Sunday, August 30, 2009

Zanesville Ohio East

After a restful Friday evening in Zanesville I continued east on Rt. 40 with Wheeling WV. the goal for that day. It is approx. 60 miles from Wheeling to the beginning of the Allegheny Trail in Coraopolis Pa which is not far from Pittsburgh Pa. to the northwest. My thought was that the trip on Rt. 2 from Wheeling to Coraopolis would be easier on Sunday morning--less traffic.
The A-trail runs from Coroapolis to Cumberland Maryland via a new rails to trails route --and from Cumberland to Washington DC runs the C and O Canal route which is a crushed gravel path along the old canal route. There are no motor vehicles on this route and from what I understand it is a beautiful bike ride. Peaceful-historical--not hilly --everything a biker would ever want--and it dumps you nout very near downtown Washington DC. . I am getting psyched to ride that part of the trip sooner than later.

Besides crashing the bike ,I did not count on all the neat stuff to see between Zanesville and Wheeling on Rt.40. This is a wonderful route of about 60 miles and I look forward to exploring it further--hopefully on a bike but at least in a motor vehicle.

Not far from Z-ville I came to a very interesting place called Doc's Nurses Station . When I took this pic I was thinking that I would post it and write something in the blog about how it is always a concern of touring bikers where they will get medical treatment in the event of a mishap . I was thinking to myself "dang, it is a shame Doc's is not open yet today because I had a fever blister on my lower lip that has bothered me the entire trip and I bet that I could find some comfort from one of the "nurses" working there." I am trying to work the word "irony" into this post because I know it has to be applicable in some way but I can not come up with it right now.

Another uncommon sign along the way. I almost stopped to check out this fish hatchery but the road to it was gravel and I did not want to travel it.

This was of interest because it advertised a "dog & cat dude ranch". I have no idea what that might be but I had to wonder.

This sign intruiged me. I knew ZG was a local around here and was hoping to see some more markers about him. My wish came true a very short time later when I came across the really neat museum which included not only Zane Grey but the National Road and Ohio Pottery. Tht was a great stop.
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Friday, August 28, 2009

Bike Buds

The Maconline songsters Chris-Beth-Tom-Danielle-Veronica-Sherrie, Rodney and me (I am on the left). They are the best.

2 nights ago I was sitting in our living room in my comfy chair half watching tv , bored out of my mind when I heard some noise coming from the street in front of my house. I did not pay much attention to it at first , thinking it was just the neighbors walking by. Then I listened a little closer and what I heard sounded like the the sounds made by Christmas carolers--somebody or sombodies were singing and it sounded a lot like that old song A Bicycle Built For Two--you know the one "daisy daisy give me your answer true.......".

At first I thought I was hallucinating and that all those pills I have been taking finally got to me. Maybe it actually was December and I had missed 3-4 months somehow--or maybe my short term memory loss was expaanding to medium term . After double checking the date on that days newspaper I shrugged it off and figured if I ignored it, it would go away--did not even get up out of my chair to look out the window. After awhile the sounds stopped and I got even more comfortable in my chair.
Then , I hear sounds again--this time much louder and again it sounded like Christmas carolers. I am thinking to myself "what the hell--that damned neighbor is playing his stereo loud again". But then I recognized the song and damned if it wasn't Bicycle Race by Queen
and it sounded pretty good. I am thinking "maybe my neighbor has upgraded his play list from Hank Williams ."
I turned down the TV and just sat there enjoying this seranade until it ended, thinking that was it for the night. Then after a few minutes I hear more Christmas carol style singing , only louder--it was coming from my front porch. This time the song was BIKE by Pink Floyd

Now this got me excited and I slowly got out of the chair and looked out the front door. Boy was I surprised to see this odd looking group of folks standing on my steps singing their lungs out. I did not recognize them at first and hollred at Miss Sassy to bring some cookies and hot apple cider to reward these entertainers.
When Miss Sassy hollered back at me asking me if I were nuts I took a closer look at this song crew and then started laughing. Hell, these were my buds from and they had come to see how I was doing. What a surprise. A genuine sight for sore eye.
Well even though we did not have any hot cider or booze of anykind in the house (which I could tell greatly disapointed all but 2 of these people) they came in and we had a great visit. I was filled in on all the local dirt that I had been missing. It was a great time had by all.

