It was wonderful to have Perry Bush, Jackson’s dad, ride along with us from Bluffton to Wooster, OH. As a historian and professor at Bluffton college, I loved listen to him tell us stories about the land. He teaches a class on Ohio history and knew his stuff! It was neat to stop at a historic mill north of Upper Sandusky, one that Perry had never been to. Jackson’s mom picked up Perry in Wooster.
We spent the evening with some Goshen friends who live on a farm between Wooster and Smithville. We had fun catching up with Mary and Jenna Ramseyer and Aaron and Elise Bontrager. The women are the most wonderful triplets I know! They are all so kind. Aaron, Elise and I all studied abroad through Goshen College’s Study Service Term in Nicaragua for 3 months 2 summers ago together. They all gave us a tour of the famous Ramseyer farm in the evening after a delicious meal of homemade pizza and ice cream. Their farm is unique in that is draws on the niche market of Agro-tourism. Their main business comes in the form of people coming to pick pumpkins, feed goats, slide down slides, play in corn pits, or those who come to try and not get lost in their two large corn mazes, which Aaron designs differently every year.
They sent us off with a large breakfast and fresh laundry! We met up with my uncle Mitch Mann outside of Canton in Canal Fulton for lunch. It was great to see him again and he always makes me laugh! He always tells halarious stories.
Eastern Ohio was absolutely killer. Once we got out of Canton we were taking these back country roads that turned into crazy steep rolling hills. People say they started getting smarter about how to build roads once they got to the west. These roads were steep! It made for a hard finish of the day and probably our hardest day on this second half of the trip. We stayed with more wonderful hosts in Lisbon, OH, who we contacted through warmshowers, Ruth Ann and her husband Claire.
We met up with our good friend Abe Stuckey about halfway into our ride the next day and he rode with us the last 35 miles into Pittsburgh. We stopped at his parents house along the way and ate a large rice and curry lunch. Without him directing us through the city, we would have probably been really lost. It was so convenient to just zip along behind Abe weaving through the streets of Pittsburgh. He took us up to Mt. Washington where we had an incredible view of the city, and the three rivers. We stayed with Abe that night and were also able to enjoy the company of Michael Miller and Evan Grimes, other Goshen friends.
For the Last year Abe has been putting a lot of work in opening and running a bike co-op out of the garage in his house called The Beatty Bike Co-Op. He got a grant for tools and other supplies and opens every Saturday and community members can come and use the tools to work on their bikes. People can donate parts or bikes to the co-op, or buy bikes there. If someone wants to buy a bike they can reduce the price by working on fixing up the bike. Every hour they put into the bike is $10 off the price of that bike. Abe along with other volunteers including Michael run a seamless operation there and a great community builder and bike advocacy program! Jackson also hopes to help out with the co-op next year when he moves to Pittsburgh.