Since Will wasn't due to arrive till later on Wednesday, my kids were staying with their cousins in Bexley while my wife and I were in a hotel by the airport. I am a morning person and she is not so I planned to ride all morning and hopefully find somewhere midway on my route for breakfast. That destination was a town called Galena which was at the northern point of the Hoover Reservoir.
There are many bike routes around Columbus and plethora of bike ways so I designed this route to use as many of the bike routes as I could find and then to try a bike way later down the road. The first part of the route from the hotel paralleled the airport and I found what might be a good place to have a beer after the ride, but there weren't any bike racks and I wasn't sure if they would let me bring my bike inside.
I rode out to Gahana again only this time I headed north. The weather forecast called for a partly sunny day reaching into the 40s. When I started my ride it was 27 degrees and I don't think the temperature ever got above 32 degrees the whole time I was out.
I did see the sun for a few minutes but it wasn't enough to warm me up, not that I needed any more warmth. I had my winter cycling jacket on, with a balaclava, lobster gloves, Smart Wool socks and my Lake 303 cycling boots. I was plenty warm.
I don't think I have ever ridden roads this straight before. With the roads being so flat, all you do is pedal so I tried to keep my cadence high and enjoy the country side. At times when I was exposed to the wind coming from the west it was a lot colder and slower if I was riding into, too. That is something we don't really experience too much in New England.
I stopped in this cute town called Galena and had breakfast at the Galena Diner. There was a coffee shop in an old bank that looked trendy but I went with my gut figuring I would get some typical midwestern fare. That I did, a filling breakfast that consisted of Biscuits and Gravy, with eggs and home fries. It was just what I needed for the trip back.
After Galena, the route I was riding south on had a bike line which lasted a few miles and then turned towards the reservoir to become a full fledged bike way. I decided, however, to stay on the main road because it was straighter and I figured I would maintain better speed. Along the way I came across this sign that reminded me of watching M*A*S*H, and listening to Corporal Klinger (Jamie Farr) talk about the Toledo Mud Hens. While being an actual Minor League Baseball Team, it turns out that the Mud Hen is an actual bird that is somewhat akin to the duck and is called the American Coot. Didn't see the actual bird, though.
When the road I was riding got closer to the city the congestion and traffic lights started to slow me down so I hopped on to the Big Walnut Trail (bikeway) and then rode across the Hoover Dam. There were many walkers and it was really cool to ride across and then back again.
Eventually, I picked up the Alum Creek Multi-use trail and I wouldn't say that it was my best routing decision but it was something I wanted to try. It was twisty and winding, with a lot of board walks with signs saying to dismount and walk.
The trail criss-crossed the Alum Creek using many bridges that were ornately designed, some where wide and others were kind of narrow.
Before getting off the trail I found this historical plague that moved me. I never knew Ohio was part of the Underground Railroad but it makes a lot of sense since Kentucky borders the state to the south.
Not a lot of climbing after 50+ miles. On my daily rides before work of just 20 miles I climb more than I did on this route today. Then again, Ohio is flat.