Adjusting the routes as we go. Six days left
Day 25: Wooster to Niles, Ohio, 97 miles.The day started with some hills and light winds. The guys started with little or nothing to eat, thinking they would stop at some local place for breakfast. After an early SAG stop around mile 32 to check in, they pushed on, thinking there would be a restaurant in a small town of 3000 people at about mile 40.
I went ahead with the truck, and after checking out the town, discovered that there was no restaurant there. so hoped there would be one before Limaville around mile 50. I scoured the route and side streets, and found nothing open. I pushed to Limaville and found nothing there either. Oops, the guys were surely going to run out of gas. So, I drove back to meet them to have them eat whatever little was left in the cooler and food bin. Looking at where they were on Life360, I saw they were stopped in one of the little towns I had driven through, so found them at a restaurant that had been closed when I checked it out. It opened at 10:00, and they arrived just as it opened. Disaster averted.
While there, the skies opened up and it poured, so they simply waited for the storm to pass, then resumed their journey. Two days in a row they missed the rain while eating lunch.
We pushed on ahead, and following Greenbower Road it looked like they could stay on it for a long time. Unfortunately, the road got REALLY rough, all broken up with patches on the pothole patches. I continued on a few miles thinking it would finally get better, then gave up and drove back to meet them to direct them on an alternate route. Thank goodness the other route worked great, smooth pavement, as Greenbower Road had been awful.
The last 30 miles dragged for the guys, with multiple turns so they never could get into much of a rhythm all day. Ken became very concerned about his bike, with it squeaking, thinking his bottom bracket was bad. They ultimately made it to the Hampton Inn around 3:00.
I took Ken and his bike to the Frankford Bicycle shop to get it checked out. The owner was a master bicycle mechanic and quickly determined that the rear hub was not tight enough, remedied that and wished us luck on our trip. No charge. Ken was mighty relieved and immensely impressed by the guy. Great service, and the price was worth saving up for.
Tomorrow we will reach New York State. The route on the cue sheet called for a 138 mile day, to be followed by an 87 mile day. I found a motel about 20 miles short of the planned destination, to even out the distance to make tomorrow an easier day. It will end along the Lake Erie coast, so should also entail a lot less climbing then today had. The winds are forecast to be light, but mostly in their faces, and showers are forecast along the route, so we are hoping for the best.