Day 25 – Ride Across America for GTG, Richmond, IN to Marysville, OH

It is a privilege to come to work every day knowing the impact of Park Nicollet Foundation’s program:  Growing Through Grief.  Our collaborative team of grief counselors, school based support staff, teachers, and administration embrace the opportunity to support, build resilience, and help children and teens see their potential through the midst of grieving a loved one.  In this process, we see student strengths rise to the surface where they find community, safety, and encouragement from their peers and surrounding adults.                       GTG Staff

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Five minutes out of the hotel door and we crossed the border into Ohio.  Our goal for the day was to reach Marysville, 104 miles down the road, by early afternoon to beat the forecast rain.  It was 55 degrees and humid when we started out and, again, most of our riding was on country roads – some of them Ohio highways.  Drizzle started by 10:30 at our first sag but it lasted only 30 minutes.  It returned again after lunch for another 40 minutes.  We did get to the hotel by 3 pm – to learn that the rooms were not ready.  So a quick frozen custard at a local fast food and 45 minutes later we  could get out of our riding clothes and into the warm shower.  The rain did come at 4:30 pm. Of course, we all needed to do laundry – but in this humid air, our gentle knits and lycra won’t have time to air dry- as recommended by the manufacturer.  After a short spin on low temp for the clothes, I’ll see how the clothes are in the morning before packing.

We passed through many small towns – as seen on the video.  Many older buildings, some dating to mid-late 1800’s dot the streets near the city center.  We don’t know the area, so large homes in the countryside seem out of place.  We saw many gated homesteads with a large home, a paddock, barn and horses, cattle, chicken and sometimes llamas and goats.  Then, just a few miles down the road, trailer homes in poor condition can be seen from the road.  Much older, out of use farm machinery may be seen in the corner of some yards or fields.  Many of the fields have pooling water from recent storms – unclear to us when farmers will get to plant corn and soybean.

Just before Marysville, we passed a water tower in the center of a large compound with the letters, ORW.  The signage at the entrance of the large facility read:  Ohio Reformatory for Women.  Other signage included yard signs saying: No to windmills, No pilot.

Biking, like driving, requires constant vigilance about the world around the biker, an understanding of the route and destination and good communication to other riders through hands signals and voice directions.  Today,  three of us were confused by the computer based directions from our Garmin that told us to take a right and then a left when crossing a highway on what was just a continuation of a diagonal road that intersected the highway.  I was first in line and realized I needed to turn around and cross to the diagonal on the other side. As I turned around to check traffic and talk with the others, I saw the rider, third in line, go down onto her left knee. She sustained a scrap to the side of the knee but reported no additional discomfort.  Later, she told me the biker in front of her suddenly turned to the left and slowed down without warning giving her no time to slow down, stop or unclip.  An unnecessary accident that good communication and awareness of others would have avoided.   

Tomorrow, Day 26, we ride to Wooster, OH.  Weather forecasts show temps in the 70s and rain intermittently throughout the day.  There is a possibility of thunderstorms.  I will take a light jacket – a wind breaker that will keep most of the water off me without being as heavy as a non-breathing rain coat.   And, a cover for the helmet and visor for my glasses.    

Please enjoy the video of today’s ride.  I would like to take more photos to show you, but the weather forecasts preclude a slow ride across the countryside taking time for photos.

I enjoy watching the videos.  It allows me to review the day and to see some of the surrounding scenes I may have missed.

Of course,  I always enjoy comments from you.  

Thank you for your support for Growing Through Grief.