Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour
Day 58 - Tuesday, August 14, 2001
Unlike most of the tour, today's riding was mostly fairly urban, starting in the far western and ending in the far eastern suburbs of Cleveland. But NO CORNFIELDS today - yippee!
The first part of US 6 is a four laner near the lakefront. But surprisingly, the Cleveland-Sandusky road becomes a mostly residential tree-lined street approaching Cleveland - probably because most of the through traffic uses I-90.
I took a detour off the lakefront route to visit Fred at NASA (near the airport) for lunch and a short tour of the facilities. The security guard wasn't sure what to think of me when I showed up with my bike and all my gear!
Fred gave me a good route to get downtown to rejoin my lakefront route. It was fine during the day, but I'd be a little leary about doing it at night. The biggest hazard was not traffic, but the pitiful road conditions - some of the potholes were almost big enough to swallow a bike!
Approaching downtown, I rode through the "flats" (which was ironically the hillier option), an old industrial area recently renovated into restaurants and such. Then the route went past the Browns' Stadium and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame area. This then led to the Cleveland Lakefront Bikeway, mostly on road, with short bike paths connecting the missing roadway links - again most of the through traffic was on I-90/Ohio 2.
East of downtown, the route passes by the huge mansions in Bratenahl before going through the more affordable suburbs along Highway 283/Lake Shore Blvd. Again, this road was mostly two lanes, carrying local traffic.
Once again it a nice day for riding, with a nice cool breeze off the lake. And, as you can probably guess, most of the day was flat riding. But the wind off the lake can be funny sometimes - I had a slight headwind in the morning, but it was a tailwind in the afternoon, allowing me to sail along at 17 mph with little effort.
John and Nancy's house is one block off the lake shore route. They were the ones I met in Wisdom, Montana and again in Yellowstone. I arrived in time for dinner, postponing the usual pleasantries until after we finished eating - they're hungry cyclists too, so they understand.
John and Nancy came home three weeks ago after encountering days of 40-60 mph wind gusts in Wyoming and eastern Colorado that would blow them off their bikes. It wasn't fun anymore for them, so they canceled their tour at that point and went home. They've done the northern crossing before, but they didn't care for the central crossing.
We exchanged stories about our trips and the people we had seen on the road this summer. Too much to tell here, but in a nutshell, all of the people who hooked up over the internet didn't get along too well when riding together.