Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Pluvious Christmas Ride

Did you ever discover a word so close to your heart that you use it every chance you get? Yeah? That’s me with the word PLUVIOUS; or PLUVIOPHILE. But, in my defense, this Christmas day fit the bill. Grey, wet, foggy. Temperature, dew point and barometric pressure all converging for the perfect proverbial soup.

I, the Reluctant Cyclist, happened to have received the best Christmas gift a person could ask for on such an extraordinary day. Velo Junkie presented me with me a pair of new bike fenders and then installed them on my Salsa for me. Yippee! Black, hammered-metal fenders. It’s what every girl wants under the tree on Christmas morning. Now that I had the proper protection I had no excuse to not take advantage of the warm, spring-like day.

We decided to get lunch, but where? December 25th and the choices are pretty scarce. There are three places in riding distance for us to choose from. Waffle House, Waffle House, or Waffle House. So we decided to ride to Waffle House, affectionately known as “The Awful Waffle”. We pulled out of the driveway a little past 11:00 a.m. for a 14 mile ride to relish in smothered, covered, chunked, diced, capped, and topped – hash browns that is. Headwinds and a cold mist travelled with us all the way.

Traffic was light, or rather non-existent, so we took our chances and pedaled over the Hopple Street Viaduct, a route you would be risking life and limb on any other day of the year. The route we chose took us through the very historic, very industrial part of the city. When you ride up Spring Grove Ave. it is easy to imagine the heyday of Cincinnati that was soap making, chemical processing, meat packing, and margarine blending. Names such as Kahn’s,  Powell Valves, and Kao Brands, (formally Jergen’s), Ryerson steel

Crisco, Smucker’s,

Enough nostalgia already, it was one week away from 2016, not 1916. We were wearing lycra tights and helmets, not tweed overcoats, knickers, and ivy caps. It is amazing, though, just how many well-known brands were born on this stretch of road. I love this town.

Watch this short video of our trip up Spring Grove Ave. to our destination, Waffle House

About five miles out from our destination was the City of Lockland, named for the locks that used to control the flow of flatboats on the Miami-Erie Canal until 1929. Here was the first real incline of our trip, not very steep but just long enough to cause the Reluctant Cyclist to twitch. Running low on fuel it was a slow haul up the hill but each rotation of the crank took me closer to the “Awful Waffle”. 

Once again the lack of traffic opened up the road for us even as we pedaled past the on/off ramps for Interstate 75. Being it was the only place open, Waffle House was standing room only. And, true to the rumors, everybody and anybody was eating there.

Two eggs and a peanut butter waffle and the Reluctant Cyclist was (somewhat) ready for the trip home. For once the wind remained out of the north giving us a sweet tailwind and taking 15 minutes off of the trip home.

Happy New Year. May your days start getting longer and the wind always be at your back.

#thereluctantcyclist #procter&gamble #springgroveave #awfulwaffle #wafflehouse

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