The OTET . Day 1

Sunday, October 11th, 2020

Cleveland to Brecksville Station . 21.7m

Arriving at Linda’s home at 6:45am, we quickly made changes, included add ons and finalized any adjustments to my bicycle. Clamping on a rear view mirror, a phone holder and a bottle cage, making sure I had rain protection for my bike seat and phone, then removing the front and back lights on my bike for the shuttle ride to Lake Erie, we were nearing completion. Linda had graciously given me two pair of bike shorts and a pair of bike shoes to wear, amongst numerous tools, etc. and by the time 8:00am rolled around, when our shuttle driver arrived, we were set and ready to go!

Meet Linda, my biking partner…long time rider of motorcycles, bicycles and trikes.

This ride was filled with many “First’s” for me. First time I have bike packed and carried adequate gear to sustain myself for the duration on our trip. First time to bike over 40 miles in a day, first time to ride through towns and on roads, fist time to ride through rain, first time to learn bike communication and skills. I was ready and up for the challenge!

I met Linda, my bike partner, on a White Mountains Women’s Retreat several years back. She is full of life, adventure and bicycle knowledge. Due to the Covid virus, any bike maintenance class that I had signed up for was canceled…having Linda ride with me was a reassurance of learning those needed skills.

Our shuttle driver from Ohio Trail Shuttle, arrived promptly at 8:00am. We loaded our panniers and gear into his vehicle, securely strapped our bikes to the back, and for several hours made our way to the northern terminus of the OTET on the shores of Lake Erie.

Arriving around noon, we quickly geared up, took some pictures, looked at the map and off we rode…our destination for the day was to a friends home who graciously offered her home for the night. Our first half day was complete with maneuvering through Cleveland, taking in the views and making our way to the Ohio to Erie Canal Towpath and the Cuyahoga Valley.

Our jump off point for the night was near the Station Road Bridge. A large gravel road that led straight uphill. It required that we both dismount our bikes to walk up, and up, and up…till we reached Route 82.

I’m a backpacker at heart and the two things that I quickly realized as a biker was…1) taking pictures of all the historical, scenic and beautiful sights was not going to be possible as I zoomed past it all, and 2) carrying a backpack on my back is a lot lighter than pushing my bike full of gear up a steep hill!

Learning to ride my bike on the OTET,

Yvonne

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