Then they left the same way they had arrived , singing a song MIDNIGHT BICYCLE MYSTERY by Deerhoof , which brought a tear to my eye(the good one that had not been watering all evening like the banged up one).

You know before Wed night I had been sitting around feeling sore and sorry for myself for 10 days but after my Macster buds left I felt like a new man. It is time to get over this bullshit and start feeling good again. I may not be able to ride right now but it is time to start blogging again, and I got some great pics from that last day's ride which I will be posting in the near future.
I even looked at a map for the first time and checked out a possible new long ride to start dreaming about--Greenville-Memphis--New Orleans-Tampa-Key West,(all in the late Fall -winter time) after finishing the rest of the cross country deal to Washington DC of course.
Thank you a bunch maconline songsters--you raised me up.

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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reaching Verticality and Then Figureing Out The Parameters of the Present Situation

Today is the first day i have been able to sit at a computer for more than a minute since last Friday. Both eyes are open now which makes it much easier and head is not aching as much right now. As my man Steve Dartt says "If you can reach verticality , the rest is easy". Well verticality is getting easier and I can feel healing happening all over.

After seeing that pic posted by Elissa and Russ I figured I had better post some additional info.
Yes, I did wreck and will post details as they become evident.

I am still assessing the situation and what actually happened. I have a gap in memory that includes this past Saturday afternoon for several hours . It will be a few days before I can see bike damage as well. I have had all sorts of wild stuff going through my mind regarding what could have possibly happened--from getting clipped by a vehicle or animal(the guy in next hospital bed was riding a motorcycle and was jumped by a deer)--or maybe I was dodging a wayward squirrel and lost it. I have come close to either hitting small creatures before or wrecking from trying to dodge them in the past--most recent memory was prairie dogs in western states. Did I lose it on loose gravel and flip or maybe I passed out before taking the header.
What bothers me is that wrecking a recumbent is different than a regular bike. Since your center of gravity is lower to ground and lower than handlebars it is a lot more difficult to flip over handlebars, practically impossible. Also, the times that I have skidded I have had time to get a foot on ground as well as a hand to break fall. There is no evidence that I tried to break fall in any way. Neither hands or feet are chewed up in any way.
I led with my face and dug in real good. Also big bruise on chest and right shoulder as well as a bunch of heavy road rash on forearms , shoulder, knees etc etc etc etc etc . There are no marks on palms of hands which is where I would expect if I had reacted normally to spill in any way.

Left some good chunks of meat on the scene which will leave some decent sized crevasses in face because they could not be sewn up. Although my "favorite" nephew Joe has generously offered to provide skin from his butt(ass) if a graft is needed I am thinking that I will pass on the plastic surgery options. There was not a lot to be proud of beforehand so I doubt a lot of folks will even notice any difference. Revisiting surgeon in Columbus next Wed after swelling receeds to see what the deal is.
The concensus among my family and close friends is that the Angie Pohlman idea of wearing a Phantom of the Opera type mask for my son Russ's wedding on Halloween night is a done deal--we will see about that. I am thinking of something more like that paper bag the unknown comic wore.
As for road rash --all that will do is make me look like a pinto pony on the parts of my body that did get tanned during ride.
There is also the matter of some broken teeth that will have to be dealt with at some time.

Apaprently I was taken first to S.E. regional hospital and then transferred to Grant Trauma center in Columbus.

Not sure about some details of this but I did feel much better after talking on phone to the local guy last evening who found me on road east of Cambridge. He reports when he first saw me after the wreck I was standing by road/wreck and trying to convince him that I was ok and saying a couple of bandaids would get me back on the road again. He suspected I was full of poop when I kept asking same 4-5 word questions repeatedly.

I and the mess was at the bottom of a hill with light gravel covering mixed with some heavier concentrations of stones and he says it looked like I came down hill at good clip and according to skid marks braked several times before losing it comepletely. So I feel good that I was at least fighting it and just did not faint/pass out and go down. Now this does not rule out everything but I do feel better. Hopefully I will feel good enough to be driven to scene this weekend and take a look myself and p/u equipment--maybe something will come back.

