Day 43 – Xenia to NE of Delaware, OH – 92 miles

August 22, 2009 smccormick

Great day to be out biking.  I woke this morning feeling refreshed and rested after taking the afternoon off yesterday and getting to bed much earlier than I have been.  My eyes actually opened on their own rather than having to get out the pry bar.

I was excited to get on the bike, I had spent some time looking over the bike paths in the area and one paralleled my route for the first 30+ miles.  When I turned onto the path there was another rider stopped so I took the opportunity to ask some questions.  He was very familiar with the route and confirmed my research.  I was off for a nice relaxing morning cruise.

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The path was paved and crossed through some beautiful agricultural ground and neighborhoods with acres of turf (a benefit of rain all year long) and of course the ranches with silos and barns. The wind came up directly behind me again today thanks for the front that’s hanging just to the east.  Today I was able to take full advantage of the wind.

Although the ride was fast I took some time to enjoy.  There were plenty of riders on the trail and I took a moment to chat with a family as I passed.  They had been doing trips out of Xenia with their kids camping out on various trails and heading back to give them some time to play.

While I was zooming down the path and saying hello to other riders as they passed going in the opposite direction, I realized that the painful look on some of their faces could be the direct result of the wind I am so fully enjoying.  One gentleman did wave as he passed but he looked like he had just eaten some really spicy food.  I could hardly tell where his red helmet ended and his face started.  So I’m glad I’m not going south.

I reached London all to quickly, it was here I would need to rejoin the highway.  As I passed a rest stop I saw a sign post that looked like it had path info so I began stopping and at the same time, heard someone yelling to me.

As I turned to go back there were 3 gentlemen walking out to meet me.  They asked me if I was the guy riding the underground railroad trail.  I was a bit surprised and really didn’t know how to answer that.  Turns out these guys sat on the board for the local paths and the guy I had spoke to in Xenia, at the beginning of the path, was also a board member.  He had phoned them and asked them to keep an eye out for me.

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Check out this original 1800 something bike, wood spokes and steel wheels.

They invited me in for lunch at the center located right there and we talked about all things bike and one guy convinced me to stay on the trail to the end and then follow some different road to Plain City.  This turned out great, I was on back country farm roads with little traffic and plenty to look at.

Stopped for a second lunch in Plain City, still not sure why.  I had just eaten an hour before.  Guess I was thinking there wouldn’t be any place to eat ahead.  It gave me a minute to review my afternoon route and that was fine.

More very nice country road to enjoy all the way to the south border of Delaware.  I stopped at a gas station a bit before the city to grab a soda and met Ken, the owner.  He was an older gent and had all his family running around taking care of the place.  I got to meet his granddaughter and wife and we talked about life philosophy and politics and the power of the mind to heal.  Yup, all over the place, very nice guy, he gave me the paper and my drink and sent me on my way.

Zoomed up the road into Delaware at an unbelievable speed and got dumped right into the highway exchange in the middle of town.  Usually I like the highway, but here I was making some transitions and found it a bit more stressful.  The whole mess was only a mile at most so I’m sure there was a better way to get around it.  In the end all was good and I headed back out into the countryside.  More rural residential properties that were so well maintained.

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I checked off another 10 or 15 miles while thinking about a stopping spot for the night.  As I slowed to turn onto route 656, I looked left and there was the perfect camping spot.  Out of sight and mowed.  So I pulled in to take a gander.  Talk about all the comforts of home, there was even a clear running stream. As the sun went down I even had fire flies again.

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The only thing wrong was no cell service to upload the blog and location info.  Not much of a problem, I suppose that can wait until tomorrow.

See more photos of this leg