I’d planned on doing 60 or so miles by riding 30 one direction, turning around, and coming back the same distance.

But about 15 or so miles into it I thought, “I’ve got nothing else going on.  It’s a holiday.  The store’s closed.  Why not splurge?  Go 60 miles one way, camp out, and come back the next day?

The thing is, I had Dexter with me.  Thought I’d see how the little beast would do for long distances.

The problem with that?  I was riding right down US 23 in the middle of a 100 degree day.  Poor old dog.

Poor old dumb dog, though.  I stopped every 5 or 10 miles to make sure he was doing ok.  There was only one point where he worried me a little bit.  He was panting particularly hard and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen him with his tongue hanging out that much.  But I couldn’t get him to drink any water.  What he’d rather do is run around the entire area that we’d stop at.  It’s like he needed to inspect every corner of the stop.  And then, maybe, if he was satisfied with the conditions of the place the Alpha Dog has chosen to stop, he’d take a sip or two.  I wound up poring a lot of water on him in an effort to keep him somewhat cool.

I pestered a friend to scout out “pet friendly hotels” in Chillicothe and email me a list of them.  Told her that I have no problem staying in a “dive.”  Within a few minutes I had the list and started calling.  The Chillicothe Inn quoted me a price over the phone even better than what was listed on the website.  I gave the guy on the phone my debit card info.  Then I confused him considerably when answering what time I’d arrive.  “I’m about 20 miles away, so, maybe a couple more hours.”  You could hear the wheels turning, “The hell is he driving?”

The hotel turned out to be a dive, but, what the heck.  I was looking for air conditioning, a bed, and a shower.  Still set me back 70 bucks.  Dexter made himself right at home.  (And I’m thinking, “Dude, I did all the pedaling.  You rode in a milk crate.  Why are you exhausted?”)

This being a test run of what future life on the road is going to be like, I’d have to give myself a failing grade.  For one thing, I didn’t plan properly on bringing the dog.  I didn’t have a leash.  I didn’t have a collar for him.  I didn’t even have a water bowl.  (I figured he’d drink out of the water bottle tops.)  Plus, I spent a small fortune in food / drinks.  When combined with the cost of the hotel and basic stuff I had to buy at Wal-Mart . . . I far exceeded any conceivable daily amount I plan on spending when on the road.

Since I wasn’t planning on being gone overnight I at least have to grant myself a “by your leave” on that aspect.  I had no choice but to get a hotel because I had no camping gear.  Still.  Had this been a night two years from now, I would have spent way too much money.

Oh, speaking of Wal-Mart, I had a moment of panic while leaving there.  On arrival, I’d locked the bike to a table.  When I got back out to it, I couldn’t get the lock undone.  Great.  Now I’m going to have to go buy a bolt cutter, cut the lock, buy another lock, and return the bolt cutter.  After a few minutes of swearing like the sailor that I am, I scared the lock into opening up.  Or, maybe it didn’t like what I was saying about its mother.

Not having the leash almost was fatal on the way back.  I stopped in Circleville, about 20 miles from Chillicothe.  (Don’t get me started on why Ohio has a fixation on starting their city names with the letter “C”.  Chillicothe.  Circleville.  Canton.  Centerville.  Centerburg.  Columbus.  Cleveland.  Cincinnati.  What the hell?  Did Sesame Street give ’em a discount on the letter “C”?)  Anyway, at a McDonald’s I got breakfast and walked over to a little area adjacent to a field.  Dexter could run his little heart out.

You ever see those movies where the hero of the movie is getting on the up elevator to go get the heroine?  He gets on the elevator on the right, the doors close, and you see the indicator show that he’s going up.  As soon as he’s gone, the heroine has arrived in the lobby in the elevator on the left, missing the hero.  I hate that plot device with all my heart.  Pure frustration and it sets my teeth on edge every time I see it in a movie or TV show.

It happened at McDonald’s.  I walked to the edge of the field to get Dexter.  He was walking around an obstruction on the side where I couldn’t see him.  I’m going north.  He’s going south.  We can’t see each other.

He decides to walk through the parking lot.  Now, remember, the dog stands all of six inches high.  The driver in the big ass truck with the dual wheels backing up has absolutely no chance to see a six inch high animal who’s currently not paying attention to the big-ass truck that’s literally a foot from backing up over him.  (I use the word “literally” literally.).

I spotted Dexter looking for me as the truck backed up.  I shouted at Dexter.  Fortunately, the driver had his windows down and heard me shout.  He stopped dead.  (Pun kind of intended).  Dexter walked calmly away from the truck with a “What’s all the fuss?” attitude.  Driver glared at me.  Understandably.

Damned dumb dog.

My weather app had told me by noon it was going to be over 100 degrees again.  I’d decided to leave at 6 when it was only going to be 75.  It never did make it to 100 before I got home, because a huge storm popped up.  While it gave me a brisk headwind to contend with all the way back home, the sun was blocked out, the temps stayed in the low 80s, and the intermittent raindrops felt pretty good.

The app that I have which measures distance and draws a map of the route I rode also calculates calorie burn.  I don’t think it gave me credit for being in 100 degree weather on the ride down.  4867 calories?  I’d say double that.

Worthington to Chillicothe on the 4th

Finished Cycle: Jul 4, 2012 4:10:32 PM
Google Maps URL: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/fc28/825e/4e37/b4c1/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20120704-0926.kml
Ride Time: 4:42:39
Distance: 54.28 miles
Average: 11.52 mph
Fastest Speed: 38.12 mph
Ascent: 3947 feet
Descent: 4398 feet
Calories: 4867

Chillicothe to Worthington on the 5th

Finished Cycle: Jul 5, 2012 11:21:42 AM
Route: Daily Ride
Google Maps URL: http://maps.google.com/?q=http://share.abvio.com/fc28/825e/4e37/b4c1/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20120705-0622.kml
Import URL: http://share.abvio.com/fc28/825e/4e37/b4c1/Cyclemeter-Cycle-20120705-0622.kml
Ride Time: 4:02:05
Stopped Time: 57:32
Distance: 53.68 miles
Average: 13.30 mph
Fastest Speed: 28.07 mph
Ascent: 2434 feet
Descent: 2190 feet
Calories: 4338