Day 15 - May 18 - Caesar Creek State Park, OH to Whitewater Memorial State Park, IN - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

May 18, 2023

Day 15 - May 18 - Caesar Creek State Park, OH to Whitewater Memorial State Park, IN

Ratsacks Rule!!!

Ed’s story

I bet you’re wondering about the subtitle. We carry these devices called “ratsacks”. We put our food in them at night to keep the critters, especially the raccoons, from getting into the food. We've been doing this since we started, but so far, we haven’t had any indication that that anything is around. However, when we woke up this morning, our Ratsacks full of food were no longer on the bench; they were on the ground. Something tried to get in and failed….a success!

John modeling a Ratsack
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Jane ChimahuskyNo rats in that sack!!
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11 months ago
Ed ChimahuskyNo rats….wait for today’s journal!
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11 months ago

It was very cold last night. Although the weather channel stated the temperature got down to 42 it felt a lot colder than that, probably more in the high 30s. I was fully bundled in my bed, including my silk liner, lightweight gloves, and a hat; and I was still cold.

The ride started out cold, but got better as we warmed up. We had to ride almost 25 miles to Springboro to get a cuppa coffee. We stopped at This Guy’s Coffee, which was great, and probably the best we’ve had. The college girls who worked there liked my beard. They were very interested in our journal that John talked to them about.

There was a sub sandwich shop next to the coffee shop.

If the menu item is secret, why are you telling people what it is? They should just say “give me the secret menu item” and take their chances.
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We finally crossed I 75 and now we’re on the western part of the state. Oh my no construction is going on as I thought.
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A remembrance of time gone by…Pepsi delivery by horse trolly. A beautiful mural in Franklin, Ohio.
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After Franklin, we entered Middletown Ohio, and got on the Great Miami River Trail. We were probably on this trail for a good 5 -8 miles. We followed the Great Miami River as we rode on the trail.

John is wondering if that is the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
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We found this beautiful stone church at the top of one of our climbs. If it had been halfway up the climb, we never would have taken the picture. It’s much too hard to get started on an incline.
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Sandy EarleI agree. Never stop on an uphill or a fast downhill.
I’m enjoying your journal - you guys are my scouts!
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10 months ago

We continued riding getting into more and more hills; this sign piqued my interest.

Is it 7 miles or 5 miles? Nobody knows. No wonder people get confused.
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On the smaller roads, state borders don’t get paid much attention. In this case, we knew we entered Indiana strictly by the road sign that said “State Line” road.

One side of the road is Ohio, the other side is Indiana. What if an accident happened in the middle of the road? What state takes responsibility?
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We found a really rough gravel road after entering Indiana. Luckily, we were able to find a side road that connected to our route so we didn’t have to destroy our bikes or ourselves on the gravel.

We eventually got on US 27 for the last 8 miles of the ride. This was a great road as it had at least a 6 foot berm on the side that we could ride on.

We know that corn is used to make ethanol; but having a corn looking gas tank now that is something else.
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Last night I commented that there would be no beer tonight because Indiana state parks don’t allow beer. I was wrong. When we stopped in Liberty Indiana to stock up on groceries, we asked where we could get beer. We went we saw…we bought.

It’s interesting. In Ohio you can buy beer in grocery stores; however in Indiana you  need to go to a State liquor store.

It turns out that the liquor store was on the route to the state park. Once we checked in and found our site,  the first thing we did was find a bottle opener.

Mmhhh…beer….the first in 3 days.
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Tomorrow we ride to Franklin Indiana, where we have two nights at the Relax Inn because every decent place is booked up.

The ride is 67 miles with 1700 feet of climbing predicted. Today’s ride was 74 miles with 3000 feet of climbing plus or minus several hundred depending on the GPS being looked at.

Until then happy biking!


John’s Story

I think we’re being followed. The paparazzi must’ve heard about our trip. In the past few days we’ve seen helicopters and small planes flying low over us out in the middle of nowhere. Expect to see candid shots at a grocery store checkout line near you.

The National Enquirer
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The Globe
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How would you like to find this baby crawling around among your stuff? I did. Don’t worry, in reality he’s only about 1/4” long.

The camera makes us all look bigger, doesn’t it?
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Bill ShaneyfeltCommon Hentz jumping spider. Nice macro!

https://www.inaturalist.org/guide_taxa/1550487#:~:text=Hentzia%20palmarum%2C%20the%20common%20hentz,Bermuda%2C%20BahamaIslands%2C%20and%20Cuba.
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11 months ago

I finally came across some buckeye trees! A nice lady held my bike as I took this picture. She's happy, really.

