Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ohio Mini-tour Day 3 - Findlay to Bellefontaine

That's pronounced "Bell Fountain". It's French.

It was a tough day. Nonstop stiff headwinds blowing across open fields, with occasional light rain. We decided we had had enough after 50 miles.

This was not a scenic ride either. It was US 68 and only US 68, on the shoulder which was sometimes generous, and sometimes not. Traffic was mostly light, with occasional semi trucks. 

We are at another Super 8, because there is no Motel 6 in Bellefontaine. This is a rather attractive
Super 8, even though it still smells a bit of decades of cigarette smoke.

I like this painting, which is behind the check-in counter. I'm going to Google image search it to see if I can find a copy.

Our room is really nice too.

This part of Ohio is really timeless. It hasn't seen development in decades. Therefore you have this, still in operation!!!

Of course, Max has no conception of what a Drive-In Movie Theater is. That for some reason you would drive to a place where you could sit in your car and watch a movie. I think he still has some doubts that this is real and I am not making up nonsense to mess with him.

So let's double down on that.

Yes, this was once a Drive-In restaurant, Max. Where you would park your car under that overhang, and the waitress would come out and take your order, and bring the food to your car, which you would eat while sitting in your car. It was something you would do before going to the Drive-In Movies. Max: "Why not just have a drive through?"

We ate here, the pizza was great, classic Ohio pizza. Max really likes Ohio pizza.

Lunch was at Table 1 in Kenton. This is basically a church-run modern day soup kitchen that they make look like a restaurant. Anyone can come in and get food, pay what you can or choose to pay. It's almost all volunteer run. It's the hub of a variety of social services in the area. This is a neat idea, since it destigmatizes charity meals by providing them in the setting of a regular restaurant. They also serve free lunch for school kids when school is not in session.

I have a mechanical issue with my bike, which is a Velo Orange Campeur touring bike. (pronounced "camper". It's French.) I built up the Campeur to be bulletproof for touring, with no fancy stuff that can break. It has downtube shifters, which are super simple and have been obsolete for 30 years.

The right downtube shifter has worn out after only 7000 miles of use. You shift, and the derailleur immediately returns back to the smallest cog. It looks like I have a 3 speed now.

It was lucky we stopped early, since I had time to figure out the shifter was indeed not fixable. The odds of finding a downtube shifter at any bikeshop in these modern times is pretty much zero. But I called Velo Orange, and they are sending me a new one to Mandy's house by Fed Ex.

Hats off to Velo Orange, who took my call 3 minutes before they close, and stayed late to figure out my issue ("No you can't fix this in your motel room while in the middle of a tour") and went to Kinkos after hours to send out my new shifters so they will arrive in time for me to put them on the bike before I have to leave for RAGBRAI. Velo Orange is the best.

Here is the Strava track for the day.

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