May 21
  Warren, OH  to Dunkirk, NY
  
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Today’s ride was 139 miles between Warren, OH and Dunkirk, NY. It was billed as the longest single day we had to do on this journey, but in reality, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as some other days have been. The weather really cooperated; being 60-70s, clear skies, and little wind. The roads were also pretty flat, especially once we got into the vicinity of Lake Erie. All in all, a very good day.

 

The roads leaving Warren were through quaint rural countryside, and I caught up with the Kiwi brothers Patrick and Jason, something pretty rare since they’re fast and tend to just ride in their own little world. About 25 miles into the ride, we were passed by this red-suited blur, followed by two riders hanging on for dear life. The Norwegian Express, Big Guy Lasse Aune, was pulling along Minnesota Mark and UK Simon at speeds in the 25-27 mph range. I was able to jump on, and Lasse maintained that speed all the way to the first break stop at mile 47.

 

The rest stop was at an old covered bridge that had been relocated several yards from its original location spanning a creek. The adjacent neighbor, a Mr. Benson, walked over to talk with us, and said he was 90 years old and stilled mowed all the land around the bridge as well as his own large spread. Said he grandfather had helped build the bridge originally. Neat old gentleman.

 

After the break, we hopped back on the Lasse Express, but alas, he had lost his mojo, and our speed slowed down considerably. We stopped around mile 64 to pose at the “Welcome to Pennsylvania” sign, and then got on Route 5, that hugs Lake Erie, for the remainder of the ride to Dunkirk. Along the lake I was able to pick up the pace a bit, whether riding solo or in a group.

 

We stopped for a few minutes in the city of Erie, to take a look at their harbor and waterfront. We had heard their lighthouse was stop-worthy, and I assumed it was an old structure with historic gravitas; however, it was quite modern and no big deal. That’s 15 minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

 

We rolled on north of Erie on Route 5, and several of us decided that at 105 miles into a bike ride, the obvious thing to do would be to pull into a winery and partake in tastings. Penn Shore Winery fit the bill, so we sampled all of their reds and whites. Ed Maas decided we needed to celebrate our success to date, so he offered up a bottle of champagne for our shared enjoyment.

 

Properly fortified for the remainder of our journey, we got on our bikes to ride the remaining 34 miles to Dunkirk. We stopped again at mile 110 for pictures at the “Welcome to New York” sign, and then rolled on before pulling grandly into the swank Clarion Inn in Downtown Dunkirk.

 

Stats for the day: climbing 3,100 feet; avg. speed 19.3 mph; calories 10,875; total miles 2,895 (561 left)

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The rural countryside about 20 miles north of Warren, Ohio.
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The Norwegian Express rolling along in high gear!
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A restored covered bridge in Pierpont Township, OH, that used to span the adjacent Ashtabula River. Built in 1913. We had a first SAG stop of the day adjacent at mile 47.
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90-year-old Bob Benson, whose grandfather helped build this bridge, now takes care of the surrounding land.
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The modern lighhouse in the harbor at Erie, PA.
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In Pennsylvania now, only 5 states to go .
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The harbor marina in Erie, PA.
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Some of the group stopping at the Penn Shores winery for some tastings and a little bubbly.
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Route 5 along Lake Erie has many adjacent vineyards such as these.
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With New York, only four states to go!
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The marina and power plant right behind our hotel in Dunkirk, NY.
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