2015-06-16 - OH - Day 20 - Vermilion to Bowling Green
After packing up and getting ready, a group of us started to ride together. The rain came down in intermittent bursts as Olivia got a flat no more than a mile from our starting point and we all stopped to help. Alex, Nils, and I helped her fix it before Alex and I rode together to the first rest stop at a McDonald's in Avery. 10:15 AM, nineteen miles in. I had an egg and cheese biscuit and tried the Strawberry Iced Sweet Tea. Yum! More than half the team was there. Good news was that we'd probably avoid the rain for the rest of the day. Bad news was that we'd be riding into the wind.
A large group of us rode together towards rest stop two in Clyde. The last miles on the bike path were wonderful: smooth car-free paths under the shade and protection of trees. We rode fast, up to twenty-three miles per hour at one point. In Clyde, I bought ice tea, scotch tape, and a toothbrush to clean my bike with. I also met Eric there, a software engineer who decided to cycle across the country after losing his job. He started in York, Maine, approximately 200 miles southwest from where we started in Bar Harbor. His goal was to make it to San Francisco after going to Chicago. I learned days later that he ended his trip in Chicago and went back home with his wife.
From Clyde, we rode towards Gibsonburg. The nearly car-free roads through open fields were great. We took over the entire road and chatted amongst ourselves, Kaylyn taking selfies. Reed rode most quickly at twenty miles per hour, with Alex, Nils, and me following. When Reed dropped back to make sure the other group was okay behind us, we three continued forward without slowing down. We shot past Rob and Faye and soon reached the Gibsonburg rest stop. I wandered around the local library as kids stared at me before buying more groceries at the market. Others ate at the Subway sandwich shop.
We took off from Gibsonburg as a group but separated later on. Nils and I alternated 2.5 mile pulls into Bowling green. It was hard and fast and I loved it. We sat down to chill around 4:30 PM at Tim Horton's by the Bowling Green State University, where Kaylyn attends school. Kaylyn and Alex joined up with us after cycling through the campus and we all went to the bike shop together. The house we would camp at was another 3.5 miles away.
Fearing a shortage of free food, we rode fast to get there, only to discover a menagerie of beer, soda, water, Gatorade, sandwiches, egg salad, macaroni, burgers, and chips. There was a long line for the single bathroom's shower, but we all enjoyed sitting around the yard, chatting and consuming the fuel for our bodies. With tents pitched, we saw a gorgeous sun set on the horizon over corn fields, after which some went to bed while others stayed up to watch the NBA finals game, Golden State vs. Cleveland (in which city we stayed a few days ago). I went to bed during the 3rd quarter, too tired to finish watching.