Day 77: Kent to Warren - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

August 16, 2021

Day 77: Kent to Warren

Pete guides us to Warren

“You don’t believe in signs?” the road worker says, then continues “you can go see there are snakes on the rocks and in the water.”  About the only thing that stops a cyclist is a bridge out, and the bridge is out on this road. “You’re from around here?” He asks and Pete answers “I’m from here, they are not.” Then the worker says to us, “You have a guide then, and be safe.”

We are to meet up with Pete at 8am at the brewpub on North Waters street. Fritz has been called off work for the morning and we all have breakfast together before setting off, saying goodbye to new friends. We take back roads back into town and meet up with Pete.  First we are on a part of the Hike Bike Trail system and known as “the Portage”. This trail takes us through Ravenna before we then shift to a route on Peck Road to the Headwaters Trail.

On the Headwaters Trail at Hiram, Pete who is a volunteer for the trails enters data on trail usage from a sensor and includes information on a tree that was partially blocking the Portage Trail. At Garrettsville, we stop at the IGA supermarket for pastries and chocolate milk. And again, Pete navigates us on back roads east towards Warren. At one point when we reach the road closed sign and can’t get through, Pete and Patrick look at an alternate route. We go back a ways to Johnson road and eventually reach Eagle Creek Road  to make more easterly progress. At Leavitt Road, Pete says goodbye and turns back. This will be an 80 mile day for him. Until now the rain has been light and intermittent but the last miles into Warren it pours.

By the time we reach the Best Western Hotel in downtown Warren, we are soaking wet. It’s 1:30pm. Patrick checks in and we unload our bikes bags onto a luggage dolly and the bikes go into a room near the lobby. We settle into the room, warm up with a shower, and dry out. What a difference a couple of days make. Last week we would reach our motel and dive into the room to enjoy AC, now we take a hot shower to warm up and even make ourselves some cups of hot coffee. For dinner, we walk to a Pizza place and on the way we pass by the Sunrise Inn that looks busy. We decide to go here instead, have a Pizza and beer and watch as the place gets busy with locals. On the way out, we see pieces of pie and take two for dessert back at the hotel. Then we discover the first episode of “The Hobbit” on TV, so for the next three hours we will be entertained.

We’ve changed our planned route from going east into Pennsylvania and instead go North to Lake Erie. Tomorrow, we will ride the Western Reserve Trail to Ashtabula and another warmshowers host. We should be in Buffalo in 4 days.

We say goodbye to new friends and great warmshowers host, Fritz and Jo Ann
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We meet up with Pete Mohan who guides us to trails and back roads to Warren. Pete has a website to connect the trails in Portage County Bike Portage and Beyond - County Info and Trail Connections
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Pete is a volunteer for the trail system and here he is entering data collected about the trail
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Pete tells a crew clearing the trail about a tree limb partially blocking the Portage Trail
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The road construction worker also looks at the maps for an alternate route when this road is closed
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The bridge is out, about the only thing that stops a cyclist
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We find an alternate route around the road closure
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We arrive to the Best Western Hotel after a soaking rainstorm
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Today's ride: 47 miles (76 km)
Total: 3,143 miles (5,058 km)

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