September 21st, 2019 at 07:00 I will embark on a 198-mile bicycle tour from Xenia, Ohio to Akron, Ohio. The primary reason I am doing this ride is to hopefully demonstrate that we are dynamic creatures capable of extraordinary things--even in these sedentary times.
I am 36 years old as of writing this article. I am 186 cm (6 ft 1 in) tall and I weigh 88.5 kgs (195 lbs). I am probably a bit more fit than average, but I'm no pro-athlete by any stretch of the imagination. I spend most of my time writing code or articles; although, I do cycle fairly regularly. I have done one century, but I ride 20-30 miles almost daily with the occasional 50-60 miler in there. I tell the reader all of this to get an idea of what kind of effort might be required here. I'll give you a hint: A LOT!
The tour starts out pretty flat--there's even a nice mostly downhill section--but gets progressively more difficult as I head north. I will be splitting the ride into two days for safety purposes. On the 21st, I will ride 107 miles--riding the remaining 91 on the 22nd. Each day is split into four sections of riding.
I will begin my journey at Xenia Station. My wife and her parents--both avid cyclists who've done dozens of centuries and double-centuries--will be my SAG as well as my pacers for certain segments. There are a couple of other people that may join the SAG team later just for the ride-along.
I will depart at 07:00 and ride 30.7 solo miles from Xenia Station to a small diner in London, Ohio where I will have a chance to refill my water, get a small snack, and use the restroom if need be.
My wife will ride with me for the next 23.1 miles to keep my pace down so I don't burn out later on. At approximately 09:45, we will leave London, Ohio on our way to Columbus, Ohio where we will stop for a brief lunch.
My wife and I will depart Columbus at 12:30 and ride another 19.6 miles to Westerville before the next water stop where she will rejoin the SAG team.
I should be through the Westerville stop by 14:30 and for the next 34 miles, I will likely be accompanied by Bob or Mitzi for road safety and to help me pace the slightly more difficult climbs.
Once we arrive in Mt. Vernon--hopefully by 18:00--we will be having dinner and staying overnight at the Mount Vernon Inn.
For various reasons, departure on the second day will be at 07:30--hopefully after a decent breakfast has had just enough time to digest. My wife will accompany me again for 18.3 miles. If the pacing is accurate, we should arrive at the Bridge of Dreams in Brinkhaven by 09:30 where I will take a small water stop.
The next 12 miles or so will be some hard climbing with grades as steep as 8-9%. Most of this segment is also on state roads, so Bob or Mitzi will probably ride with me for this 20.3-mile section. We're hoping to arrive in Millersburg by 12:00 for lunch at the Millersburg Brewing Company.
We should depart Millersburg by 13:00. I will be accompanied again by Bob or Mitzi for probably the most challenging section of the entire tour. There will be a lot of 6+% climbs on this 27.3-mile half-road/half-path segment. We expect to arrive in Dalton Village Park by 16:00 for a water stop.
The last 24.4 miles, I will ride solo. There are a few small uphill bits, but for the most part, this section is downhill or flat. We're hoping I'll make it to the Manchester Road Trailhead by 18:30 where I hope to see a couple of friends, stop at the hotel for a shower, and eat like a horse.
The reason I have named this the "Home to Home" tour is because I am originally from Akron--that is where my mother and sister still live--and I currently live in Dayton (I would've started in Dayton proper, but the paths are closed due to the tornado damage, and we're not sure when they'll open up).
I will try to post updates--or have someone else post updates--as I ride. I will also post updates before the ride if any plans change.