We started our adventure with a nice breakfast at Alex and Lauren’s place. We started a little later to allow the rush hour traffic to wind down. Stephanie dropped us off at the Rock and Roll hall of fame and we grabbed a few pictures. We saw a sign that said “bike tours start here”… Seemed like a great opportunity.
I gave Steph a hug and kiss goodbye as we departed southbound. We went a few blocks south on the sidewalks of 9th street and stopped at the Cathedral to pass through the Holy Door.
As we left the Cathedral, the rain started. It was a misty and cold rain that would be our constant companion for the next several hours. We zig-zagged across city streets towards our next stop. We missed one turn and probably went about 1/2 mile out of our way and had to backtrack.
A few miles later, we made a small detour to visit the house from “A Christmas Story”. We didn’t tour the house, just took a couple of pictures and resumed our trip.
A few miles later we finally reached the trailhead of the Ohio & Erie Canal. This is a canal that carried cargo and passengers between the Ohio River and Lake Erie. It ceased operations in 1912, but the former towpath has been turned into a hiker/biker trail. Most of the surface was crushed limestone, with a few patches of pavement. Even with the rain, it was pretty decent. It seems to drain well and the puddling wasn’t too bad.
We had an uneventful, albeit wet, trip down to Akron. There was a detour north of Akron that had probably a 10%+ grade to bypass a construction zone. It was a little challenging, but we survived.
Upon arrival in Akron, we found that the path we were supposed to take was closed because of a parade to celebrate the Cavelier’s championship. The traffic control guy pretty rudely just told us to go a different way. We had no idea where we were supposed to go. We went into the city and were about to start looking for maps when a guy came up and offered to lead us to the canal. We took him up on the offer and he took us over to the baseball stadium and the canal. The normal canal path also had some detours. It took a little discerning to figure out the right way to go:
We had quite a long way to go still. We continued down the canal path. The scenery was beautiful and the wildlife was plentiful.
It took longer than we expected to get to Massillon. The trail was slow and we started getting tired. Finally, we arrived at our hotel close to 7PM. A much needed shower and some wings for dinner finished off the evening.
Tomorrow’s weather looks pretty good. It will be another 70 mile day, so we are hoping to get started much earlier and finish earlier. We don’t really have any city riding or navigation tomorrow, so that should help as well.
Time for a much needed sleep!