In the three previous years, we split each year's ride into smaller one-to-three- day segments. But we were now far enough from home that the entire year's ride had to be done over consecutive days.


The ride toward Cleveland was a homecoming of sorts for me, having grown up in the suburbs there before moving away some 20 years earlier. A decade of life in southeastern Michigan made me quite familiar with the overall countryside between there and Cleveland.


Still, there were many places along the way that I'd never taken the time to visit. One such place, and a pleasant surprise, was the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Museum in Fremont. It housed all sorts of neat stuff, including such oddities as one of Richard Nixon's Watergate tape recorders and a variety of Civil War memorabilia.


Megan and I stretched our single-day longest ride to 60 miles. We ended the ride with stops at the homes of my sister and brother in the Cleveland suburbs.

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1997 Mileage Log

51 Payne-Malinta
25 Malinta-Mermill
46 Mermill-Bellevue
60 Bellevue-North Royalton

08 North Royalton-Broadview Heights
190 miles

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Photos: Pausing for a break at one of many Civil War monuments erected in honor of Ohio’s participants in that conflict. Pauline and Megan meet up with us on mid-morning of a rainy day. Posing with a bust of Rutherford B. Hayes at the Hayes Presidential Museum.The town square of one of many small towns along the route, with a Civil War memorial.Beating summer’s heat in western Ohio with a snowcone and a seat on the cool concrete outside a convenience store.