside the trail. The dining room was closed, but there was an interesting "drive through." The restaurant is in an old feed mill, and the drive through was in the portion of the building where wagons would enter for their contents to be weighed.

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We hung out in the drive through for a while, talking to the man working there. (I thought he seemed a little embarrassed to be working at a pizza shop - he hastened to tell us that his wife was the owner, and he was just helping her out.)

He told us that Centerburg, Ohio was the only Centerburg in the USA, among other mildly interesting facts. I didn't feel like waiting on a pizza, so I ordered the "Giant Cookie" that I saw on the menu, and ate it while Marc charged his phone with the recently acquired charger.

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The cookie was bigger than I expected, and I'd already eaten a large quantity of sugar today, but I was able to finish all but the last few bites.

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Rick TresslerNice cookie!
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5 months ago
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Marc had been looking at the weather forecast on his phone while I ate the giant cookie, and gave me the bad news: It was going to rain again tomorrow. We agreed that we should do as many miles as possible now, while the weather was perfect, so we could have a short day tomorrow to finish in Cleveland. Since we'd only done 40 miles so far today, and it was already noon, our goal of reaching the city of Massillon, the most reasonable destination, was slightly daunting.

We rode back onto the Heart of Ohio Trail, made a brief stop outside of Mount Vernon to take a few pictures, then rode onto the Kokosing Gap Trail.

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The Kokosing Gap Trail was another great bike path. We stopped to talk to some cyclists, one of whom gave Marc some chain lube. The guy had done some bike touring, including in the area where I live now, so I had an interesting discussion with him about that.

Marc gets his bike lube.
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There was a long, gradual climb - unusual for a typically very flat bike path - which I enjoyed a lot, then a long descent, which I didn't enjoy as much on the single speed with its single, front brake. After that we stopped for a while at a store in tiny Glenmont, where a man approached us and asked how we liked the trail. He was one of the people who maintained it - he even swept the horse manure off it sometimes. That's dedication!

We did several miles of road riding, then got on the Holmes Country Trail after the town of Killbuck. Marc got ahead of me after I stopped in Millersburg to make a phone call, and I caught up with him finally in Fredericksburg (population 423), where almost everyone was Amish.

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One of the restaurants was absolutely packed, and none of the (predominantly Amish) clientele were wearing masks, so we got food at the less busy cafe across the street.

While we sat outside, I called the Hampton Inn in Massillon and arranged for a room there, and then, checking the map, was very unpleasantly surprised to discover that instead of the fifteen miles I had calculated earlier in the day, it was actually 27 miles to Massillon! Where did those extra miles come from?!

We took a series of empty country roads most of the way to Massillon. We were racing against the sunset, and got lost a couple of times before riding onto the Sippo Valley Trail for the last few miles into the city in the dark.

Marc went out in search of Mexican food, while I cajoled the friendly lady at the hotel's front desk into giving me large quantities of yogurt and cakes from the kitchen. That was my dinner.

We'd ridden almost 270 miles in the last two days, and I was tired and fell asleep quickly.

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Today's ride: 138 miles (222 km)
Total: 267 miles (430 km)

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Mike AylingBrakes - I use my front brake only most of the time but it is nice to have the rear as well on some descents.
With regular maintenance a brake seldom fails in use so riding with a single brake is not that much of irresponsible behaviour.
When I was growing up in the late nineteen fifties we road Raleigh "Sports" bikes which had steel rims which took a lot of pressure on the levers to stop the bike and the Raleigh proprietary brake cables had a nipple on each end of the same shape as is still used with drop bar brake levers. These nipples could part from the cables quite suddenly!
Everything on the Raleigh bikes was proprietary, brakes, cables, levers, crank sets, pedals, rims, hubs even tyres and saddles.
Raleigh had an interest in Sturmey Archer then and the three speed hubs were frequently fitted to the Raleigh bikes.
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5 months ago
Jeff LeeHey Mike,

Yeah, I haven't had too many problems with only the front brake, except once coming down a steep hill several years ago when I grabbed it hard and almost went over the handlebars. That's back when I first started riding a single speed, though. I'm more cautious now.
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5 months ago