An Almost Perfect Story

Another late start to the day and we were off to Cleveland where our friend Sarah Cutteridge lives with her husband Aaron. We could not have left without Frank and his handy work on our bikes, who fixed spokes on Laura’s back wheel and my back derailleur cable. One of the greatest parts of is, as bike aficionados, the people who host can usually provide tools if not the expertise to help with any mechanical issues.

Laura and Sarah

Laura and Sarah

Biking in to Cleveland, we found smooth, wide avenues without many cars on them. Having our work cut out for us, it was not long before we met up with Sarah and Aaron who live in a cozy house with five or six felines, two of which are missing a leg.
The routine upon entering a city has me seeking out a cafe to spend the day blogging while Laura wanders, sees the sights, and comes back with stories about all the homeless people she talked to. I am sure Cleveland has those who live on the fringe, but Laura spent the day perusing music stores with Sara and when we met up later that night we entertained ourselves by watching a movie and playing with the cats.
Blogged here

Blogged here

When it was time to go we said goodbye to Sarah and Aaron and took off at a slow pace toward Vermillion, OH. My knee was bothering me a bit so we chose to stop for the night only thirty-five miles out of Cleveland. Since our day on the bikes was not as epic as we were used to, we decided to take our time and jump into Lake Erie to cool down. The swimming area had a red flag up, not for rip-tide danger, but for ‘almost-too-polluted.’ In the parking lot of a pharmacy mere blocks from our host’s house, I noticed something wrong with my back wheel skewer which was not locking in place. While I was fiddling around with it a man who was picking up Chinese food with his family approached us and
Laura wet with Erie water

Laura wet with Erie water

announced that if we needed help, he was an experienced bike tinkerer. It turned out that he could not fix it, but he told us that he lived close by and he would be back soon with a different skewer that I could have. It is not every day somebody goes out of their way to help you, especially when it means that they have to wait another fifteen minutes before digging in to some General Tsao’s Chicken and Beef with Broccoli. Sure enough, he was back with a new skewer which he said he took off his mountain bike. I gave him some chocolate covered macadamia nuts to show my appreciation and he drove off before we realized that it was not a great fit, and was ineffective in keeping the wheel from sliding into the frame. Luckily, when I tried mine again it worked so that we were able to get on the road again and ride to see Sam and Susan, our host and hostess for the night. Nonetheless it was an astonishing, unexpected act of kindness that will have me at bended knee for any cyclists on the side of the road fiddling with a part.


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July 2009
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