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Saturday, July 27, 2013

Bike trips across Ohio built for two | Dispatch

Soybean rows line both sides of the road, with a forested line of hills to the left. 

At midmorning on a Saturday, a slight breeze rustles the tall weeds in the ditches — and the bicycling feels good again. 

My husband, Joe, and I flirt with the improbable conclusion that we stayed in shape during the winter. 

We’re training for Pelotonia, the summer bike tour that raises money for cancer research. 

We’re of a certain age, the age at which we refer to ourselves as being of a certain age, and we need to train for almost everything we do. 

These hills make a good start. 

On our two bicycles, we form a unit of sorts. We always ride single file — Joe in front and me behind. 

Joe has a great sense of direction, so he leads and I follow, with a small blinking “ taillight” attached to a vent in my helmet. 

He has the rain jackets in his larger bike bag, and I keep the cellphone and glasses cleaner in my jersey pockets. 

He carries the bike pump, and I have the ibuprofen. 

He sets the pace, and I remember where we passed that ice-cream stand. 

I take charge of historical markers, and he waits until I read them. 

The road turns upward, and we settle into the slow, heavy cadence of hill climbing. 

Queen is stuck in my head: “We will, we will rock you, boom, boom-boom, boom” — just that part, again and again. 

This road is a heartbreaker: At the top, it doglegs to reveal another rise. 

Our heads go down, and we hear each other clicking down through the gears until we reach the lowest. All we hear then is our own breathing. 

One last rise, and we stop at a shady spot under a large tree. I pull sunblock out of Joe’s bike bag and hand him a granola bar, slightly wilted, from my bag. 

This is the pivoting point of our ride.  [Keep reading at Dispatch]

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