Headed to the work exit early because it was time for our annual bikeathon, twenty-some miles beginning in the aptly named Spring Valley, Ohio. I arrived before my mom and uncle because of various traffic woes for them, so I sampled some of the brilliant fall sunshine, riding by a quaint town library in a converted old home.
We headed south, towards Oregonia. Or was it Oregon? My rear end and fatigue level suggests it might have been the state of Oregon we'd reached before turning round and making the haul back. In the old days it seemed like we broke up the ride with lunch or a snack somewhere, but of late we just go after those miles one by one by one, twenty-seven point three in this case. A long ride was had by all.
Mom said it best afterward: “Next year why don't we skip the ride and go straight to this,” meaning our happy hour and dinner at Slim's in “downtown” Spring Valley. Or at least go a few miles less. I think twenty to twenty-two would be ideal.
Slim's is a pretty slick place. You know craft beer has become hugely popular when a little joint in Spring Valley, for heaven's sake, serves up Sam Adams and Great Lakes and a case-full of other options. Choice in beer is the new black. Fu-fu beers are taking over the world.
We weren't immediately sure if the signs saying "Foul language will not be tolerated" were for real but based on other signage it turned out it was a joke. I was kind of hoping not since it would make this Spring Valley establishment even more like Mayberry, North Carolina.
The bike path was fine if a bit too heavily wooded for my taste. There's something of a tunnel effect. You crave a vista after awhile, to see a house on a faraway hill and imagine what it's like to wake up to their view. Signs of civilization (sometimes just barely so) are always welcome in these settings. We saw at least two half-burnt buildings, a Jed Clampett-like cabin (before he struck oil) and various other picturesque scenes.
Mom surprised by saying that her father was one of the first ones to buy a television. The expense of a TV back then seems out of character for such a frugal person, but I guess Grandpa heard how great this gadget was from his wealthy boss at work. Now we know where my brother gets his tendency to be the first one to buy shiny new tech gadgets.
I also learned that I was a rebellious sort early and often, well at least early. In first grade I was a trouble, with the teacher reporting that I didn't obey her but by second grade I toed the line. I got my teenage rebellion over with at seven. Very precocious.