In the mean time I am trying like hell to remember details of that day and entire trip and they are showing up more and more. I want to get my camera and notebook back so I can blog about all the cool stuff I saw earlier on Saturday. If memory serves ,there was a bunch, including an extended visit to a wonderful national Road Museum and riding the actual bricks of a section of the original national Road. I remember seeing the marker showing where the first traffic fatality in Ohio took place , which was on the national Road. I think it was a male librarian from Washington of all things.

Anyway I will continue to blog as things come into focus. As for continuing ride I believe I can do that in not too distant future. That may be a bit too optimistic and I may have to sneak away from watchers to do so but I am thinking "why not" right now. Miss Sassy/family may be toughest to convince.
I rode about 3700 miles and had about 400 more to go which includes 350 miles of vehicleless trail from Pittsburgh to DC. By far the easiest section of entire trip. Again, all this remains to be seen/worked out and I have to be able to ride again but from what I understand from talking to others (or maybe I read this in a library)--riding a bike is like sex..............

Kinda of whipped right now but as Arnold says "I'll be bach"

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fear not!

(this post guest-written by Tony's future daughter-in-law)

Hello everybody,

Please excuse my absence but I've run into a bit of a snag--- let's just say that if the road were the barber and my face were my hair, he took a little off the top. I was biking along in Cambridge, OH along a not-well-traveled and hilly road, and on one of those roads, I skidded on a patch of loose rock and divested my visage of its Venusian virtue. But I digress.

My son plays Lynndie England while I lay in repose. That's me on the right.

A friendly Quaker picked me up and took me to the hospital, where I was airlifted back to Columbus. Or at least, that's what they tell me. As we speak, I'm getting a little bit of surgery done and will be just fine in a few.

Stay tuned! I don't know quite when I'll be on the road again, but it should be soon.



Saturday, August 15, 2009

Route 40 Between Columbus and Zanesville 2

I did not understand this until I got close enough to the sign to see that the sheep(a ewe) was holding a plant (a herb) i8n its mouth.

This may not seem like much at first glance but when you are traveling at 12 miles per hour you get a little extra time to think about stuff. as I kept looking at this scene I kept seeing more different geometric shapes , angles and lines that usual. There are a bunch when you look closely.

When I was a kid you would see these ads painted on barns all over the place. From what I understand it was very common to not paint a barn because of cost. Mail Pouch came along and painted the farmer's barn if they could include the ad. There are not many left.

There are several classic buildings along Route 40 like this one.
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Zanesville Ohio USA 2

Last evening the downtown areA was almost deserted so it was fun tooling around the streets seeing the sites, and there was a lot to see. Z-ville is a great place to check out--lots of history and interesting stuff to see.
Not far from the courthouse I saw this very classy memorial and thought it was one of the best I had ever seen. Then I rode a little further and saw the memorial below.

This is about 8 feet tall and all these metal helmets have the name of a soldier on them. I just stood and stared for a long while. In my experience I had not seen something like this before and it was very moving.

This is one of those beautifully painted plastic ceramic things that are all over town. I guess it is a vase but I could not find anyone to ask for sure. Miss Sassy will know exactly what this is supposed to be and I am sure she will inform me of same during our next phone conversation.

This was closed when I got there but it is a place I want to revisit and learn more about what happened here over the years.
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Zanesville Ohio USA

This is the best pic I could figure out to show the "Y" bridge in downtown Zanesville. It spans the Muskingum and Licking Rivers alll at t5he same time and is the only one like it in the world.
There is a lot happening in this pic--besides the bridge itself you can see the neat waterfalls as well as those guys fishing off the far span . I stopped and talked to them a bit and learned how to catch a cat fish from 40-50 feet above the water. "First you bait the hook and then drop the line in the water", "the trick is to make sure you have enough line to get the hook in the water or you won't get hardly any bites because the fish can't jump much out of the water" This must have been a father/son comedy team who were taking some time off from their day jobs.

Also near the Y bridge was a lot full of these big plastic ceramic looking things. Zanesville is the "Pottery Capitol of the World" and these must have been or will be decorations in front of downtown businesses. Just like the dogs in Ponyiac Illinois or the Cows in Chicago.

