DAY 19  JUNE 15   43.6 MILES   
The difference between me and Lance Armstrong is that I still have a chance to win the Tour de France.                                       Anyone

With our rest day over, we clipped into our pedals and coasted much of the way out of Cleveland.  With most of our layovers near the water, we nearly always had to pedal up a steep hill to leave town so this was a significant and welcome change. 

The roads on the western side of Cleveland were in much better condition that those on the east side so the riding was considerably easier.  Actually, there is a wide bike path with expansive lake views that we would not have been able to see if we had stayed on the road with the cars.  Sorry about that, cars! 

Once we had departed the more dense part of the city, our route took us along Lake Road, a beautifully scenic ride past very large homes that fronted directly on the Lake.  This definitely was the high rent district!  The real estate taxes on any one of those homes would support a bicyclist to tour full-time.  Of course, they might have to camp along the way.          

Today was again a nearly perfect day.  It was projected to be an easy ride of 41 miles so we could relax and take it slow.  All was going well until I picked up a large tack in my rear tire.  For such an occasion, I carry and extra tube, two CO2 cartridges, some patches and a very small tire pump.  The tack was extremely easy to spot so it was removed, the new tube was installed and the bicycle was back on the road in only about ten minutes.     

Unbelievably, after approximately two miles, the front tire flatted.  This time it was due to a large thorn which had penetrated the tire.  My spare tube was already taken so I had to patch the hole and reinstall the original one.  To add to the injury, I found that my spare CO2 cartridge was one I already had used so I was forced to pump up the tube with the small nine inch long tire pump.  It worked but was not fun as it took 125 pumps to inflate the tire.    

We are staying at the YMCA in Vermilion tonight.  Once we arrived at the Y, a new tube was installed and we pedaled into town for a fine dinner at a waterfront cafe.  Our table was situated directly on the water, adjacent to several luxurious yachts.  I guess the only thing better would have been if dinner were ON one of those yachts.    

The reason today was so easy is that the next twelve will not be.  The average length will be around 80 miles each day.  That said, we have been told that there will not be many hills over that course.  You know that we have heard that before so we will believe it when we pedal it.

But I am looking forward to the challenge! 

Tip:  Carry a spare tube, a patch kit and a small frame mounted pump so as not to be stranded if you happen to have two flats on a ride, although extremely rare.  The CO 2 cartridges also are desirable  (incredibly, this tip was already planned prior to today's occurrences).