Sunday, September 30, 2007

Parsons, WV

After 5 hard days of biking, Paul stayed at the campground for a day of rest yesterday. Because of the fog and after a cold night, he got a late start this morning. He climbed 3,178 ft over 56 miles in the mountains today. He's riding back roads that the WV DOT recommended, but is finding that the roads are not well marked. He's facing a 14 mile climb to start out tomorrow and will continue to be in the mountains all day. At least the weather is milder! Ann

Friday, September 28, 2007

Grafton, WV

Paul had another long day - with 4,000 ft of climbing in the 68 miles he covered. For the most part, he was on beautiful back roads but then had to ride old St Rt 50 which he discovered is a two lane road with no berm. As that was his intended route, he is now considering alternate routes. He was camping tonight at Tygart State Park, east of Clarksburg. Ann

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Harrisville, WV

Hi I didn't make it very far today. I took off late and got rained on every once in a while, but not too bad. There was supposed to be severe storms coming in and one guy even told me I wouldn't make it to Clarksburg, where the closest motel is located. I opted for a room at the Heritage Inn. I'm keeping the bike in a vacant store on the first floor and I'm staying on the third floor.

It probably won't even rain tonight, but several people have warned me about the storms coming in and the campground is another 5 miles south of here and I'm already 4 miles off the route. The ride was nice today with some scenic areas and some rather awesome climbs. So a short day and all back roads, but tomorrow I think I'll have to start putting some miles in on Rt 50. I'll be riding backroads as much as possible. I even had the WV DOT answer an email I sent them about getting around Clarkburg and they did. So hopefully that will work out. After that obstacle it will be relatively straighforward to Purcellville and the bike trail.

Had a nice time at Ann's folks house and they treated me well, but then I am their favorite son-in-law. ;>) Thanks for everything while I was there! The food even lasted until I got to Harrisville, although there was a DQ about 4 miles before I got here. It was really a lucky thing that I stopped for a Blizzard as they are the ones that told me about the room in Harrisville. Those DQ people are so helpful!!! So tomorrow will be a long day and a little better planned out. I also have to figure out how long it will take me to get to Falls Church, VA. I promise I'll do that hon! That's all for now. Paul

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Marietta, OH

Greetings from Marietta, Ohio at Ann's folks house. I had a nice visit with Tom and cuz John even stopped by to visit. Life is good. I'm a little concerned about the climbing in West Virginia and Virginia since the climbing was so hard the last two days.

Tom had a really nice route worked out for me to get to Marietta with very little traffic and very scenic. I sometimes wonder how he does it, but I know it takes a lot of research on his part. Plus he rides all these roads.

The legs are getting used to the pedaling again, but the legs are tired. It was another hot day and I was hoping that the cloud cover would last all day, but it didn't. I want some cooler weather so the camping will be cooler.

So I had 67 miles in today and climbed about 2700 feet, which I thought would have been more. Maybe I'm just getting older and it seems harder. The bike is still working well so nothing to report there. That's all for now. Tomorrow I drop in to West Virginia and continue to head east. Later. Paul

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Athens, Ohio

Howdy from the top of Athens

I'm at Tom's house and I just had a shower, ah the little things in life. I left Ann and home about 8 am Monday morning knowing I would have 112 miles to ride to get to Jackson and that's just what it was. The terrain got the best in Pike County as I rode east on Rt. 32. It's a scenic four lane with wide shoulders and not a lot of traffic, but I think this was the busiest I've seen it. I only climbed 1800 feet, but it sure seemed like more! I met Tom at Day's Inn where he generously furnished the accommodations for a good night's sleep.

He and I left Jackson about 7:30 and got on the back roads as soon as we left town and it started getting scenic and hilly. Did I mention hilly? It was a pretty ride and I enjoyed it. We hit the bike trail in Nelsonville and rode to Athens enjoying the shade. Oh, did I mention that it was hot again today? But then you already knew that if you're in Cincinnati.

Okay PH's, I normally wouldn't even admit this, but 2nd street in Athens totally kicked my sorry butt. For the first time, and I'm having trouble here guys, for the first time, a tear almost welled up there, had to walk a hill on the bent! It was steep and what can I say. It was a good ride so tomorrow is here to Marietta, which will be a CFC equivalent. I'm counting today and tomorrow as my CFC for the year as I'm missing my first CFC in 18 or 19 years! I tell you folks, you've seen history made twice today. Sorry.

