Touch Ohio

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Ken Kaminski


My route sucked! Actually it would have been totally awesome EXCEPT: 51 was closed from Aliquippa until Monaca, due to flooding on Thursday. I had to cross the Ohio River and ride the dreaded ROUTE SIXTY-FIVE from Ambridge to Rochester. After getting brushed by a delivery van, I stopped trying to squeeze into the non-shoulder and moved out into the lane. I sprinted for a few miles in my highest gear, in the drops, spinning out of the saddle. In Rochester I had to stop and rest before getting up the slight grade to the bridge to Beaver. Beaver was nice. The Pitt team route was pretty awesome after Beaver. I had to ask a local woman to make sure I was on Mudlick Hollow Road. “Lots of hills,” she warned. Outwardly I played it cool, told her I was prepared for it, but inwardly I was dreading a hard climb up some farm road. Turned out to be nothing: long gradual climb out of the river , I mashed up it. Once up top it was all rollers to Ohio, and into Ohio for as far as I could see. Probably all the way to Indianna. I stopped at a gas station to pick up some Gatorade and ask how far to the border. Cashier told it was five miles in the direction I came from. I slapped the ground and went on my way. He must have thought I was nuts. I spent a long time on the way back trying to get through without being on 65. I turn left off the highway, passed say a McDonald’s, and work my way through a whole down going East when I could and North when I had too, only to end up with only one option: a few hundred feet from where I had turned off from 65 in the first place. To complete the example, on the other side of the McDonald’s. I did that twice and then decided to just speed off down 65. Traffic was lighter than in the morning anyway. Found a pleasant Beaver Road from Bla-something to Ambridge, then back across the river to get back on 51. Turned out it had been open the whole time! I missed the turn-off for Neville Island and agonized through what seemed like, at the time, a handful of really intense ups and downs. After that it was pretty smooth through the North Side. Roads are pretty beat up there; I had that wacky bike airborne a few times. I got near the West End Bridge around 3:09, and then to Casey’s house to party down a little after that. At that point it probably would have taken me another half an hour to get back to Friendship Park.

My back hurts like hell!

Next year: Pittsburgh-Greensburg-Pittsburgh

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