Most of July in Ohio was jam-packed with party preparations, family gatherings, and the aftermath of said parties and gatherings. We barely had time to organize our piles of belongings before leaving for almost a week in DC. Given this hectic schedule, I really wanted to do something fun during our quick stopover between the DC trip and the next phase of the adventure. I had found an organized ride in suburban Columbus, which was not only inexpensive at $25/person, but supported bike trail construction and, most importantly, provided us the opportunity for one more visit with my cousins Annette and Andrew.
So, after getting some issues sorted with minivan repair on Friday (from the bike destroying incident), we installed a hitch adapter and mounted our trusty Thule tray rack. If you’re still using a roof rack (and especially if you’re over 40 or carrying heavy bikes), the tray racks are definitely worth a look. Even if I hadn’t torn a rotator cuff a few years back trying to load a touring bike on a roof rack (bad idea), I would love this rack. As you can tell, I’m happy to have it back in service. The minivan easily accommodated a bike inside with the rear seats stowed, so carrying three was a cinch.
Saturday we woke early, wrangled people and dogs into the van and headed for Westerville. We arrived after 8 am, and I was surprised to see that many other people (some with quite nice bikes) were also just getting started. Mom dropped us off, then took Rebbe and Lucie to their play date with Nolan, my cousins’ Bichon. Mom also got to relax and visit with Annette. Dad and Maureen and I chose the 31-mile route of the DCFT Community Ties Ride. We enjoyed the ride, which traveled some new sections of bike path as well as country roads. It was only slightly rolling, with the biggest hill coming right before the rest area at Hogback Ridge Preserve. I especially liked the heavily treed portions of the ride. Sadly, the “homemade” lunch at the end, while generally tasty, provided little in the way of protein and no dessert!
Thus, when we arrived at Annette and Andrew’s, we were more than happy to join them for lunch at Jimmy V’s in (very cute) downtown Westerville where the dogs could join us on the outdoor patio.
After lunch was another of the planned outings of the day–Graeter’s Ice Cream. While we can buy Graeter’s pints from King Soopers in Colorado, there is nothing like going to the parlor, which you can only do in Ohio. I diverged from my usual Toffee Chip and ordered Mint Chip. I was not disappointed 😎