45.6 mi / 10.3 mph / 215 ft. climbing
Home: Toledo East KOA
Rolling eastward again, we had our first significant headwinds so far. But we remained in the low-population, farm-road-crisscrossed former Great Black Swamp, so that meant that the roads were empty enough for us to do the rarest of things: let Rett ride behind me to draft. She is almost always in front, for her own visibility, and to set the pace, but that means she normally needs to cut through any headwind while I can relax in her draft. Here, with the wind coming at us from about 11 o’clock, she could sit in her usual position with good visibility at the right edge of the road, while I could ride a bit ahead further into the road, and keep an eye on the rare oncoming car.
While it gave us our first below-11mph average speed of this segment, I had to remind the disappointed Rett that 11.0mph was our fastest day in 2014. And the drafting kept our speeds higher than they would have been otherwise, because even in sections where heavier traffic put me behind Rett again, then she had extra energy available that let her push harder through the wind due to being able to “rest” when behind me.
The winds being the most remarkable part of the day means that there wasn’t a lot of excitement, but that’s not at all at odds with a good day of bike touring. We very much enjoyed our leftover donuts from The Doughbox for second breakfast, and ate lunch at a very American park gazebo in Waterville. That’s where we crossed the Maumee River, on one of the few bike-accessible bridges in this area. The swamp-draining rivers that cross this area are somewhat annoying because the few available crossings put restrictions on our routing, but on the other hand, it can be nice to be “forced” through some waypoints, to shrink the wide-open search-space of routing possibilities that sometimes freeze me with indecision.
We made it to camp fairly early in the warm, sunny afternoon. It was our second private campground in a row, this one mostly because there was no public-land camping to be found within our daily range along our route. The Toledo East KOA is not a particularly amenity-filled KOA, but it was fine for an overnight. There were enormous tent pads in the row of seven tent sites (of which we were the only occupants until a solo woman sleeping in her van pulled in). One of the sites had a bunch of brush smoldering inside a rusty, mostly-covered 55-gallon drum, maybe as some sort of mosquito repellent?