Day 79: Ashtabula to Erie PA - Racpat Northern Tier - CycleBlaze

August 18, 2021

Day 79: Ashtabula to Erie PA

Back on the ACA Northern Tier

“The worse of today’s ride is going to be the next section,” Patrick says as we finish breakfast. We are anticipating a climb just past Conneaut where there is a river to cross. We continue on the bike route through town, turn a corner and Patrick says: “There’s a bridge!” There is no climb.

We have almost forgotten that we carried rain jackets until two days ago when the rain started and now, continues this morning as we ride out. We say goodbye to Richard, our host, continue north on his street until we see Lake Erie, then turn East on State Route 531. We are back on the ACA Northern Tier Route, the Great Lake Circle Route, the Lake Erie Coastal Route, and the Bicycling PA Z Route.

The road is mostly flat with a few dips and climbs. We occasionally get glimpses of the lake. At about 20 miles we reach Conneaut and stop at Angela’s Café for second breakfast. The décor is all about veterans, and Angela is at the grill. We came in right after a table of 5 and two tables of 2, so we have a long wait and drinking too much coffee. The food is good. After an hour, we are back on the road, still in the rain. Even though we are pretty soggy the temperature is perfect for it: about 75 degrees and no wind.

We cross into Pennsylvania. This area is known as the Northeast, a small panhandle shape that gives Pennsylvania access to Lake Erie. This section is bit more rolling in parts and we are briefly on Highway 20 but with a good shoulder.  Then we turn off onto Route 5, the Seaway Trail and Bicycling PA route Z continues. We reach the outskirts of Erie and stop at a deli for lunch before reaching our Warmshowers hosts for tonight.

Sarah and Mark live with their three children in a beautiful home a stone’s throw off the bike route. Mark has just come home for lunch and helps us park our bikes in the garage and we get shown to our sleeping area in the basement. A hot shower and dry clothes later we are good again. Mark has to go back to work, and Sarah is busy with the kids, but we find some time to socialize.

During our ride today we were finally able to arrange a host for Buffalo this weekend. There are many hosts in that town, but after contacting about a dozen we still have no invitation. It either seems that there are a lot of passing cyclists, or a lot of the hosts are out of town themselves. Motels are available, but cost pretty much triple on Friday and Saturday nights. Finally a couple we had contacted earlier comes through and the puzzle comes together. We have a plan again for the next couple of days!

Patrick walks into Erie, finds a barbershop and gets a much needed haircut. Three days to Buffalo. Sunday on Rachel’s Birthday, we’ll see Niagara Falls.

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We are leaving Ohio, but never got a good photo when we entered....so here it is.
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Mike AylingThe Showers Pass jackets are good bits of kit!
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1 month ago
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Patrick wants to buy it...
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A road angle stops and asks if we need a dry place hang out. We decline because we have only a few more miles.
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Sarah and her father rode the Trans Am route in 2007
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Today's ride: 51 miles (82 km)
Total: 3,242 miles (5,217 km)

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