June 10:  Hudson to Austinburg, Ohio  63.6 miles

With the skies looking ominous and the forecast talking about possible showers, the group delayed the morning start by about a half an hour -- just enough time to have that second cup of coffee!  But with rain gear loaded and full stomachs the riders descended on the route with gusto.  The way was to be relatively flat with some rolling hills, but nothing that couldn't be master by this group!

The map was leading us around Cleveland and up toward Lake Erie.  As has been for the last couple of days the views of the countryside were of made up of residential homes tucked into the landscape concealed from direct view.  An occasional farm would appear, but it too seemed more of a gentleman's farm, than that of the owner actually doing the chores.

The first town to be traversed was Mantua Center.  Other than a town square made up of three churches, the place could have been easily missed if daydreaming at the time of pedaling through.  Burton, (pop 1450) offered a coffee shop which immediately made it a hit.

On to Windsor and East Trumbull through beautiful rolling hills with each downhill being bigger than its accompanying uphill!!  This is Amish Territory.  The countryside is dotted with white pristine farm houses with equally defined barns.  The identifying characteristic that signifies a farm Amish is that there are no electrical lines running to either the home or the barn.  Sometimes the laundry is blowing in the breeze, sometimes there is a buggy in the driveway, and many times there are children's play houses and swings in the back yard.  One farm jiggle the stereotype set in each rider's head as to what an Amish home should or should not have.  This particular home had a trampoline in the backyard with four young children giggling and having a "ball" jumping into space.  The image of the rustic life just didn't fit.  But then in this area Wal-Mart has designated a spot in their parking lot for the Amish buggies!!  Even the Amish need to get staples and chose Wal-Mart!!!

The rains held off for the first couple of hours, but the sky became increasingly black.  Finally Old Mother Nature couldn't hold back any longer and let loose with all her might.  Rain, thunder, wind -- all came at once.  Some of the riders were ahead of the temper tantrum, some behind and of course, some in the middle.  A quick stop in Rock Creek at the local cafe to dry off and warm up and then it is off to the Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail for the last 10 miles to Austinburg (pop 2234) for the night.

Manlua Center, Ohio

Frankie, Holly, Judi, and Mary in Manlua Center!


Western Reserve Greenway Trail

Frankie on the Greenway

Sue on the Trail