It seems like Z-ville was once in line to be the Ohio state capitol. If that had happened I wonder if the Ohio State football team would be called the "Ceramics" like that high school in Crooksville Ohio Which was named after the Hull Pottery compamy, the big employer in Crooksville.
Of course this immediately took me back to wondering why the Reynoldsburg teams are not the Tomatoes.
Instead of Brutus Buckeye we would have Peter the Pot walking around games kissing babies and doing cartwheels.

The Zanesville courthouse has a State Capitol look about it. Oh, what could have been.
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Friday, August 14, 2009

Route 40 Between Columbus and Zanesville

As I understand it Route 40 or The National Highway that would run the entire length of the USA is a sort of patchwork affair overlaying several other routes the farther west it goes.
In Ohio there were originally one of these stone markers every mile, about 225 in all. Now there are about 80 still in place. The Cumberland is the one in Maryland.

I am not sure what makes this one special but it looked big and mounted on a pedistal of smaller rocks so I stopped and got the pic.

About 15 miles from Zanesville there is a "bike path" on each side of the highway. This is really a glorified berm but compared to the rest of the road it is wonderful.

I like the logo used for the sign. That stripe across the state represents Route 40.
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Columbus to Zanesville Oh

When I saw this sign in Hebron Ohio so many thoughts flooded (pun intended) my mind of all the leaks in all the places , including bridges, since June 3rd when this trip began.

Not far from the town of Kirkersville on Route 40 is the National Trail Dragstrip is a big deal in drag racing circles and I have attended a few events here that were NHRA sanctioned. I rode in and the gates were wide open so I rode up to the start line and was just looking around when I got the idea to see what my bike could do a quarter mile in from a standing start. The only way I had to time myself was the computer on my bike and that goes to the second so I could not get a real accurate time that would include tenths and hundreths of a second but I gave it a go anyway.
I went up to the line and imagined one of those Christmas Tree of lights deals that they use for real races. I revved myself up mentally and blasted off down the track. I quickly realized 2 things 1-I started off in way too high a gear to get up to speed quickly--I felt like one of those Albatrosses you see on wild Kingdom that seem to take forever dancing/skipping along the top of the water before they actually are airborne. But I pumped as hard as I could anyway.
2-the track is slick as hell from all the burnt rubber laid down by a zillion cars before me. I was actually sliding sideways from the torque I was applying to the peddles --like when I pushed with my left leg the bike slid to the right a little bit. I made it to the end and witha total elapsed time of a blistering 74 seconds but I just knew I could do better and I was stoked to try again.

When I peddeled back to the start line some maintenance guys were standing there laughing their butts off at me. Apparently they had watched me from the big glass enclosed press box and had to come down and get a better look. I let them know I was serious and asked if they would turn on the official clock scoreboard for my next run and they laughed even harder--one guy had to sit down on the ground he was laughing so hard. Then I asked if it were a track rule that I had to wear my helmet because I thought it might be providing too much wind resistance and was affecting my time.They suggested I lose the trailer and American flag as well but I thought that was not an issue and wanted to make the run with them.
Anyway , they never did not give me an answer about turning the clock --they just kept laughing and another guy calls somebody on his cell to give a play by play-- so I revved up and took off again , but this time I got cranking a whole lot quicker because I started in a lower gear and up shifted as I gained speed. My clock said 62 seconds and I just know I can do better--probably even get into the high 50s if I work at it.

I was not sure I wanted to do an third run because I was still breathing hard and then decided not to when a white van pulled in and all the laughing guys quickly took off back to whatever they were doing before I got there. I rode back to Route 40 feeling pretty good about myself.

This is a look back at the starting line after I made my first run. Wow , what a feeling . I now have a sense of what all those real dragsters feel after burning one off in their juiced up rods. BTW--that is farther than it looks especially when you are on a bicycle.
Also, you can see how big that glass enclosed press box really is.