So the first two days have kicked my butt and more to follow as I approach the mountains in West Virginia. I guess that's all for now Later. It feels good to be back on the road, but will be glad when I can spend more time with Ann. Peace Paul

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hi, It's Monday morning and I'm about ready to head out on the road. It's going to be a long day as I'm riding to Jackson, OH to meet Tom Wolf and ride with him to Athens tomorrow. Today will be about 112 miles so will be a long day, but not too difficult as I'm going to ride route 32, the Appilacian Highway. It's scenic with several respectable climbs and good shoulders. I'll fill you in on the ride when I get to Tom's house tomorrow. Ann may fill in tonight on the blog. The second leg begins! Paul

Sunday, September 16, 2007

East coast


It looks like I'll be leaving for the coast on Sept. 24 stopping in Athens and Marietta before hitting the mountains in West Virginia. I've been riding keeping the legs in shape so will see what the week brings. Stay tuned. Paul

Friday, September 14, 2007

Final stats on leg 1

Here are the stats from the trip for those interested. I rode 54 days and took 6 rest days. I rode 3521.54 miles averaging 65.21 a day and my average speed was 12.2 mph. Year to date mileage on the recumbent is 5625 miles so it will be a record year and this year will be hard to beat.

It was a great trip and I'm planning on traveling east through Athens and Marietta and then east across WV and Virginia to DC in the near future so stay tuned for further adventures. Paul

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Greetings from a tired Possum!

The body is tired, but surprisingly pain free. I was up early on Friday morning thinking I had over 100 miles to ride to get home so I went down and devoured several bowls of cereal and several pastries and a couple to take along with me. I left the B&B at 7 under threatening skies and wasn't more than a mile down the road when the rain started. I didn't put the rain jacket on right away, but eventually did, but after a couple of hours it stopped and was getting warm enough that I was going to take it off anyway.

On top of the rain my rear derailluer was not working properly and my first thought was a broken cable. After checking that and finding that not to be the case I started looking at other things and discovered that the cable housing had come out of the keepers. So after putting those back in and readjusting the cable that I loosened, everything was working great and I was once again a happy camper.

Then I followed the road I thought I was to be on, but it turned and I wanted to go straight, so after a couple questions from a local and 4 bonus miles I was back on course. The rain stopped and now the only trouble is the 300 plus mph headwind! The only saving grace was that I knew had I not been on a recumbent it would have been worse.

I was going to hit the bike trail in Corwin, but had decided to hit the connector trail in Lebanon. So after putting up with a lot of traffic entering Lebanon I stopped and at a gas station to ask directions to the trail and I was a couple hundred yards from it! Of course I had to go back about a block and around back of the stores and there it was.

I rode the trail in the correct direction and it ends on a street! So now I'm thinking it's the last day and things are going south. Then I figure if I go up the hill maybe it continues somewhere. I had ridden the Lebanon connector several times previously, but had turned around at what I thought was the end of the trail. After I climbed the hill there was the familiar part of the trail and I knew I was home free!

I rode to the Little Miami Trail and headed towards home. There were a lot of leaves on the trail and it was kind of bittersweet. On one hand I was really glad to be getting home to Ann and my own bed, but on the other hand the trip was over. After more thoughts and talking with Ann I may go on to the east coast, but will take a couple weeks off to catch up on things around here that need my attention. Besides, after standing looking at the water garden a snake swam out from the rocks and Ann informed me right then that she would never step foot in the pond again! Heck, it was a small one. ;>) The food is better here than what I was fixing on the road so maybe I won't be hurt by Carole not wanting to share my food while she and Dick were with me. :>) That's all for now. I'll post final, so far, stats after I figure them out. Bye, it was a really great trip and more than I ever expected it to be. Never once (after the first two days) did I regret starting this adventure. Paul

Friday, September 7, 2007



I got home about 5 this afternoon after a rain ride this morning and then in the 90's this afternoon. I thought it was going to be a century day, but only amounted to 90 and that was long enough. More after I shower and celebrate with more tequila and food. Paul

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Greenville, OH!!!!!

Howdy! I crossed in to Ohio at 10 this morning and then headed south and am in Greenville at the library. Had lunch in Fort Recovery and the owner came over to talk when he brought my food and gave me a Harley bandana and picked up my meal! Is life good or what?! So I stopped at the ice cream place on the way out of town and celebrated my good fortune. ;>)Continued on and stopped in front of a house and two brothers came out and we talked for a while as they both ride quite a bit so that was fun. They even gave me a Pepsi.

I was hoping to make it a bit further today, but with the headwind and the tired legs and lack of motels down the road I'm going to stay here tonight and haul butt tomorrow and hope to still make it home tomorrow, but may not until Saturday mid day.

For those of you who own DQ stock, you may have noticed that it's gone up in value the past couple months. This is an inside trading tip, SELL! It's going to drop tomorrow or Saturday. ;>))))))

Jaybone, I've lost over 10 pounds so I hope to keep most of it off, which means not as many trips to the DQ. But, it will be nice to be back in my kitchen. Todd, it was good talking to you last night and if I decide to go on over to the east coast, I'll get you guys to get ready to go along.

