Saturday, September 14, 2019

Do you love chocolate and morning glories?


I love chocolate.

I love flowers.

I love riding my trike.

Today I got all three!!!

First, let me tell you about yesterday...

Yellow Springs Times Two

Friday, September 13, 2019

I went to get my morning coffee and some wifi at the Hub Coffee Shop in Xenia, Ohio on Friday morning.

The shop is housed in the spam place as Toward Independence and One Bistro. 

I think there is some kind of fundraising hand shake because I learned they are also running the Chocolate Ride happening on Saturday.  All the funds from the Chocolate ride go directly to help people with developmental disabilities gain the skills they need to live more independently.

They also have a box for collecting donations of women's feminine hygiene products.  Gosh, I never thought about that need for women without incomes!  

I got a call from Linda Tolly.  She is the trike rider I met on the ride on Thursday and who invited me to dinner at her on on Thursday evening.

She said she had time until later today and would like to come pick me up and drive around and show me some things about the area.  Nice! 

I packed up my computer stuff and headed back to my campsite.

She took me to Yellow Springs.  I love Yellow Springs, it is kind of a hippy town with coffee shops and co-ops, and Antioc University. 

I think that Linda had the idea I had never been there and so she had all this fun stuff she was going to show me.  Only I had spent several days camping outside of Yellow Springs with Regis and Cindy a few years ago.  We had also bike in the area here right after I got my trike in 2008.

I felt for Linda, what a bummer to have the new person already be familiar with everything you want to introduce them too.  Sorry Linda!

One thing I did see that was new to me, was the local theater.  It serves wine and beer!

And I had never been to Peaches, where we had lunch on the patio.

Instead of walking around looking in the shops more after lunch, we went to a Glen.  She took me to a different section of it.  And we walked a while until our hips began to start aching.  Then we turned around.

 We saw this purple flower cluster and I thought someone had dropped their feather boa.   

When we got a closer look it looked like a cluster of daffodils.

Linda wanted to introduce me to Young's Dairy.  I have been there too, but was thrilled to go again.  It was bustling, but Linda explained it was slow compared to what it will be like at the peak of fall colors.

Linda was getting ready for a motor cycle trip with a bunch of young men for the weekend.  So she took off to finish getting ready.

I sat and read.  IT WAS HOT!  I sat in the shade, there was a breeze, but it was like sitting in a dryer on low.  I wet my shirt in the bathroom and my hair. 

At 6:30 it finally started getting a bit easier to handle.  I climbed on the trike.  I thought about going to get a beer and listen to music, but then thought a woman alone walking into a bar... I didn't want to give out any wrong impression.

Instead I decided to ride up the Little Miami Trail in the opposite direction that I went with the Ohio Trike Group.   This direction will actually take me back toward Yellow Springs.

I passed some signs that seemed to say there was plenty to do in Xenia this weekend.

 I stopped at  one location because I heard a screeching noise...  Like a rusty wheel on a big machine.  It turned out to be thousands of birds in the trees above my head.  I tried to get a video of them, but they were too far and the light too dim.  Is it starlings that are gathering for their southern migration?

The light got lower in the sky, but I was having too much fun to turn around.  The wind was at my back. 

I figured if I persisted I could make it to Yellow Springs... or close to the edge of town anyway.  I remembered there was a garden there along the trail honoring the contributions of women to society.  I set that as my goal.

 I arrived at the garden just as the sun tucked behind the distant trees. 

 I got off my trike to quickly catch some pictures before I started pedaling back.

By the time I got through the garden, my trike was a distant dot on the trail.  I rushed to it, turned on my lights, and started pedaling back to Xenia.

 It was down hill!  I made a point not to smile, my face was being spattered by little bugs.

At one place I saw a women taking pictures at the sky. 

"What do you see?" I asked.

"Dragon Flies," she said.  She told me that she saw on the news there was a mass of dragon flies being picked up by radar.  They usually come before a storm.  We surmised they might have been escaping the winds of Hurricane Dorian... or the hurricane behind it.

I arrived at my campsite in time to see the full orange moon coming up in the East.  Friday the 13th and a full moon.

Which reminds me.  After my last post talking about being scared by noises at night, my friend Debra posted a cartoon on facebook.  It is a picture of Freddy... you know the guy with the chainsaw and the ice-hockey mask.  You are looking over his shoulder as he looks at a list entitled "Favorite Things".  Checked off are: "At the window; Behind the door; and Outside the tent."

Ha ha, thanks for the laugh Debra.

