In July of 2018, we decided we wanted to ride across Ohio. We had already rode across Michigan in 2 days the previous year. We mapped out our approximate route and decided we wanted to start at Clearlake, IN and and finish up somewhere in Pennsylvania. Our exact destination was yet to be determined, due to our main navigator’s panache for shooting from the hip. Our wives would hopefully be nice enough to meet us in PA and drive us home. We had decided early on, that we would need a way to lure then to drive all the way across the state to pick us up, then drive us back home.
Day 1: Clear Lake, IN to Napoleon, OH We started our journey by ceremoniously dipping our wheels in the warm water of Clear Lake. Our ride on this day would take us roughly 60 miles and land up back in our own beds for the night. There would be 4 of us that would ride the whole way across Ohio, but we did have a fifth friend join us for just the first day of the journey.
Day 2: Napoleon to Norwalk. As we rode eastward, we traversed some of the same roads we frequently ride as we headed due east. We tried to stay off the major roads and sometimes added extra miles trying to stay on predominately country roads. It seemed like the area near Sandusky we must have rode of over the Ohio Turnpike five times in a mater of an hour. Our ride this day would amount to around 90 miles. In Sandusky we rode on a rails to trails path for awhile, but that was kinda a pain due to stopping for traffic nearly every mile. Here is a youtube link for highlights of Day 1 & 2
Day 3: Norwalk to Beechwood. Our ride this day would be about 80 miles. As we wound our way through country road after country road, the scenery improved tremendously east of Norwalk. These were nice rolling hills and well paved country roads. Around lunch time we rolled into Oberlin, a sleepy college town. While filling our water bottles in a local park, we started to see older gentlemen riding high wheel bikes. The ones with the huge front wheel and the small rear wheel that you see in old black and white photographs from years gone by. Well, apparently the national high wheeler association was having their national convention that same weekend in Oberlin and we just happened to stumble into it. The guys we spoke to were very nice and we had a lot of things in comment when the subject of bikes came up.
We spend some time in Cuyahoga Valley National Park and checked out some of the major sights. I can definitely see why so many people visit here each year. There was an ultramarathon race going on the day were we there. We met some nice folks from Cleveland Triathlon Club who gave us some snacks and water. They were working an aide station for the ultramarathon.
Day 4: Beechwood, OH to Pymatuning State Park, PA/Lago Winery. Our ride this day would be about 65 miles. Here is a Youtube link of highlights of day 3 & 4 At 1:10 you can see the high wheeler showing us around the park in Oberlin. The section just east of Beechwood was the highlight of the ride. The country roads were hilly, but rolled through lush country estates with split rail fences marking off the property of these huge mansions.
So it was the lure of the Lago Winery that drove our wives across the whole state. They were a few glasses deep into the wine when we arrived, so after getting some of our our drinks and some wood fired pizza, we enjoyed the views from the terrace of this beautiful winery. This was definitely the biggest and coolest winery I have ever visited. We will definitely have to visit this again in the future.