After not seeing anything like this for the past 2.5 months I see 2 similar signs in one day,this one in Zanesville. Although the thoughts did not flood thru my mind like they did 30 miles earlier when I saw the first sign --there still was a steady trickle that I just could not shake.
It was probably a coincidence but the last letter in this sign , a "P", looked like it was searching for a place to go--maybe to the nearest bridge or something.
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Columbus to Zanesville Oh --Reynoldsburg

I traveled Route 40 east from Columbus and the first town I came to was Reynoldsburg. What really got my attention was all the references to tomatoes and then I saw the plaque on the edge of town that said R-burg is "the birthplace of the tomato". This was big news to me and I thought about that declartion for a lot of miles today. I had to check this out asap.

It is all about the tomato in Reynoldsburg and appears to be the towns claim to fame --besides being the boyhood home of rapper BOW WOW.
Anyway , back to the tomato deal. If true, this is huge. I mean what would pizzas or french fries or tomato soup be w/o sauce/catsup/tomato--none of these staples of our diet would exist. Our lives would be drastically different than it is now. What would be soak our pets in after they get sprayed by skunks(I have done this on 3 different occasions). There must be many many other important uses and by products that I have not thought of, and according to Reynoldsburg the tomato was born here. Who knew?,_oh.htm This website gives some info and kinda lets us know that although the tomato was really domesticated a long time ago but was really not the tomato that does all the cool tomamto stuff we know about today.

A farmer in Reynoldsburg actually changed the exisiting tomato into something that had a zillion more usues and was much more practical to use than what was known beforehand.

I rode around Reynoldsburg awhile until I came across the home of the guy who "fathered" the tomato and got some more info. This marker is near where the guy lived. It seems that the Reynoldsburg folks like to interchange the words "birth" and "developed" when it comes to talking about the tomato. In any event something big did happen here regarding the tomato that did affect us the last 100 years.

As I rode away from Reynoldsburg my mind was a puree (pun intended) of thoughts about what I had seen while there. I wondered if the local high school team names were tomamto related like so many other places are. Many times when the town is known for something the sportsteams carry related names. I can only think of a few good examples right now like the Zeeland Michigan "Chix" (big time poultry) and another school calling themselves "The Ironmen/women" after a local steel mill, but I know it is fairly common. Anyway I checked out Reynoldsburg High School to see if they are called the tomatoes or something similar.
What I learned is that the Reynoldsburg football team is called the Raiders and have a purple and gold pirate like guy with a knife in his mouth as the mascot. I was disappointed because unless this Livingston guy was a reformed pirate on the side or smuggled tomatoes overseas or something similar there is no connection.

Then as I rode along my mind thought of other school mascots and for some reason the town/school of St. Henry popped into my mind. Now St. Henry has arguably the most famous high school sports in Ohio and maybe America--they are that good. Anyway their nickname is the Redskins and their mascot is an Indian with a full feathered headdress. To many casual observers this is about as politically incorrect as it gets and very offensive to a huge number of native Americans. There has been talk (nothing real serious) on and off for years regarding changing the name or mascot much like Miami University did a few years back from Redskins to Redhawks

When the topic is brought up to St. Henryites the standard line is that the name originated many years ago when their basketball team wore new red uniforms that stained their skin red. Thus the nickname Redskins that stuck. Nobody has an answer when the question of why the mascot did not become a red arm or leg instead of a red faced Indian chief. Now this situation may never get hot enough to force any action of change by St. Henry but if it does I have a suggestion for them to consider.
Why not adopt the redskin potato as their mascot? They would not have to change their entire name like Miami U. It would be real easy to paint a big red potato on the town water tower and sports scoreboards. It would even be easy for the cheer leaders --no switching the "gimme a R, gimme a E....." or if they wanted to change a little they could do the "gimme a P, gimme an O, Gimme a T........" because Redskins and Potatoes have exactly the same amount of letters so it spelling the word would not strain the attention span of the St. Henry fans , although it might take a few years for them to do it automatically without thinking.
It would be cool to call yourself a St. Henry Potato Head--GO SKINS GO!!!
Besides the big Redskin Potato mascot walking around games there could little kids dressed as tater tots entertaining at halftime. Of course opposing teams like Fort Recovery would make signs like "Peel, Boil , Mash or Fry the Redskins"as well.