I had a hard time sleeping, not because of fear.  But the wind!  I made that tent slap and flap so loudly.  Dang it bothered me!  I was trying to sleep with my tent cot inside the tent incase it rained.

I finally moved the tent cot out far from the flapping tent, so I didn't have to listen to the annoying, inconsistent flapping.

Chocolate, Flowers and Triking with Folks

Saturday, September 14, 2019

I can't believe it but yesterday I was making plans to bike to Dayton today.  I had forgotten all about the Chocolate Ride. 

When I arrived there weren't many bikers and I saw no trikers.  I was disappointed in that, but happy that the heat of yesterday had lifted and it was a cool morning, so much so that I was wondering if I should put on a jacket.

 This is the first annual Chocolate ride.  So if it looks good, mark your calendars and join in the fun next year.  Yummy!

About 7 miles into the ride I stopped at a chocolate stop and up behind me came a woman on a Catrike 700 and a Bachetta!   I quickly introduced myself.  Riding buddies!  Yeah.  We had a great time.

Adrian and Chris... can you guess which is which?

 Chris is an author!  Science Fiction and Thriller type.  You may have heard of him, I think his writers name is Kit Bradley or was it  Bradford, or Branson... shoot.  And I didn't get his card! 

He used to be 400 lbs!  He has lost 170lbs since taking up bicycling.  When he can't ride outside he rides on his trainer with a computer trainer that has him biking mountains all over the world. 

They even stopped when I wanted to stop and take pictures of the morning glories growing up the corn stalks.

Later we we saw some kittens by the trail.  Usually the cats on the trail dash away when you approach.  This little grey kitty ran toward us!

So I stopped and the kitten was so friendly!

Its sister (or brother) was friendly too, just it took her/him longer to get up and come over to us.  Fun!

It turns out that Chris and Adrian have four cats.  They are cat people too.

More later... the coffee shop is closing in five minutes!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Highways, Bike Trails, and Fun Folks


It has been awhile.

There is no WiFi where I am camping.

I have had a great couple of days.   Including a great ride with fellow recumbent tricycle enthusiasts and rescuing a drunk Native American.

Where Am I?

I am not telling you where I am camping until I am no longer camping there.  That is hard not to talk about it because I REALLY want to tell you about it.  But you know all the warnings on the internet about women travelers should not divulge their location because bad people are out there somewhere waiting to pounce.

So I will pay attention to that, mostly in respect to those that care about me and worry.  There are lots of worriers out there.  I try not to be a worrier, but if you have been reading my posts for very long, you know I worry a lot.  I just don't worry so much about bad people.

A podcast I listened to said that there is actually a difference in the brains between those who think most people are good and there are few bad ones and those who think there are a lot of bad people out there and you can't trust but a few.  The same difference is found in the brains of Democrats vs Republicans.  I find that fascinating.  Does the genetic difference determine your political leanings? Or is it the kind of worry you engage in that makes the difference in the geometry of the brain (what parts grow and are more active). 

Probably the latter, though the podcast sited several studies that showed political leanings ran in families.  Not 100% of course, but a very significant tendency.  So if your parents are/were not trusting of most people, you most likely will not be trusting of most people.

Ok... Enough about trust and worry and fears.

Let's talk about life experiences as they are happening in the past couple days.

Taking the Freeway to Xenia

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

I decided to get not to stop in Cincinnatti, but head right for Xenia, Ohio.  It would only add less than two hours to my trip and if I took the interstate I would arrive in plenty of time to set up camp and settle in before dark.

But first I had to check my email and pack up.  The computer had to update on the way powering up.

I stood anxiously waiting and waiting for the update to install when I tried to turn the computer off.

The Interstate went through some pretty areas, but I could tell I was tense with the big trucks and the construction cones.  My hands would grip the wheel a little tighter.

I pulled off at a gas station and used the single-holer toilet.  In the middle of taking a dump.  Don't be shocked, everyone poops... well at least if they are lucky enough to have a working digestive system. A woman walked in on me.  "I am in here," I said.

She just stood there shocked for a few seconds before backing out.  I guess the lock doesn't work.

I went out in the parking lot and and walked to the back of the lot.  I saw that my friend, Debra, had tried to call.  I called her back.

As I stood chatting with her, I noticed all the plants growing in the garden at the back of this gas station.  Big fat bees were buzzing around purple blossoms.  I saw eggplant and peppers and okra.  It was stress relieving to chat with a her and watch the buzzing insects.

I drove more on Interstate 75 and I think, 71.   I had my picnic lunch on a table at a wayside.  The table was made by prisoners as part of their rehab and skill training.