Clarke, I won't skid my tires on the new pavement, but am glad that they are doing it as it was needed. Dick Cocks came over and rode with me for two days and that was fun, but they were two tough days of riding. Today was another 75 miler, so far, with head winds so the bed is going to feel good. It was cloudy most of the day so it wasn't as hot, but the legs are tired and I haven't had a day off for a while. But Sunday I'll be sitting around not doing too much. But Monday I think Ann has other plans on my sitting around. :>) Bye for now. Paul

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Warren, IN

Last night Paul camped at Fletcher Lake in Fletcher, IN. He had the campground to himself as the 7 permanent trailers were without their weekend/summer tenants. So the friendly manager gave Paul a beer and the pick of the campsites. Paul and Dick got a relatively late start (9 am) this morning as they were only going to do 42 miles, but then ended up biking 71. Paul took advantage of the sag by putting his gear in the car trunk, therefore only having to pull the empty Bob in today’s heat. With the 160 miles across Indiana completed in 2 days (the total mileage that Dick planned to ride), he and Carol headed home.

Tonight Paul is at the Huggie Bear Hotel in Warren, IN. As hot as it continues to be, even overnight, he decided to spend his last few nights in the comfort of some air conditioning. He will cross into Ohio tomorrow morning and head toward Corwin where he’ll hit the bike trail to home. He hopes to be home on Friday. The champagne and Patron are cold and waiting! Ann

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Somehow Dick and Paul found each other and started the day 12-15 miles inside the Illinois border. They rode 91 miles today - the longest mileage of the trip so far - and according to Dick only missed a turn or two. Paul is at a campground which doesn't have phone service so Dick left me a message that they were okay. Not sure exactly where they are - somewhere about 75 miles east of the Illinois border, I guess! Dick thinks they will hit the Ohio border Thursday evening. Ann

Monday, September 3, 2007

Watseka, IL

Paul got a taste of the heat today that the Midwest has had all summer - again in the mid-90s, as it will remain all week, and no rain. Paul did 80 miles and could not believe that the Dairy Queens were closed for the holiday! In fact, he found many restaurants closed for Labor Day so he was happy to find a couple of hot dogs for sale and dipped into his Fig Newton stash to sustain him until he could find a restaurant tonight. At one of his stops, he met a busload of people from Mississippi that were headed home after a trip to Chicago. They were very curious about his recumbent and what would possess anyone to be biking across the country in this heat.

Paul was planning on spending the night in Iroquois, IL, but when he got there he found out that the Super 8 was actually in Watseka. Usually this type of changing plans has been no problem, but Dick Cocks is meeting him tonight (at the non-existent Super 8 in Iroquois) to bike with the Possum the rest of the way to Cincinnati this week. Dick's cell phone was not turned on so Paul couldn't leave a message - can't wait to hear how this one turns out....always a story. Ann

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Odell, IL

Picture is once again from Bruce Burrey – note the Marine biking jersey.

Paul went to the Henry Marina last night and had the steak he was craving. He ran into a group of Navy men who served on a ship at Omaha Beach that was supposed to be docked in Henry for a celebration. However the river was so high that the ship couldn’t get under the railroad bridge so it had to dock in Peoria. Of course our Marine had to razz the sailor vets but a good time was had by all. Paul said that the river traffic was very busy; supposedly there are more barges on the Illinois River than the Mississippi. Normally a lock system is used, but the water was so high that the locks had been lowered and the boats were able to navigate without them.

Today, Paul biked 60 miles and was appreciating the cooler evening breeze in the city park where he was camping after a hot day on the road. He’s expecting to be at the Indiana border after tomorrow’s ride. Ann

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Henry, IL

Picture is compliment of Bruce Burrey from the Idaho-Montana portion of the trip

Paul went over 3000 miles today and is now back on the ACA route. He rode almost 70 miles on a beautiful but hot (high 80s) day. The excitement of the day was when a man backed into the bike while Paul was in a restaurant for lunch. Luckily, it was not knocked over, just pushed back - so the driver lived! Paul said he was very nice and very apologetic, ready to give insurance information but Paul found absolutely no damage once he calmed down and so continued on his way.

He had just left the Dairy Queen (surprise!) in Henry when he called, where he met a friendly couple who said if they were not traveling themselves would invite Paul to stay with them, just to hear the stories. And you know he has lots of them ;>) He is camping in the Water Works (city) park tonight which is right next to a large river (Paul thinks the Illinois?). His only concern is there are lots of birds and their droppings so he's trying to find a clean spot to pitch his tent.

He expects to be at the IL-IN border in a couple days and hopefully home by the end of the week. Ann