June 30, 2012

Crazy Bike Adventure in Columbus!

I accidentally rode a bike 26 miles today.

After writing all morning, I was ready for an adventure.  A board member here at Thurber House kindly lent me a bike.

I hopped on it and pedaled up busy High Street toward Cover to Cover Bookstore.

Traffic lights were out.  Most stores were closed.  Trees were down.  Last night's storms hit this area hard.

It was possible that after six miles, the indie children's bookstore would be closed.

But it wasn't.

 Couldn't have been happier to walk into that dark store and meet Salli, the owner.  She was a gem.  We sat back in the corner where authors and illustrators have signed the walls and we talked books a good long time.

Salli, Cover to Cover Bookstore

Then Salli allowed me to refill my water bottle, choose a book from her pile of ARCs and gave me directions to return to the Thurber House via a bike trail along the river.  (Much prettier and safer than city streets.)

Before leaving, I bought several new books and threw them into my backpack.

No trouble finding the bike trail or maneuvering around downed trees.  Was awed by the beauty of the trees and river along the trail.

While the scenery was gorgeous, I wondered why I hadn't passed the university, as Salli had said I would.  I wondered why the trail marker said Downtown Columbus was ten miles away.  It should have been fewer than six.

Finally, I asked someone how far to Downtown Columbus.  He pointed in the opposite direction.  "This is Worthington.  Downtown is about ten miles that way."

I'd gone the wrong way on the trail.  Four miles the wrong way!  The scenery didn't look quite as sparkly on the way back.  Maybe I should have paid less attention to the views and more attention to this . . .

I felt grateful I was able to refill my water bottle again at the one water fountain I saw along the trail.  I felt grateful the weather was lovely.  I felt grateful I packed snacks in my backpack.  In fact, I stopped on this bridge to eat an apple . . .

The trail heading toward the city was not nearly as lush as the suburban section.  I enjoyed riding along a detour that took me through the Ohio State University campus.  When the trail veered off, I had to ask directions a few times.  Such friendly people!  And I had to maneuver around some of these along the way . . .

Once I made it to Downtown Columbus, it was still a couple miles to get back to the Thurber House.  Those were the hardest miles!

Safe and sound now.  Astounded at how far I was able to ride . . . and how many calories I consumed when I got back.

Tomorrow's adventure will be at the Columbus Zoo with Pat Shannon and her hubby.


Pamela said...

What a beautiful trail. Crazy amt of trees on the ground, yikes. 56 miles is the most I thnk I have ridden on my bike, my hat is off, and I was 21. I made some very yummy veg foes last night. I'll have to share some with your boys and you on your return. You continue to inspire me my friend!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

Last Saturday I did something new...hiked the Upper Tampa Bay Trail during a tropical storm. Tough keeping the camera dry.

One of the few things county governments do right...are biking/hiking trails like these.

Have a great week.

Sylvia Andrews said...

Way to go, Donna! It sounds as though you blazed your own Tour de Ohio--and what better place to have your own voyage of discovery than Columbus...
Stay well! Have fun! And write that next bestseller.

Linda said...

Wow, Donna! What an adventure you had. Thanks for sharing it.

Dan R. said...

Donna, you can't fool me. I know you've scribbled the beginning of another story . . .

"The lady in the bookstore had given clear instructions in spite pf the way her crooked finger didn't exactly point straight toward the river. "Just follow the bike trail and it will lead you back home," she said. Now, an hour later the sun had all but disappeared and the golden glint of the river no longer spangled through the willows along its bank. What had been a wide trail narrowed to a twisting path overhung with vines thick as witch's hair. Donna stood down hard on the bike's pedals, pushing to gain speed, speed she needed to zoom past whatever trolls lay waiting to grab her in the tunnel of shadows ahead."