My son Jerome and I just completed a one-week bike trip around northeast Ohio called GOBA (Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure). We started in Mansfield on 6/14 and made stops in Orrvile, Coshocton, Mt Vernon, Bucyrus, and many other small towns before returning to Mansfield on 6/21. On Sunday after a 56 mile ride, I hoed a 100 square feet of garden space at the Orrville Courthouse along with a community outreach group doing community service instead of serving jail time for drug offenses. I told the organizer about my nephew Forrest who died of an overdose the previous week. She teared up and said seven years ago the same could have happened to her. Jerome completed an optional 60 miles on Tuesday, while I completed an optional century ride into a hot, dry headwind and rolling hills with views of Amish farms and scores of horse and buggies. At mile 70 a young woman caught up with me and exclaimed in complete surprise, "You're doing a century?"
At one lunch stop we had Amish pies and watched a horse walking in circles running an ice cream maker. "Watch your fingers!", exclaimed the old grandfather to the kids, showing off the missing first joint of his left index finger. Holmes County is the epicenter of a recent measles outbreak where I hope they are getting their kids vaccinated! On the drive home Jerome observed: "Now we have to stop eating whatever we want." 300 miles of smiles completed with lots of sunshine and memories. Will we do it again next year?