Well we had made it to Peoria, Illinois and spent a night in a hotel. The last 24 miles driven slowly with three lug bolts in place. There are a lot of plans contingent on a pretty straight forward schedule. We were supposed to be at Kurt's house for the night and dropped off in downtown Cincinnati by about 9 so we could hit the road.
I hope I don't sound bitter, everything happens for a purpose it is just so interesting to reflect on the feelings then as apposed to the feelings after the ride is done. This isn't the first time we have experienced something like this and going into this situation we knew that as well and I was trying to apply what had happened every other time our plans had fallen apart... everything had always worked out. I'd be tempted to rip Jeremiah 29:11 out of context to talk about my plans and God's plans... but that would be ripping a verse out of context...
Here was THE PLAN for if we left at 9ish in the morning. Sadly I can't embed the picture.
Anyway, in 30 minutes the spacer was removed and our tire was replaced on the vehicle. The cost for this whole fiasco: <$22.00! I guess I could count the unforeseen hotel room... but that wasn't the cost I was scared of. That was absolutely astonishing. A huge shout out to Tires Plus on 150 in Peoria. Thanks for getting us in and safely on the road.
Well we got to Cincinnati about 2ish and connected with Kurt who was gracious enough to drive us down to the center of Cincinnati on his day off. The area where the OTET trail starts is right between Paul Brown Stadium (the Bengals call this home) and the Great American Ball Park (where the Reds play. There was a Red's game happening so it was busier than expected. The Reds were losing by double digits so more people were outside the stadium. We couldn't find a place to park so we ended up pulling up next to a sidewalk and putting our flashers on.
It took about an hour and a half to unload the vehicle, put Ollie's wheels on his bike (his bike didn't fit on the bike rack), put the panniers on Sharon's bike, get Finley's bike loaded and set up the Burley. While pumping up the Burley's tire one exploded very loudly. It was awkward... and people are really jumpy these days. Thankfully I had a new tube and it was fixed easily.
Here we are ready to go! There are a lot of nerves in this picture. How are the boys going to do? Are we going to have bike issues? Are we going to raise the money for the school? Will any of us be hurt on this ride? Is it going to rain? Will we get lost? But that is how you start a bicycle tour.
We said our goodbyes and started pedaling.
It was pretty crazy, there were lots of people and lots of sights to see. Within about 100 yards, Finley got his bike tire caught in a trolley track and he went down hard. Thankfully he was not hurt.
These signs were very helpful in getting started. There were several local trails here and there and these kept us on the right path.
It was a beautiful day and as we road next to the Ohio River the sights were awesome.
After about 6 miles on the road we got to the "train track trail." This is where we would stay for about 200ish miles. It was incredible.
There were several massive bridges that we drove under that were pretty spectacular. Not significant for any other reason than for the fact that they were HUGE.
So we made it 31.2 miles by 8:15 or so in the evening. Two crashes (Finley and Piper) but no injuries! We were near Goshen, Ohio, at Lake Cozy-Dale. We set up the tent and ate supper, showered up, celebrated Finn a little bit for his 12th birthday and played Skipbo. It was a fantastic day.