Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Sometimes you feed the bear, sometimes the bear feeds you

A friend of mine in high school used to use that expression, and it never really made sense to me, but somehow it describes my feelings about the bike ride I took today. I started off early with a typical breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats and some OJ, which would have been good enough had I taken off on my ride immediately afterwards. But, I ran some errands, read some other blogs and stuff, so it was almost noon by the time I set off.

My random destination for the day was Garrettsville, as I had only been there once before, and it was an appropriate distance away. I asked our mechanic Gary for suggestions on the route, since he's familiar with the area, and he suggested taking Pioneer Trail from Aurora all the way to just outside Garrettsville, where a bike lane along Rt 82 takes you the rest of the way into town. This was a great suggestion, as it was a scenic road with some challenging rollers. But my lack of fuel from a small breakfast four hours earlier really seemed to be bogging me down. Wherefore art thou pancakes?

I planned to hit Gary's suggestion of Miller's Family Restaurant in town for pancakes, but it turns out they closed at 2:00pm, and I made it there at across the street I spied Sean's Pub & Irish-sounding place, so it had to at least have good Shepherd's Pie? Once I looked over the menu, though, I decided on the chicken parmigiana. If you can't have pancakes, then pasta is the next best fuel for cycling, right?

A pound of penne and chicken breast later (not to mention a pint of Guinness), I waddled back outside to get back on the bike. I had left a decent tip for Nick the waiter, so he was happy to oblige when I popped back inside and asked him top off my water bottle.

Oh my God...this must be why they always said to wait an hour after eating before getting back into the pool. I slowly chugged my way back using the Headwaters Trail through to Mantua (man-away), and then to Aurora, then ducked down Hudson-Aurora Road. It wasn't until I stopped to take a break under the shade of the Ohio Turnpike did I start to feel back to normal again, like a real human cyclist instead of Jabba the Hut. That last seven miles back to Peninsula, despite dodging the rush hour traffic on Rt 91 and Rt 303, was the liveliest and most enjoyable part of the day.

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