The big treat for Saturday’s ride was Kathleen. Kathleen is an old friend who used to live in the Washington DC area but who now lives in Columbus OH. Back in her DC days, we were training buddies for triathlons. The RAAM route goes a little south of Columbus and I thought, with a little logistics work, Kathleen might be able to join me for a bit of the ride. The dates worked out so I would be in her area on a weekend. I couldn’t entice Kathleen to do the 108-mile ride I had planned, nor could I talk her into doing the shorter 88-mile version that emerged because Susie and I went on to Middletown instead of stopping in Oxford OH. (See blog for October 7.) However, she was all in for the 58-mile ride from Blanchester to Chillicothe OH. I rode 28 miles from Middletown to Blanchester and Kathleen drove from Columbus to Blanchester and we met right on schedule at 11:30 AM for lunch. We left her car at the lunch place with the plan to drive back and pick it up on Sunday, my planned rest day.
My 28 miles flew by, partly in anticipation of seeing Kathleen again, and partly because there were so many turns on the route that I had to really pay attention to the cue sheet. In fact, I never looked at the elevation profile so I didn’t know there was a 12% hill in the route so I didn’t spend any energy worrying about it. I just did it (in granny gear) when it happened.
After lunch with Susie, Kathleen and I set out on our bikes for Chillicothe. The trick was that the first twenty miles were pretty flat. The rolling geography started up around the town of Highland and picked up with a vengeance after Greenfield. These were the kind of rollers that swallow a car from sight when it goes over the crest. The hills were hard but they were fun. There was a good final climb up to Davis Hill Road, then a downhill that looked like a plummet about four miles after that. I’m not courageous on downhills, though I’ve improved, but I really don’t like it when someone less courageous than me is in front of me. I imagined that Kathleen was more courageous than me, so I encouraged her to go ahead of me. The descent was very short but quite steep and curvy. Here’s a video taken from my bike with Kathleen well ahead of me.
Shortly after the hill, we came to Route 50 that would lead us into Chillicothe. Ever since I first studied the route, I was fascinated by the name of this town. I pronounced it wrong until I was corrected by a native Ohioan (Chilly-coth-e). As we entered Chillicothe, we passed a bike shop uniquely tricked out.
In this video, you can see the wide boulevard we cycled as we went through Chillecothe’s downtown.
A left turn put us on Bridge Street. I took this photo at day’s end from the bridge that goes over the Scioto River and gives the street its name. That’s a train going by on the distant bridge.
Start location: Middletown OH
End location: Chillicothe OH
Distance: 88.2 miles
Cumulative distance: 2537.5 miles
Elevation gain: 3448.2 feet (those rollers add up!)
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/738638109