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April 8, Tuesday
In Parkersburg yesterday, we stopped in the Pedals and Paddles bikeshop where Bill bought new sunglasses and we met John, who agreed to shuttle our bikes and us today around the 210 mile piece of the Buckeye Trail we hiked in March. He would meet us at Chesterhill and transport us to Peebles.

We find that the cooler weather with highs in the 40's is fairly comfortable for riding. In Ohio, the ADT is blazed which is helpful and the roads had few cars and were all paved. Although there were quite a few hills we didn't need to walk the bikes up many of them. We stopped at a small grocery for snacks. It turned out they were going out of business in two days so they gave us some free cheese and sandwiches. True to his word, John was waiting for us as we rode into Chesterhill at 1:30 pm and he drove us to Peebles, a 2 1/2 hour trip. We spent the night at the Bayberry Inn B&B.

36.5 miles, 9.0 mph, 4 hours 2 min 632 total

April 9, Wednesday
It seems that each day we are expecting the trail to get easier but our hopes have not materialized. Today was tough. First, our B&B in Peebles, "cost" us a 7 mile penalty to get to the point where we finished our last hike segment. Next, the temp was only 20 degrees when we started and it seemed to warm up ever so slowly. No matter how you dress, the cold takes its toll. At one point we asked a farmer if we could warm up inside his house. Next, while travelling the backroads of Sunshine Ridge, we missed a turn — another 2 mile penalty. Returning to the correct trail, we bulldogged the bikes down a steep eroded gully. Bill's front fender caught on a rock and broke off the bracket. Laurie fell and scraped her knee.

At the end of the day, we read our statistics on our bikes computers. We've been recording Bill's each day. Today, Laurie noticed that it took her 20 minutes more of bike time to cover the same distance that Bill had. Her average miles per hour was 8.0. We had earlier noticed it took Laurie a lot more pedalling to go the same speed as Bill. Hmphh. (Keyboarder's note — I wonder who wrote today's journal!!!)

54.8 miles, 8.6 mph, 6 hours 19 min

April 10, Thursday
Gradually, the terrain is beginning to level out and more paved roads are appearing. Paved roads seem to be about 50% more energy efficient than gravel roads. But, the day was not without its obstacles. At one point the road ended at a gate. The trail continued on the other side through pastureland and briers with no reassuring blazes on the trees. We then encountered a chest high barbed wire fence blocking our path. We finally opted to remove the panniers, climb over the fence, lift the bikes over the fence, and reattach the panniers. Bill calls this an interesting challenge. Laurie doesn't need any more challenges. We also rode through two fords. Stops in Bentonville and Williamsburg were the only towns we saw all day. We camped tonight at East Fork State Park which had nice hot showers.

As we travel we notice daffodils marking where past homesteads have been. It seems to be poetic justice that these flowers have outlived the houses and even the foundations of the people who built them.

53.5 miles, 9.5 mph, 5 hours 34 min 740 miles biked total

April 11, Friday
We ate our granola breakfast at camp, then rode into Batavia, where we ate a second restaurant breakfast. The roads were paved and excellent today. We stopped at a friendly bike shop and then rode a 4 mile rail trail into Cincinnatti. The weather was perfect and we reached Eden Park with its great views of the city. We sat along a stone fence overlooking the river and city. This is the southern end of the Buckeye Trail. Down to the Riverfront Park and across the Roebling Bridge to Kentucky we rode. After getting lost in Devou Park, we rode down the river to Anderson Ferry and crossed back into Ohio. We stopped at North Bend for our maildrop of Indiana maps where we were picked up by Ron Craig, the Indiana ADT Coordinator. He took us to Paul Daniel's house, the Ohio ADT Coordinator, where we spent the night. Lots of trail talk and a review of the Indians maps to study what lies ahead. This was our longest mileage day on the entire trip so far. This, except for two more miles, completes our ADT trip through Ohio. We've completed 982 miles total with hiking and biking combined.

67.4 miles, 11.0 mph, 6 hours 4 min 808 total miles biked

April 12, Saturday
This was a day off but we were busy all day. We got the bikes serviced and bought new chains, went to the post office, and spent a lot of time writing our journals and keyboarding them onto diskettes. Also, we wrote trail conditions reports for WV and Ohio.

© Copyright, William & Laurel Foot, 1997, Lynchburg, VA.
The Happy Feet

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