It took a while to get through busy and HUGE Cincinnati, Ohio.

Finally I got to turn off the interstate.  Immediately I celebrated by stopping on the shoulder and taking a picture of a gorgeous yellow soybean field.

There was nowhere to check in, so I just set up camp.  Since I was going to be here several days and it might rain, I also set up the side tent to the canopy.

I got to tell you was was nervous that night.  The moon was almost full and when I got scared I would peek out to make sure no one was approaching my tent and then watch the moon for awhile.  I thought I would have insomnia because of the fear, but I slept pretty good.  I think I sleep better on this trip than at home.

 Making Instant Trail Friends

Thursday, September, 12, 2019

I wake early  as usual, but now it is before the sun is up.  Leaving the bathrooms after getting ready for the day, and the sun is just coming up.

 I am excited because on Facebook I had joined the Impromptu Ohio Tricycle Riders (or something like that).  I already had met Gary Solomon from the Laid Back Bike Report.  He had been filming a tour of Trailside Bike shop in Floral City when I was there.  A few weeks later he had interviewed me for his YouTube show.

And I already knew Larry Varney who was a friend of Regis and Cindy's and had been there when George and I had picked up our tandem trike.  The picture he took of us is the only great picture I have of George and I on our tandem.  I used his picture on the cover of The Journey Continues.

If you have a picture of George and I on our tandem, send it to me! 

Anyway, I announced on the Facebook page I would be in Xenia and invited folks to ride.  Gary announced an impromptu ride!  So today I was meeting up with them at Xenia station (the hub of several trails that branch out from Xenia).

At first light I found a trail that would take me downtown from the where I was camping.

I stopped at the Coffee Hub for my morning coffee before the ride.

At Xenia station the first group of trikers I met weren't even our group!  They are a regular Tuesday, Thursday trike group riding out of Xenia.  Cool!

Then folks began to arrive.  This is Larry Varney below.  As you can see he also plays Santa during the holiday season.

 Linda here, is so nice.  She calls herself a "strong woman".  She just retired from driving truck.  I saw a picture of her next to her rig, wow, it was a big rig!

She invited me to her place for dinner.  An instant friend. 

 Linda's rear derailer was touching her tire when in the big gear.  She got some advice... go to a bike shop and get it adjusted.

Everyone was so welcoming.  It was a great ride.  40 miles on the Little Miami Trail.

Rescuing a Drunk

On my way back to the camp site I passed a man laying the grass.  I thought he was resting because there was a factory next to the trail... "He is on break," I thought.

But after I passed him, I heard, "Help me, Sir, help!".

I turned around and approached cautiously.  The man sat up.  One side of his face had a bloody bump.  He thanked me profusely for stopping and said he think he broke his ankle and asked me to call 911.

I did, I had to ride to the nearest intersection to get an address to give the 911 operator.  As we waited for the ambulance, I sat on my trike out of reach and chatted with him.  He was a good-looking man with long white hair and an accent I couldn't place until he told me he was from Mexico and was Arapaho.  His speech a little slurred I could tell he had been drinking.  I asked if he had hit his head when he fell because of the bloody bruises on his face.

"No," he said, "I don't always do good things."  I am guessing he got drunk and in a fight or fell another time. 

The ambulance arrived, I shook his hand and said goodbye when the EMT's sent me on my way.

After my shower it was already time to drive to Linda's house.  On the way, my tire pressure warning sign went on in my car.  One of my tires was losing pressure... pretty fast.  I pulled over into a gas station and called my road-side service.  As I was talking to the operator I saw I was right across the street from PEP BOYS!!  They do tires the sign said!   The operator checked and though it was after 5:00 they were still open.  YAY!

I drove over and got my tire replaced.  A peice of metal had pierced the tire.  Too much damage to repair, the clerk said. 

I took a picture of his steam-punk ring.  I have never seen anything like it.

I was still able to dine and chat with Linda.

I arrived back at camp in the dark and climbed into the tent-cot with my clothes on and my pepper spray close at hand. 

It had rained!  Before I left for Linda's I had moved my tent cot in under the canopy and closed it up  just in case.  Well it must have blown quite a bit because my shirt that I had hung to dry was soaked on the ground, the top of my tent cot was wet and had a puddle.  I had not put the rainfly on because it was under the canopy.

My sheet and pillow were wet.  I was lucky it was warm, or it would have been cold sleeping on wet stuff.

I took a picture of the moon through the screen in my tent, read some in my book. 

As the wind made the tent and canopy rustle I would shine my light outside the tent-cot.  Nothing, nothing, nothing.... I drifted off to sleep.

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