Other than the last hour or two on the bike, it was a very nice day on the trail.
I was trying to time my arrival in Columbus to meet a friend about 530 pm at the Boathouse Restuarant, which is right off the Scioto Trail. I did not leave Cedarville until about 9 am, since it would only be a 50 mile ride.
It Should be Called Wild Asparagus Trail
JRA, just riding along on the Prairie Grass Trail, I saw a person ahead venture into the weeds, then re-emerge. As I passed her, I spotted the familiar sight of asparagus in her hand. Sure enough, as I started looking,there was wild asparagus all over this section of the trail!
I battled a bit of wind on this morning. While it kept me cool, it made it slow biking.
A short little stop in South Charleston. Where is North Charleston?
Riding along next to the railroad tracks.
Despite the flatness of the trail, the trees have grown tall enough to give some shade and I was not out in the open all the time. It was an uneventful ride along with a bit of wind.
London has a great rest stop on the trail for riders! I was meeting a running friend, Steve here. We had lunch at McDonalds in London. Then the two of us rode north up the trail chatting away.
Battelle Darby Creek
It seemed like in no time we arrived at Battelle-Darby Creek Metropark. Steve rode with me thru the park, then turned around to start back toward his vehicle.
Camp Chase Trail
I continued following the Camp Chase Trail toward Columbus. This was an amusing sign to see:
Crossing Interstate 270
As I approached Columbus, literally over the bridge of I-270, the sirens began. So much for the quietness of the prairie. I’m back in the big city.
Missing My Signage
Have I mentioned I hate riding on streets/roads? Vehicles make me very nervous. This is one of the positives of the OTET, all but about 50 miles are on bike trails. However, there are some road sections involved.
A Very Wrong Turn
Sitting here in front of my PC with Google Maps open, now I see what I did. I turned left onto Industrial Mile Road. Then I turned right on Georgesville Road, a very busy road with no sidewalk. I rode with traffic. The Camp Chase Trail was just past the turn onto Georgesville BUT ON THE OTHER SIDE OF the busy road. I didn’t look over there. I was just freaked out being in heavy traffic.
I *knew* I needed to follow Sullivant for a bit, so when I rode by the OTET trail and saw Sullivant again, I turned right onto Sullivant…and into the Hilltop neighborhood.
Allison had mentioned something about Hilltop in a previous conversation, that it wasn’t good to go through. I’m glad I didn’t have all this knowledge about it on Wednesday:
In Columbus’ deadliest year since 1991, a cluster of 11 homicides have occurred within a single square mile, in an area referred to as Central Hilltop—generally located between West Broad Street and Sullivant. As a whole, the Hilltop neighborhood has seen about that many murders in the last three years.
According to data from the Franklin County Coroner, this area has the highest rate of fatal opioid-related overdoses in the city. And Columbus Police data shows prolific drug use has led to an increase in human trafficking.
I was not amused. I was downright unhappy. I kept stopping to check the map on my phone-my OTET map wasn’t helping because I was pretty much off the grid. I knew it didn’t look good for me to stop riding and peer at my phone. I’m sure people could tell I was lost. Lost people can be vulnerable.
I have a license to carry a concealed weapon, and I was carrying my revolver on my entire trip. I was very happy to have that bit of back up on my side if any issues had started on my trip.
Made it to Broad Street
A school bus with lights flashing got the traffic to stop in both directions. I darted across Sullivant in to the quiet neighborhood. Off the busy street, it gave time to focus and regroup and figure out my exit stragey. From my smart phone, I knew Broad Street was north (or up) from me and Broad Street had to be better from where I was.
Sure enough, Broad Street was better, I finally figured my way across the Scioto River, jumped back on a blessed bike trail again, and found the Boathouse Restuarant.
Alls Well That Ends Well
My friend Allison pulled into the parking lot seconds later and took me off for some much needed decompression time! Thanks Allison, for dinner and a place to sleep!