Pat and Sari's Honeymoon Bike Ride

Friday, September 05, 2008
Medina, OH to Berlin Center, OH
50 miles (8662 total miles)

After a wonderful night at the B&B, we were treated to a sumptuous breakfast this morning, cooked and served by JoAnn (sorry if I've mis-spelled it). JoAnn was delightful to talk with as well and we lingered over breakfast talking about our trip and her interesting life. We got off at about 8, with 2 delicious Christmas Cranberry Muffins, that she had made for us last night, tucked away in our bags to snack on later in the day. It was sprinkling a little as we left, just a teaser for what would come later. We went through downtown Medina, which turned out to be quite lovely, with a nice square in the center, and then the town seemed to go on forever after that. There were some fancy houses along the road and then the road widened out to a more commercial strip. We crossed 2 interstates, 71 and 77, and slipped into suburbs of Akron, Copley and Fairlawn and maybe others, without much of a break in the shopping malls and other businesses lining the road. Everything looked quite new and well-maintained, including the road itself - nice, smooth shoulder. It made the riding quite pleasant, as did the cooler weather. The clouds were quite threatening but the rain held off until we had gotten nearly all the way through Akron.

The city of Akron itself was very interesting. The road surface went from wonderful to horrible as soon as we entered the city limits and the road itself narrowed to a 2-lane with no shoulder, but the neighborhoods we went through were quite fancy and the houses quite grand. There was a huge campus for the Sisters of St. Dominic, with lovely parks and ponds with fountains. Then we went into a commercial district and the road improved and widened. We crossed I-77 again and I-76 (it was quite nostalgic to see that). We passed several interesting buildings, the University of Akron, the main post office, the art museum, and the Goodyear plant. There was a plaque in front of the Goodyear buildings with a little history of the Goodyear Company, which made Akron the "Rubber Capital of the World". All in all, it was a fascinating city. We decided to have lunch before we left town since we didn't think there would be many options afterwards. As we were eating, the first batch of rain started, so we set off with our rain jackets on, only to take them off again a few miles later. It was just a light drizzle for the most part and the jackets just made us too warm.

We connected up with US 224 again after Akron and stayed on it the rest of the day (we had been on SR 18 all morning). 224 was newly-paved for a good bit of the way, with some older, rougher stretches. We stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom and started chatting with an Amish guy who was riding with several others in a van. Before they left, he leaned out the door and pointed out that our trailer tire was flat. It was pretty lucky that he noticed it and lucky as well that we were at a gas station and happened to park right next to the air pump. The trailer tire has a different kind of valve stem than our bike tires; it's the same as a car tire. So Pat had that fixed pretty quickly and off we went again.

For the rest of the day we went through some small towns and wooded, grassy areas with some small farms mixed in here and there. The bigger towns we passed through were Atwater, which had a beautiful church in town, and Deerfield which had a traffic circle around which everything was called Circle Something or Other. We came to Berlin Lake, where our campground was. It's a huge lake with lots of boating activity around it (not much today, though). The rain came and went, but luckily stopped long enough for us to set up our tent and get settled into it. We went to dinner across the street and then settled in to work on the webpage. The rain is continuing to come and go, raining more now actually than it had most of the day. We ended up going just under 50 miles in a hair over 5 bike hours, arriving at our site at about 3:15. Tomorrow, we come into Pennsylvania!

Buildings around the Medina town square

Houses along SR 18 in Medina

A little building labelled War Bond Headquarters (?)

Western Reserve building - don't know if this is related to the university

SR 18 - a 5-lane road with rush hour traffic and threatening clouds

A Rinky Dink (no kidding) with mini-golf, batting and go-carts

A small airport where 2 people were wheeling a plane out

A small farm outside of Medina

A shopping mall in Fairlawn

We enter the city of Akron and the road deteriorates immediately

A beautiful park in a ritzy neighborhood

An amazing wood sculpture

Another statue, presumably to the pioneers

Coming into a business district

More fancy homes

A brick street with stone pillars

The Sisters of St. Dominic park

Another palatial house

A very quaint coffee house

Don't know what this building is

The back of the Akron Art Museum

The front of the museum

Another fabulous old building

The main post office

A University of Akron sign

A university building

The Goodyear plant

The huge Goodyear Hall

The historic marker about Goodyear

The front of the main Goodyear building

Back on 224 in the rain

A home in Atwater

Atwater's beautiful church

Two roosters in a yard

A lovely horse shares a yard with 2 goats

224 - newly paved and rain-soaked

A beautiful wetland area

A vegetable stand in Deerfield

An old school turned in a market

A store at the circle in Deerfield

Simple houses in town

A cemetery where the grandmother of Ulysses Grant is buried

Some of the older gravestones in the cemetery

An old Mercedes in someone's yard

The Berlin Lake

Our campground for the night

Our tent