I guess I was too lazy to get my Clik-stand out to prop up the bike.
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Nancy GrahamI’d say this ‘happy’ helpful woman holding Ed’s bike that the Road Angel of the Day ;’).
I am enjoying your travels with you and think you tell just the right amount of story of each day. Thanks for the journal.
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11 months ago
John ChimahuskyTo Nancy GrahamThat’s John’s Bike, and I think you’re right. She is hereby granted Special Road Angel status.
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11 months ago
Nancy GrahamTo John ChimahuskyWhoops, I keep getting you two mixed up, and thought I had it this time!
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11 months ago

There must be more than one variety of buckeye tree. Most of those that I saw today had whitish yellow flowers. I saw one in town, though that red flowers. So which one is the Ohio State tree?

Prettiest buckeye tree I saw today
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Jane ChimahuskyMy backyard buckeye tree has the white flowers but now I’m bummed because the pink is so pretty!!
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11 months ago

We rode some miles today on both the Little Miami river trail and the Great Miami river trail. Both were welcome respites from the road.

I’ve ridden the other end of the Little Miami River Trail, near Cincinnati. Looks just like this but with lots of road crossings.
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The young ladies at This Guy’s Coffee Company in Springboro were the most excited of all the folks that we’ve talked to you about our trip. I think they’re all ready to go out and buy bicycles now.

Sarah at This Guy’s Coffee was already looking at our journal on her phone before we left the shop.
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Sarah LeeI made it on the blog!! This Guy’s coffee wishes you all the best!!
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11 months ago

Ed was excited about seeing I-75 today. I just saw more people missing America.

Separated from our speeding brethren by a cage.
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I love seeing features like this on old buildings
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The original Franklin, Ohio, post office
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I saw this covered bridge coming up and thought, wow, it’s cool they preserved this. Uh, nope. Check the date.
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Someone should get these people some help!
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The Hills showed up again today with a vengeance. There were three very long hills with 250’-300’ of climbing. There were a number of other hills that were uber steep, even if they weren’t that long. I did get off my bike and walk up one hill that presented itself as too steep to ride up before I even started from the bottom.

And on and on they went
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The colors on the hill profile on the Wahoo indicate how steep the climbing is. Green is from 0% to 4% grade. Yellow is 4% to 8% grade. Orange is 8% to 12% grade. Red (which you don’t see here) is greater than 12% grade. I try not to pay too much attention to this, but every time a climb approaches the Wahoo flashes a detailed profile on the screen so you just can’t miss it. As long as the orange sections are not too long I can ride up without stopping. If the profile turns red for any length of time it’s possible that I’ll be getting off the bike. I did see some grades up to 14% today that I manage to ride through
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As Ed already mentioned above, we entered Indiana this afternoon. In the shot Indiana is on one side of the road and Ohio is on the other side. Does it really matter which is which?

Even I don’t remember which is which.
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We got to State Line Road, turned left for 100 yards, then turned right onto our first boba fide Indiana highway. We rode about a mile of this at a very slow pace before we found another road to switch to that was not on our route. Welcome to Indiana!
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Our greatest disappointment of the day was finding the brewery in Liberty Indiana closed!

Hopes were high!
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Only to be dashed!
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We bought a six pack of Sam Adams Boston Lager at the liquor store on the way out of town to the campground. It brought to mind almost 20 years ago riding my first Oklahoma Freewheel in 2005 and meeting an elfin Irishman from Boston named John. When my older daughter drove up from Oklahoma City to Caldwell, Kansas, to pick us up at the end of the ride (Ed was with me that year) she brought a six pack of Boston Lager just so we could share it with Boston John. I rode the Oklahoma Freewheel again in 2007 and 2009, and Boston John was on the ride again both times. I’ve not seen him since. I wonder what happened to him. He was a character.

NOTE TO SELF: Use sunblock tomorrow. When I start the day three layers thick with clothing because of the cold air and slowly peel it off through the day, I sometimes forget that I should lather up. I got a little bit toasted today.

Today's ride: 74 miles (119 km)
Total: 3,345 miles (5,383 km)

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Ben F.I notice your daughters seem to provide you with a lot of beer.....has this been the theme for a while now?
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11 months ago
John ChimahuskyWell, if two or three times in 20 years is a pattern, then yes. But don’t forget Stanley. He brings me beer too!
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11 months ago