Day 33: Toledo to Norwalk, Ohio (July 31, 2018)

We got a late start leaving Toldeo this morning.  Leaving major urban areas is typically not a lot of fun and Toledo was no exception.  We pedaled over a huge bridge, which had guards preventing people from jumping or throwing things off the bridge.  The guards stopped just before the middle of the bridge, leaving the highest point open.  I guess the authorities are okay if people throw themselves off the bridge into the river but are not happy if anyone wants to throw themselves off the bridge and hit something on land.

We pedaled by a giant oil refinery, which my son said smelled like his bicycle tires. We also pedaled down a long urban highway lined with strip malls and chain restaurants.

Finally, about 15 miles from downtown we reached Genoa, a more rural town with less traffic.  We stopped for an early lunch on the main street.  The service was quite slow.  This turned out to be fortuitous since it rained heavily while we were waiting and then eating.  If we had gotten our food faster, we would have been caught in a major downpour.

About five miles outside of Genoa we got on the start of Ohio’s North Coast Inland Trail.  It started off as gravel but quickly switched to pavement.  We were on the trail for much of the day and I only have good things to say about this trail.  It was well marked and well maintained.

In a few of the larger towns the trail stopped on the edge of town and started up again on the other side.  This happened in Fremont, Ohio and we used it as an excuse to stop for some Gatorade and some snacks.  I ate an entire container of Pringles potato chips plus I tried zero calorie Gatorade.

On the way out of town my son noticed a sign for the Rutherford B Hayes presidential library.  It turned out Hayes, who was the 19th president of the United States, lived in Fremont.  Hayes served just one four year turn as president a bit after the civil war ended.  His “claim to fame” is that he signed the bill that ended reconstruction of the south and gave back political control to southern states.  His library of papers and books was the first Presidential library in US history.  We didn’t stay long but it was interesting seeing a presidential library of a man who, roughly 150 years after being the most powerful elected official, is basically forgotten.

After pedaling about 10 more miles I began to get cramps and needed to stop.  We pulled over into a gazebo and I fell asleep on the concrete floor.  I woke up and did not feel well, but we were still about 26 miles from our hotel.  The next few miles of pedaling were agony.  Luckily, we were on a bike trail and I didn’t have to worry about cars.  I felt like throwing up.  For the next two hours of pedaling I felt terrible. Slowly, though I began to feel better.  By the time we hit the 15 miles to go mark I felt fine and the last hour plus of pedaling was easy.  For the rest of the trip I will not eat Pringles or drink diet Gatorade.

3 thoughts on “Day 33: Toledo to Norwalk, Ohio (July 31, 2018)”

  1. Hey Professor: Why didn’t you ride across Iowa with the Ragbrai folks last week? A lot more fun than battling traffic — roads are bike-only across this year’s 428-mile route through the scenic HILLY cornfields of Iowa. I just got back from the ride.

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