Day 9 - May 12 - Wheeling , WV Rest Day - Two Old Guys Take On A Continent - CycleBlaze

May 12, 2023

Day 9 - May 12 - Wheeling , WV Rest Day

Free Wheelin’ in Rest Virginia

John’s Story

OK, yes, I turn 70 today. Thank you everyone who sent birthday greetings. It’s just serendipity that our first rest day fell on my birthday, but it is kinda nice.

Who knows what the temperature was outside this morning? Who cares? I was in a bed. In a building. With climate control. And I get another shot at this tonight!

My First Impressions of Wheeling, West Virginia

An old town that’s seen hard times and is trying to bounce back. Many of the downtown streets are torn up because they’re planning a major repaving project. Lots of cool old buildings. Some abandoned old buildings. Modern buildings mixed in. An influx of investment could really make for an attractive downtown. 

The Victoria Theater has been here since 1904. Don of yesterday said his mother worked there as a teenager. I don’t know if it is still in use. I love the tall turreted building to its right.
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Built just before the Civil War. Not sure if it is in use.
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A boarded up building on Main Street. Given the construction fencing around it I’m guessing that someone has plans for it. Good!
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Ronald WoodsHate to see old town buildings like that crumble. Roof rots first, caves in, walls fall or it becomes a hazard and has to be tore down.
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6 months ago
Mirror Image? Lutherans Facing Off Against the Episcopalians.
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Mike AylingBut who has the higher steeple?
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6 months ago

There’s supposed to be live music at the Public Market at lunchtime today. I’m definitely going down there to check it out.

The McLure House Hotel

We’re staying in a very old hotel (built in 1852) that has been bought by Ramada. It has a very attractive recently stuccoed façade and a beautiful lobby.

McLure House
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Ronald WoodsAnd water through lead pipes! :-/
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6 months ago

We have a very  large room with two queen beds, and it's quite comfortable. But the facility overall needs a lot of updating and better management. The bathroom is straight out of 1942 with a toilet that has a flush handle like you’d see in a public restroom years ago. You have to hold it down for a long time or the water doesn’t flow.  When showering most of the water continues to flow out of the tub faucet. The room keys continually fail and have to be reset at the front desk. There’s a small laundry room for guests but no machine to vend detergent. We had to go shopping for it. Poke your nose past the lobby, though,  and things get old fast.  Hopefully Ramada plans to put a bunch of money into this place to bring it back to life, but they need to do more than just put lipstick on the pig, so to speak.

All that said, if someone asked, I would recommend you stay here if you’re on a bike tour through Wheeling. It’s right on the route. There are restaurants and other services handy (haven’t found a grocery store). It was not very expensive. And as I said, the room was comfortable. Perhaps when you get here they will have spiffed the place up some more.

More Mundane Things

We don’t plan to ride our bikes around town. If it’s not within walking distance, we’re not going there.

We found a nice place for breakfast. When we asked the server where we might go to buy detergent to do our laundry at the hotel, she disappeared into the back and returned with four Tide pods for us. I love that so far everyone we’ve encountered on this trip has been so friendly and helpful.

When we returned to the hotel from breakfast, there were half a dozen big motorcycles parked out front, with a few rough looking guys in leather riding gear who could for all the world have been Hell’s Angels. On closer inspection, however, I noticed that all of the patches on their jackets had to do with law-enforcement. Turns out they are all former motorcycle cops.

Definitely not Hell’s Angels.
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I asked one of them, Bill, what the ride was about. Was it a fundraiser? Was it a fun ride? Maybe a poker run? No. They are on their way from Chicago to Washington DC for tomorrow’s candlelight vigil at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial to honor comrades who have fallen in the line of duty in the past year.

Thank you for your service!
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Rebecca ChimahuskyRE the vigil: ah, yes, next week is National Police and Armed Forces week. I've accidentally stumbled upon remembrances at Judiciary Square in DC a few times when a trip downtown to meet up with folks for dinner was in mid-May. It's a less visited, very nice area with a Law Enforcement Memorial amidst all the courthouses. What a cool run-in.
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6 months ago

In a couple months we’ll be riding the Lewis and Clark trail from Missoula, MT to Seaside, OR. I found a sign here informing that Meriwether Lewis stopped here in Wheeling on his way to Wood River, IL the autumn before the Voyage of Discovery into the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase began the following spring.

