Day 74: Norwalk to Olmstead Falls - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

August 13, 2021

Day 74: Norwalk to Olmstead Falls

Hot and Humid

“This is marked as a bike route with the red dots,” Patrick says stopping to double check the GPS on the tablet. “The other roads must be worse,” he continues. Rachel adds, “This whole area is named for ridges, even the Sugar Ridge road has ridges.” There is no shoulder and the edge of the road is broken up or with unfilled cracks and ridges.

The forecast today calls for thunderstorms in the afternoon. There is cloud cover and as Patrick navigates us through Norwalk back to the North Coast Inland trail, sprinkles of rain start and we stop to put on our rain jackets. This is twice now in the past several days after not needing them since Washington. The trail is still unpaved and the goal is to reach a café in Wakeman for second breakfast. The trail goes through the north part of town and the café is on the southern side, so Patrick navigates us off the trail to Highway 20 to the café.

People are friendly and talk with us. As we are unlocking our bikes, Patrick’s back tire goes instantly flat. The valve stem on the tube is snapped-off by the lock. Does this count as a flat tire? It’s only the third one this trip so far. From Wakeman, the trail is paved.

As we turn onto the trail, there are two local older cyclists. After we talk awhile, one continues west, the other decides to turn around and ride with us. Patrick rides and chats with him most of the way to Elyria. He’s an interesting guy who grew up and worked his whole career here in a Ford plant. The automobile plants are pretty much all shut down now, he is retired and lives part of the year in Florida and part of the year in France. He seems to prefer the lifestyle in France. There are many groups local cyclists on the trail, many older.

Elyria is pretty run down. We go through the town to find a sandwich shop for lunch that seems to be in dodgy part of town, but the sandwich is good. From Elyria it is regular roads for about 15 miles to our Warmshowers host. Some are better than others, but it is obvious we are on the outskirts of a large city, Cleveland airport is only a few miles away. Traffic is pretty busy, but treats us well.

We arrive at our Warmshowers host at 2:30pm, he’ll not be home for another two hours but provided us with chairs under an awning in case it rains again. We move to the outside for a breeze and wait. The sky is overcast, and it is hot and humid. John arrives home by bike. He is a collector of bikes and miniature trains. There are at least 9 bikes hung in the garage, and a few more in the basement. The living room, dining room, basement and den are covered in display cases with trains. The house is too small for a display with rails and riding trains, so he has them on display only. John treats us to a meal at a Mexican restaurant, and then we shop for supplies.

Tomorrow we will be almost entirely on trails and there will be few opportunities for food and drinks.

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Breaking the value off the tire, does that count as a flat tire?
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Each of the small towns along the trail have nostalgic "bandstands"
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Meeting other cyclists
Heart 1 Comment 0
Bob turns around and rides with us
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 1 Comment 0
Heart 2 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0
Bob leaves the trail
Heart 0 Comment 0
In Olmstead Falls we stop for a sandwich
Heart 1 Comment 0
John's garage filled with bikes
Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today's ride: 46 miles (74 km)
Total: 3,051 miles (4,910 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 1
Jeanna & Kerry SmithPatrick,
Sometimes mistakes are pure genius! You should patent your Double Defense lock. No thief would bother stealing your bike when after cutting the cable, the lock automatically causes a flat. :-)
Kerry
Reply to this comment
1 month ago