Monday, September 24, 2012

Hoosier Daddy

"The Cardinal Greenway in Muncie stretches through Indiana countryside that may well have inspired the lyrics to 'America the Beautiful': Spacious skies, fruited plains, and amber waves of grain provide the backdrop to the rural parts of this trail."

 When BikerBuck read that description of Indiana's Cardinal Greenway Trail on, he knew exactly where he would be riding his 50th and final state. The description did not over-promise.

The 60-mile trail is an important part of the American Discovery Trail. BB rode the Muncie section.
The chilly, sunny weather was perfect...
...the scenery fascinating...
...with lots of public parks and facilities...
...with user-friendly features such as stair steps to viewpoints... areas...

... and an easy ridin' trail. The perfect place to end this adventure.

Mahalo, Muncie.
Thanks for the ride, Jamis.
Aloha, BikerBuck.

Mahalo nui loa to all of the family, friends, relatives and total strangers who have made this undertaking possible. Special thanks to my kids, Sara and Thaddeus for their cheer-leading...and a whopping thank you to Donivee, who has endured all of the frustration, indecision, mania, and miscues that have defined the 50-50. Not to mention the melted credit cards.

And a big tip of the helmet to Mr. Nick, without whom this project would no doubt have run amok somewhere in the Rockies.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yes Indiana, there is a Santa Claus

In 1956 BikerBuck lived in Oak Park IL where he was active in Boy Scouts and  completed two of the three "Lincoln Trails".  The trails replicated the routes that young Abe took in the places where he grew up, namely Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.  He distinctly remembers walking through a tiny town by the name of Santa Claus, Indiana. The biggest activity in the place was the U.S. Post Office. Each December they were deluged with Christmas cards that the senders wished to be postmarked, "Santa Claus."

There wasn't so much as a water tower in that little town...then.

Now there is. It's the ground zero marker for Holiday World and Surfin' Safari - a huge entertainment campus in Santa Claus.  BB's son Thaddeus gave him an admission ticket as a Christmas gift last year. Today, BB drove 4 hrs. from Cincinnati to Santa Claus and arrived at the park with 90 minutes left before closing.  He did two coasters and a swing in the air thingy, and had a very nice walking tour under sunny skies. Thanks, Thad! It was a great gift.

We're talking Big Rides, Big Fun.  Santa gets to claim a fresh load of street cred, and the families that come here a fresh supply of Pepto Bismol. Put this place on your Christmas list this year!

Post Cards from Ohio

 BikerBuck's Honolulu pal, Peter VanZile, conscripted his Cincinnati-based brother Dr. Jon VanZile and wife Karen to host BB at their place for his Ohio ride. The VanZiles were outstanding hosts and Jon, who is an accomplished competitive wheelman, took BB riding on the Loveland Trail.

Jon has lots of bikes. He was "in the Pink" today and selected a bike accordingly.
The ride from Jon and Karen's house to the trail went through Mariemont, a charming village in suburban Cincinnati.
The Loveland Trail is lovely in every way. Its paved surface is the finest BB has experienced.
Cars have their own viaduct.
The trail crosses the beautiful Little Miami River.
The former Loveland train station is now a bike rental shop.
Lawn decor at City Hall pays tribute to the healthy injection from the sport cycling contribution to the town's economy.
Seasonal trail decor is put up by nearby businesses and community groups.
Trailside flowers.
Beautiful vistas.
On the homeward route we stopped by the Cincinnati Observatory.

The Ohio ride was outstanding in every respect thanks to Jon and Karen, together with the weather fairy. We topped off the day's activities with lunch at Skyline. They do things with chili that rattles the imagination. It's not to be missed in Cincinnati!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sky Meadow Sampler

Biker and Mrs. Buck's good friends, Brad and Polly Oliver, have extended many invitations to be their guest in Ligonier, PA at their Sky Meadow Farm. Finally, the opportunity to accept their invitation arose for BB to stay here for his Pennsylvania  ride.

Farmer Brad proves the point that Sky Meadow really IS a farm.

Just about every cyclist on the planet has heard of the Great Allegheny Passage. From the get go, this was to be the site of BB's PA ride.
Brad and BB rode together from Ohiopyle to Confluence and back, 11 miles each way.
Classic R2T route. Hillsides of stone are carved out to create space for the tracks.
High point on our route, about 150 ft. above the river.
Trestles nearby the trail are still in use.
Glorious scenes from the saddle.
BB added a few miles by continuing on from Ohiopyle to Connellsville. Brad was kind enough to drive there and wait to pick up the Buckster.

Two dinner parties and an educational, if not jaw dropping, tour of the unbelievable Rolling Rock Country Club later, BB said adieu to Sky Meadow and pushed on to Cincinnati.

Mahalo, Brad and Polly for such a delightful time on the Farm!

Flight 93 National Memorial

Just off of US30, the Lincoln Highway, in rural Pennsylvania is the Flight 93 National Memorial.
Just before 10:00 am on September 11, 2001, the plane is seen flying low and erratically over this site. At 10:03 it crashes, upside down, at 563 miles per hour into this Somerset County field. There are no survivors. All 33 passengers seven crew, and four hijackers are killed. The impact area is shown in this photo.
Personal items found at the crash site are displayed openly.
The names of each American victim are inscribed on individual white marble panels on the Wall of Names.

One of the victims was from Honolulu.

The Memorial was particularly beautiful and reverent on this beautiful Fall day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gettysburg Getaway

Saying goodbye to the Mid-Atlantic, a lasting image of WV.

The most ubiquitous form of advertising? SIGNS

The magic of sign-making.
The car wash owner found this halved '55 Chevy and got creative.

 Always ready with a bucket list suggestion, BikerBuck's latest recommendation is Gettysburg National Military Park Pennsylvania.

There are scores of tributes to the states that were involved in the war.

General Lee's is the largest of the individual monuments.
The Visitor Center and Museum present the film "We are Met on a Great Battlefield", the "Battle of Gettysburg" cyclorama, and the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, which place the campaign and battle in the larger contest of the war. It is believed that 620,000 died in the War of Northern Aggression, roughly 2% of the U.S. population at that time.

Next up: Pennsylvania ride and a home stay in Ligonier PA