Preview of Coming Attractions
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Arthur BrownThis is cool! When I was much younger. As my friend Travis and I were exploring the countryside of our small town. We each played Lewis or Clark. We thought we were serious explorers. However, it turns out that you and Ed are setting the bar. Keep it upright!
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6 months ago

Ed bought me a birthday beer this afternoon. This evening after dinner I ordered a Manhattan, a birthday gift to myself. When we cashed out the bartender comped the Manhattan because it was my birthday. So I got a birthday cake and dinner last night and a beer and Manhattan today for my birthday. My older daughter has sent me a care package from Hawaii to Buckeye Lake, Ohio, where we will be in 3 days. I can’t wait.

One more thing. Several days ago I was griping about not seeing any orioles in Maryland. Now I’ve finally seen some. In the bar this evening. On TV.  They were playing the Pittsburgh Pirates. 😬

Back to reality tomorrow! On to the hills of Ohio!

In case you haven’t noticed we changed the order of the journal entries to put the most recent ones at the top, to make it easier to find the latest episode. 

Ed’s Story

I was actually able to sleep in this morning, but when I woke up, I nearly started trying to pack up my bed until I realized I wasn’t camping in it.

As John noted we went to a restaurant for breakfast because the hotel does not have a breakfast bar. It would be nice if they at least had a coffee kiosk in the lobby so we could get a coffee cup of coffee in the morning.

I talked about my sleeping bag issues in a previous post. I sent an email to the vendor's warranty department to complain about the bag. We will see if they do something. I will probably end up buying a different bag and shipping it ahead to a future stop in Saint Charles, Missouri. 

John says hi to Francis, the Father of West Virginia.
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The restaurant we ate at was called Sarah’s on Main. It was highly recommended by everybody we talked to. I had sweet potato hash and avocado toast - very tasty.

I modified my breakfast to remove any meat or egg products; but they didn’t modify the price.
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After breakfast, we came back to the hotel and started separating our gear. We wanted to see if there was anything we could mail home. I shipped most of my cooler weather gear to Fort Collins, Colorado, to a bike shop we will be taking our bikes to when we are there. We had already talked to the owner previously about shipping him boxes.

I also shipped some of my heavier gear back home, including some straps, my camp chair, a jacket, my Kindle (which I haven’t opened  in eight days) and various and sundry items. Between these two shipments, I lightened my load by about 8 pounds - anything helps.

I met John at the public market for lunch. We both have the tofu bánh mì sandwich,  a short baguette with thin, crisp crust and soft, airy texture. It is often split lengthwise and filled, and our case with crispy tofu. John actually went out of his way to have the tofu sandwich.

Four types of vegan jerky being sold at the public market. Ingredients include with wheat gluten, spices, flavorings, and oil. I’ve had before – no thanks.
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While eating, we listened to two musicians, one playing guitar and one a bass,  singing country songs. They took requests and were very good. Interestingly enough,  they were both named Bill and call themselves The Bills.

The Bills!
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We took our bikes and our tenting equipment to a nearby park where we cleaned and lubed the bikes; and laid out all the tent gear, so it could dry. It was still damp from packing it up on Thursday morning.

Following bike work, we went to a bar where I bought John a birthday beer and I had an orange soda as I am still on antibiotics and should not be drinking. We will probably end up back at the same bar and restaurant for dinner tonight.

John is currently at the library trying to split some of our route maps into smaller segments. Our GPS doesn’t always load the route and let us follow it with the route so long.

It will probably be an early night. Our bags need to be re-packed following clothes washing. We want to try to head out around 7 o’clock tomorrow morning. We bought bananas and scones for breakfast tomorrow as the hotel does not provide anything and there are no restaurants open that early.

It will be raining. Tomorrow’s route is 56 miles with 3000 feet of climbing. We are headed to Senecaville, Ohio.

If all goes well, I will be able to FaceTime with my daughter, Jane, and my granddaughter Elle tonight.

Until tomorrow happy biking.

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Dorothy ShinstockSounds like you had a wonderful down day for your 70th. Who would have expected a gift of Tide pods! We celebrated you with Black raspberry, chocolate chunk ice cream🍦!
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6 months ago