You can kinda see my thought process after riding thru Reynoldsburg and having tomatoes on my mind for about 30 miles. Cruising along at bike speed gives a person a lot of time to roll things around in his head.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Ohio State University

While riding around German Village I came across this interesting marker.

Later in the day I found this marker near 17th and High Streets.

I moseyed over to the football field and was surprised that all the gaates were open and I could ride in. I actually rode a ramp right down to field level and was standing there next to the end zone thinking the unthinkable. Wheeling my bike out into the middle of the block O on the 50 yard line and taaking a picture. This thought died a few seconds later when a security guard said "no bikes in here--you have to take it outside--now". So I did but then I walked back in to just look around and maybe take a couple of pics. They were testing the scoreboard by running through all the numbers in all the spaces and I thought this would make for a good shot.

When I did not see anyone else around I walked to the block O , laid my helmet in the middle and went into the stands and took a shot. Nobody said anything.
As I was leaving the area I ran into a guy I played softball with many years ago who had played football for the Bucks. He let me know it was media day later on which is where all the official pics are taken and family/friends could intermingle with team as well. I did not stay around for that but later in the day did see Terrell Pryor the OSU QB and he is indeed a physical specimen. Taller and thicker that he appears on TV. He has been picked in preseason to be the Big 10 offensive player of the year and I believe that is entirely possible . I also believe that if T.P. is the O poy then OSU will be in national championship hunt because that will mean the defense will not have to win games --they can just play their asses off nasty with a lot less presssure than last year because the O will be putting up some serious points.

Now on a related note, if Notre dame can get it's running game back to averaging 5+ yards a carry it could also make them a contender and it could be a ND-OSU championship game but that is a lot of "ifs".
The field surface seems aalmost too nice to play on.
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Columbus Ohio

My intentions today were to cruise Columbus for awhile and then head east on Rt.40 but I just could not stop cruising until about 6 this afternoon. I ended up putting 45 miles on the bike and saw a lot of neat stuff. I visited some old friends and made some new ones. So I will be staying at Stella's for another night and will be heading out as early as possible in morning.

This is the state capitol and William McKinley and my bike. My bike is in the foreground and has the American Flag on it.

Although this guy would not give me his name--actually he could not hear me talking because he was listening to some heavy loud music with earbuds ,really groovin. Besides wearing some devine vines(threads) this man could dance like Michael Jackson , although he was wearing 2 while gloves instead of one. He had a bunch of ladies cheering his every move right there on the side walk in front of the state capitol.

In my heart I know that I found another of the lost souls from Flaming Blues's band--the one where the members "were killed in a hurricane back east somewhere in 1960 or somewhere around then" according to F.B. himself who is still in Walla Walla singing songs about that disaster.

I have read a lot about this man and one day will take the time to visit this place and read more details about not only the man but the Underground Railroad.

This is son Russ, his fiance Elissa and me (I am on the right) after eating a great dinner of authentic (as opposed to fake) Mexican food. A good time was had by all and I look forward to spending more time with them in a couple of weeks.
Now if Stella will jet me get some shuteye it should be a fairly early departure in the morning --heading east.
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Fairborn to Columbus Ohio

This is a pic of a wall in Yellow Springs Oh near the bike trail that runs to Springfield. I was trying to figure out if those letters that say "no painting"were actually graffitti or were there originally and were just ignored.

I am a big fan of good creative inspireing graffitti and am drawn to it (no pun intended) when I see it. It is fun to study the various styles of lettering as well as the clever wording. I can definately say that this was not good graffitti but it was the only stuff I came across yesterday so that is all I had to work with.
Yellow Springs is a very interesting town full of interesting people, a very eclectic bunch. Yesterday I dawdled there too long, just sitting in the shade on a bench in the "downtown" area people watching. I definitely want to visit here again and do some more people watching--I used to think that the Great Darke County Fair was the best for people watching but although Yellow Springs does not have the quantity of the GDF it really has the quality. I may just work up to talking to some of these folks as well, I am pretty sure I would learn something that I do not currently know.
It is a sure thing that Antioch College is the magnet that attracts a lot of folks to Yellow Springs. I do not know a lot about it and as I understand it the college will be closing down pretty soon, so I better get back there before the cool stuff goes away.

