Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Bowling Green, Ohio

If you thought the name of yesterday’s stopping point was cool, we think tonight’s is even better. It conjures up images of a perfectly smooth lush green square, and perhaps Sir Francis Drake strutting his stuff. We’re not really sure where the name came from, but Bowling Green itself is a hopping little town, with a huge student population and a really nice feel to it.

It was a good cycling day today for our 49-mile ride from Defiance, OH. A little cooler than the constant heat that we have been facing of late and, despite the threat of showers, the day just got better and better as it wore on. We set off fairly late after a yummy and hearty Hampton Inn breakfast, for which many thanks to Diane, who was on breakfast duty this morning. After pedalling back over the newly opened bridge (good job guys), we cycled many miles along the banks of the beautiful Maumee River through some more curiously named places including Independence, Napoleon and Grand Rapids. We’re not sure what it all means, but it keeps us chattering away for hours on our rides!

Talking of Grand Rapids, this is the 3rd one we have encountered on the trip so far, after the ones in Minnesota and Michigan. Although apparently once this spot boasted fierce, turbulent waters rushing downstream, you’ll see from our photos today that things have changed a little: Petite Calms might be more appropriate. Though it’s still a stunning spot. So much so, we decided to take our lunch break here and get an ice cream from Rita’s Dairy Bar. The ice cream was pretty good, but we can’t say much about the welcome… There was a sign up telling cyclists not to lean their bikes against the building or indeed anywhere else where they might actually be able to stand upright, though we were welcome to “lie them down on the grass”…nice! You’d think that if you get enough cyclists through to cause you to put up a permanent notice, perhaps you might instead think of getting a bike rack and putting up a sign saying “Welcome cyclists: please use the bike rack”. Still, perhaps that’s just too much to ask for.

Anyway… all was redeemed when we went for dinner tonight in Chipotle, Bowling Green, where we were given a warm greeting, and some seriously tasty food. Chipotle is one of those “fast food” chains that really gets it right: ethically sourced ingredients; a small but well-chosen menu; good prices; swift and professional yet friendly and courteous service; and really fresh, flavoursome and satisfying Mexican style food. The folk there were so sweet to us, refusing to take any cash from us for our second round of tacos and chips – thanks, you guys!!

So, we’re now chilling out in our room, rubbing our tummies and watching a bit of TV. More riding tomorrow.

Us x

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