I’ve had the true pleasure of having friends and family along the way who have provided me with an insider’s view of various locales.
To get to the ride start, I traveled with my son 3/4 of the way across the country to Prescott AZ where he has lived. He shared a lot of what he knew about the local geography that I would be cycling through.
Once in San Diego, I stayed with my friend, Allison. She knew where to go to get things done to prepare for the ride. She also previewed Oceanside CA, the starting point of the ride, with me, and came with Susie and me for the sendoff on Day 1.
Once I got to Colorado, my brothers David and Michael, who are long-time residents of Colorado, helped me enjoy Colorado to the utmost.
Brenda Mueller, native of Missouri and long-time resident of Kansas, who I met on Ride to Awareness in 2015, shared her home and her friends with me and made my Kansas experience memorable.
In Oxford OH, we had dinner with a Miami University college freshman who traveled with his family on a cruise on the Great Lakes that I went on with my mom this past July. This morning I discovered that a friend from home, Tim, was in the same restaurant on the same night as I was there with Arlyn and Susie! It was so loud that Tim might very well have been in the booth behind ours and I wouldn’t have been able to hear his voice.
Blanchester OH brought a reunion with Kathleen who has lived in nearby Columbus for about six years. By bicycle, she explored an area of Ohio with Susie and me that she had not seen. She was the one who identified Mound City as a place of interest. She hit that nail on the head as it was fascinating.
Now that I am about to enter West Virginia, Pete, who lives in Arlington VA but who grew up in West Virginia, has joined the ride for three days to share his love of West Virginia and power up the local hills with me.
My ride had been enriched by those who know and are lured by the local lore and want to share it.
Between saying goodbye to Kathleen this morning and saying hello to Pete this afternoon, I had a glorious ride from Chillicothe to Athens OH. It was a pleasantly cool fall day, the sky was perfectly clear, the traffic was cooperative, the climbs were interesting but not overpowering, the downhills were not too intense, and the scenery varied.
Here’s a video of the descent from Putnam Chapel that was just the right grade to be totally pleasant and not scary to me.
Start location: Chillicothe OH
End location: Athens OH
Distance: 62.7 miles
Cumulative distance: 2600.2 miles
Elevation gain: 2217.8 feet
Strava track: https://www.strava.com/activities/740952150