Three States in One Day and Into Buffalo, New York
Day 55 – July 25, 2014 Cleveland, OH – Conneaut, OH 87 miles (total miles 3374)
Weather – sunny, 70 -75 degrees, tailwind
We got going early in hopes we would not have to deal with morning rush hour traffic in Cleveland. Unfortunately we still had to although it was not too bad because we were heading out of the city. Things were going fine until a woman driver who cut off the city bus the block before decided to cut us off at the next block. Luckily I saw her coming and let Peter know and we were able to stop in plenty of time. I was not happy with her and either was the other motor vehicle driver behind us – he beeped at her and gave her the evil eye!! I think she just was not thinking and paying attention to what was going on around her. After getting out of the city we had several suburbs to go through – much of the navigating today was tough because there were lots of turns and short times on many roads. We also got lost in the City of Painesville – it truly was a Pain!! Although a nice man on a bicycle helped us find Main Street and a good restaurant to stop for lunch.
After lunch we had about 50 miles to go including going through Geneva-on-the-Lake which happens to be where the Spire Institute is located. The Spire Institute is a beautiful indoor track facility which hosts Indoor Big Tens and a few years ago we watched our older daughter Melissa compete at the facility. Our route thru the city did not take us past the facility but it did take us past the Geneva Lodge where Melissa stayed when she participated in the meet. We stopped at the Lodge to take some pictures to send to Melissa – beautiful hotel located right on Lake Erie. We headed into town- which we had not seen before. It is a nice town with lots of little shops and restaurants it was extremely busy on this beautiful summer day. It would have been nice to stop to explore but we are hopeful we will be back someday to watch Alex (our younger daughter) compete at the Big Ten Indoor Track Meet.
We made it to Conneaut where we stayed at a family owned campground about 3 miles off route. It was a nice place and I think all the campers knew we were bicycling across the country by the end of the night – boy news travels fast. The other campers were very interested in our trip and we spent a fair amount of time up at the campground office talking with them.
Day 56 -July 26, 2014 Conneaut, OH to Fredonia, NY 79 miles (total miles 3453)
Weather, sunny, 80 degrees, tailwind
Today was an exciting one for Tracy because she was going to be traveling into two states she had never been in before. Also for the first time we were going to be traveling through three states in one day – very fun!! We started out in Ohio – ok it was only about 5 miles from Pennsylvania – but we still started in Ohio. Upon entering Pennsylvania we began traveling on Hwy 5 – adjacent to Lake Erie. We had great views of the lake. The largest city in Pennsylvania we traveled thru was Erie – we spent a fair amount of time in Erie mainly because Tracy got us lost. Again tough navigating with lots of turns and trails to find – yikes. We finally fought our way out of Erie and decide it was too bad we got so lost because it would have been a nice city to get to know better. About 20 miles from Erie we entered New York(state number three for the day).
We have hit wine country and are bicycling thru the vineyards and the wineries. There are not many other services in the area so we stopped at one of the wineries to see if they were selling anything to eat in their shop. All they had for sale for food was wine crackers. So we decide to sit out on the picnic table and eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches – did we ever get the looks from the people coming out of the winery – oh well we had to eat somewhere and something.
The evening accommodations were thru the Warm Showers program and we stayed with a young man – Geoffrey in Fredonia, NY. He was a great host – we got a nice shower, laundry done, dinner and got to spend the night in his tree house. Yes – this was a first for us and the tree house was simply amazing. We got the grand tour of the facility and grounds, good conversation and a good nights sleep in a truly unique place. See the attached pictures.
Day 57 – July 27, 2014 Fredonia, NY to Buffalo, NY – 70 miles (total miles 3523)
Weather, sunny and 80 degrees, tailwind
Today we got a late start because we were at the tree house and everyone slept in until 8:00am, we then headed back to our hosts parents house for breakfast and to get everything packed up to hit the road again. We finally left about 10:30am after thanking our Warm Showers host for such a great stay. We got back on Hwy 5 heading towards Buffalo. Due to the late start we were not sure if we would make it all the way to Buffalo and were going to decide how far we were going to go as the day went on.
The ride was along Lake Erie and through the wine country. Lots of vineyards and views of Lake Erie during the day. Although late in the ride the roads really got bad – lots of pot holes and just really bad pavement right where we needed to ride. Also the road was narrow and there were a fair amount of traffic. It made for a long 30 miles towards the end of our ride. We decided to continue into Buffalo and enjoyed a great ride into the city on quiet streets due to the fact that it was Sunday night – Buffalo is a cool city and we are staying right in the city at the Hyatt. Their rates were really low and we could not figure out why until we got into city and near the hotel. The city is in the process of extending the light rail right past the hotel and everything is ripped up. So we are staying at a great hotel at a very reasonable price. After dinner we wandered around downtown and checked out the historic buildings in the area – it is a very nice downtown area now and the light rail will do nothing but enhance it even more.