I am not sure why but this large ear of corn got my attention as I rode east out of Springfied.

I finally got on Route 40 in Springfield and once I cleared Springfield traffic it was a great ride on a very pleasant highway. The next time I drive (in a car)to Columbus and am not on a tight schedule I will take this road. My only issue yesterday is that I messed around in Yellow Springs way too long and it got dark as I hit Columbus. I stayed on Route 40, which turns into Broad Street and found myself riding through a very interesting part of town that was not exactly bike friendly, and that was just the pedestrian folks on the sidewalks and along the street.
Most of vehicles on the busy street acted like they had never seen aa bicycle before andthere were several pleasant verbal exchanges between me and some drivers regarding whether I should be on the street or sidewalk, and yes some selected hand/finger gestures were used to communictae opinions as well.. I am super glad that I have those very heavy duty Amish buggy flashing lights (red on back and amber on front) that you can see a mile away, because it gives you a good chance to be seen at night. I have had many other bikers laugh at these big lights and comment about how much heavier they are than the standard bicycle lights but I know that in situations like this they increase my survival odds 1000%. Even if drivers do not like bikers they give you adequate space if they can see you or are aware that something with a blinding blinking red light is ahead of them. I do not have reason to use the big lights often but when I do I kinow they help and will never have a bike w/o them.

Btw--if Miss Sassy would have been in the area she would have beaten me senseless with that new pipe wrench. Although riding the last 15 miles thru Columbus after dark is doable and not a huge deal it is extremely stoooopid if you do not have to do it. Normally I would not think of doing something like that and would have stopped for thenight but I wanted to get to Russ's despite starting out way too late from Yellow Springs to get there at a reasonable time.
I was fighting my way through the mess and had about 5 miles to go when Russ found me with his car and escorted me the rest of te way. It was neat turning south onto High Street and blowing thru down town on a bike at 10 p.m. accompanied by a car with flashing lights. It would have been even neater if Russ had a siren as well.

I was under the mistaken assumption that I would be staying overnight at Russ's apartment but I was very wrong. After 5 minutes in the place I realized that it belongs to Stella the resident cat. Stella belongs to Elissa, Russ's fiance--actually it would be more correct to say that Russ will belong to Stella when he marries Elissa.
All cats are divas but Stella takes the diva thing to a whole new level and like all divas the rest of the world is all about her.

It is interesting trying to sleep on the couch when Stella wants to interact(have you pay attention to her). Also Stella is the noisiest damned cat I have ever been around. She acts like she is training for the cat olympics decathalon in that bshe iss constantly jumping on and off pretty high stuff and then sprinting from room to room at full speed.
Now I realize that a lot of cats do this stuff and it is a natural cat thing and part of their natural instinct so that they can fend for themselves in the jungle. I had always been impressed by how cats can quietly sneak around unsuspecting prey/food. They are very excellent hunters. Well ,in my opinion Stella would starve to death in the wild because she could not sneak up on on a deaf mouse standing near Niagra Falls as a freight train went by.
I swear that when Stella lands from jumping off something that an anvil has hit the floor--or a sack of concrete--it scares the hell out of you . Also, when she runs across the wooden floors it is like she has army boots on or possibly little cat wooden shoes.

Now , I appreciate the patter of little feet early in the morning as much as the next guy but when Stella does her thing at sunup it is like being in the middle of a buffalo stampede.

Russ and Elissa are getting married this October in Columbus on Halloween Night ( and that will probably be a whole other blog) and we are all excited about it, but I am wondering what role Stella will play in the ceremony and the reception afterwards. Seeing the way things are now and how Stella rules the roost it is clear that there will not be room in the hall for both Stella and the bride at the same time. I am bringing my camera to this one . This has America's Funniest Home Videos written all over it.

I originally planned on being in Columbus today for a minimal amount of time before heading east on routs 40 but I am going to browse Columbus a bit this morning just to see what I can see. So far I have avoided cities whenever possible but Columbus has a lot of cool stuff. Russ lives near Shiller Park in German Village which in my opinion is the best/most scenic part of town--so I am looking forward to some bike exploring.
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