Today was a magical day. In Huron we had reached Lake Erie (go figure) and today we rode along the lake all day, mostly on a single road, US 6 East. It wasn’t a long day, and we were feeling no pressure. We rode on a light rain, which served to cool down a rather hot day.
We passed Old Woman Creek, and stopped for a picture.
Most of us are “old women” so it seemed fitting.
We also paused at the Ritter Library, so I could take another in my series of “libraries that I have ridden past on bike rides.”
We stopped for snacks.
We crossed the Black River.
And made friends of some fellow long distance cyclists. We posed with a group that is part of the American Lung Association’s Big Ride.
Our first SAG stop was in a beautiful park on the Lake. These seagulls were hanging out on the beach.
The park had a lovely rose garden.
About ten miles later, Peggy was craving a latte, and we stopped for coffee.
Shortly thereafter, disaster struck. Well, a minor disaster. Peggy got a dreaded rear flat. She set out to change it, while I provided moral support, documentation, a CO2 cartridge, and a package of makeup remover sheets (makeup must have a lot in common with bicycle grease.)
Luckily, the SAG wagon came along, and Jean provided a real pump.
After we struggled for a few minutes trying to reseat the wheel, Susan and Jan, tire change experts extraordinaire, happened along, and Susan popped it right in (after Jan reminded us that we needed to open up the brake.)
But the highlight of the day was still ahead of us. Two of the women on the trip live in Rocky River, on our route to Cleveland. There husbands conspired to host a picnic in our honor at the Cleveland Yacht Club.
We assembled at a park just west of Rocky River.
And then we rode as a group to Debby’s house, where we posed for a picture on her back porch.
This is Debby, her husband Jay, and her daughter Jess.
From there we received a police escort to the Yacht Club, where we were greeted like Olympians by a large throng of Debby and Sue’s family and friends.
There was a bounteous feast, with dozens of different salads and desserts. Jay turned out mountains of hamburgers and hot dogs.
And we had our own poster.
And a celebratory cake.
It was an extraordinary outpouring of friendship and good will, and will remain one of my most vivid memories of the trip.
The one dark cloud in a wonderful day is that our guide Carol is leaving us here. In her honor, (and because the Doubletree in downtown Cleveland might have objected to our usual practice of cooking and eating dinner in the parking lot) we ate dinner at a restaurant.
Peggy and I prepared a song for the occasion. I am including it here, since several riders have asked for the lyrics. The song is sung to the tune of “Consider Yourself.”
We consider ourselves well led.
We consider ourselves well provided for.
When Carole is in the lead,
We’re sure we’ll have everything we need.
She explains the cues which sometimes are confusing,
And she gets us on our way.
We all agree her stories are amusing,
And that is why we say…
We consider ourselves well tuned.
We consider ourselves well adjusted.
We don’t have to feat a flat,
Because she taught us how to deal with that.
In her cowboy hat she rallies us to ride again,
Never matter what the temp.
She never reward on rest days if we need a lift,
To the bike store or the town.
We consider ourselves well led.
We consider ourselves on track.
And after some consideration we can say…
We all hope you’ll be back!
Here we are during the “performance.”
Thank you Carole. We are going to miss you.