Cyclist reaching the top of a climb, with trees and a red barn in the background

Heat Wave, Day 4

After a day curtailed by the heat (Day 2) and a fairly easy day in the shade (Day 3), we were ready to take on the challenge again today. Following a fairly brisk start at 7 on flat roads, we got into the climby bits at the 20km mark.

The first and biggest climb of the day was a rise of 100m, but as the climb included several undulations, we racked up 154m before reaching the top. On the way we were passed by a couple on a tandem who we recalled seeing at the hotel in the morning.

Panoramic view

At several points along today’s trail we saw jugs of water left out for cyclists. We stopped at a rather elaborate rest area just as all the climbing was coming to an end.

In her milieu

Soon after we joined the canal tow path. Although there were paved sections, it was largely gravel. With the exception of one 5km stretch, it was mostly smooth gravel and Kuroko really came into her own. I was able to lay down the pace at about 24km/h without fear of skidding, while Rick struggled to keep up.

At 34C, the heat began taking its toll. At a rest area we topped up our water bottles while chatting with a family. The mother was chattering cheerfully, but the father was clearly struggling to tow the trailer with two small children. Not long after that I found myself panting while resting, which was more a sign of the heat than the effort of pedaling.

At last the city of Akron hove into view. The canal became a water parkway that we followed to our goal. With less than a kilometer to go, the way was suddenly blocked by construction. There was no marked detour and we were forced into the streets. Fortunately a cycle path led us right to the hotel.

GPS record of cycle ride
Heat Wave Day 4

On a moving time of 5:18:02, we averaged 20.8km/h.

Jersey: Fat Lad at the Back, Wales

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