“KID IN GO-CART” PULLED OVER BY POLICE (Friday, November 19, 2010)

Up with the sun this morning in the hopes of making Pittsburgh by sunset. Before leaving, walked down to the campground host trailer to pay, but it was padlocked, with frozen ice on the deck. They’re probably in Florida. So rolled on down the highway, where I saw this great combined solar/wind system being used by the state Dept. of Transportation.

Rolled on to Steubenville to meet a reporter with the Herald Star (thanks, Connie & Tasha at Kwik King for the hot chocolate on the house). He seemed stunned by the number of people who walked up to ask about the trike as we conducted the interview.


Then pedaled across the bridge spanning the Ohio River into West Virginia.

Got several miles down the road before I heard police sirens behind me. The two squad cars didn’t pass me, they pulled over right behind me.

The first officer informed me that bikes were not permitted on Hwy. 22. This was news to me and I explained that I had avoided Interstate 70 for that very reason. The second officer smilingly told me they had received a call that a “kid on a go-cart was riding down the highway.” Not too far off the mark. When they heard my story, and that I was trying to make Pittsburgh by dark, they graciously gave me the go-ahead to continue riding on the shoulder. Thanks, officers!

About 22 miles outside of Pittsburgh, was pulled over by another patrol car. This officer also told me bikes were not allowed on Hwy. 22 and that I would have to exit and take the windy, mountain roads into the city. Being told I had to pedal through “extremely difficult” terrain was not what I wanted to hear this late in the day, especially being so close to my destination. Even with the electric motor providing a little help up hills, my legs were still about shot and my battery nearly dead. I made my case, but he just asked for my license. Just when it looked like I might not make Pittsburgh by tonight after all, he came back from his patrol car, handed me my license said I had clearance to pedal on the shoulder into the city. A huge relief, and much appreciated.

A few miles later, the incessant rumble strips finally took their toll, causing my iPhone to shake loose. Still attached by a cord to the solar charger, it took a bad bounce and fell through one of the “Fred Flintstone” holes in the bottom of the trike, dragging along the pavement until I could pull over. I fished it up through the hole and discovered the glass had been badly chipped on two corners, including the one with the camera lens, but it still worked. So now you know: the iPhone4 can take a licking and keep on ticking.

Got the usual honks and looks today, but even more as I got closer to the city. Maybe the Steelers colors of the trike have something to do with it. Was delighted to find a Primanti Bros. on the edge of town, where I devoured one of their famous sandwiches and knocked back couple of Iron City Lights. Pedaling back up the steep hill to the motel, a hawk alighted on a tree directly above me and watched my slow progress. Thanks to Mike for helping me get the trike into the motel room.

Big ride day today: 65 miles, and my legs are feeling every mile of it.

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“OHIO EMBRACING BIG SOLAR” (Wednesday, November 17, 2010)

Got an early morning call from NBC news affiliate WHIZ (which Paul had emailed in advance of my arrival) wanting to do an interview. So rolled down the old National Highway and met them at the historic “Y Bridge.” You can watch the video and see a photo slideshow at these two links:



Learned from the WHIZ reporter that one of the nation’s largest solar farms is being developed in Zanesville. This popular project, fittingly called “Turning Point,” is expected to bring up to 600 jobs through local manufacturing of the solar panels needed for the nearly 50 MW solar farm. Even more fittingly, it is being sited on a former coal mine. The project is slated to go online in 2012.

Also learned I had arrived just in time for Zanesville’s 52nd annual SERTOMA Pancake Day, a fundraiser for local charities. Followed the news van there for some breakfast.

What a scene. The cavernous basement was packed with people. Later learned they served 6,500 people pancakes and sausage over the course of the day. When the servers heard I had biked all the way from Colorado, Jim Drake (thanks for the contribution) stacked several extra flapjacks onto my already full plate. After devouring those, went back for seconds. Have never eaten so many pancakes in my life. Really enjoyed meeting Scott & Robin Obenour, Cindy, Chuck and Dee Dee.  Before leaving, was approached by a local radio reporter who had heard I was there and wanted to set up an interview for tomorrow. Gotta love small, friendly communities like Zanesville.

From Zanesville, pedaled down the road to New Concord, home of Muskingum University and boyhood home of astronaut John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth. John Glenn’s historic achievement helped unleash the best of the American spirit. We need a new generation of earthnauts today to unleash that same American spirit to achieve a modern day, green energy “moon shot.”

From New Concord, rolled down the road to Cambridge, which I easily made before dark. Beautiful day for riding. Low 50s and sunny. My buddy Paul had located a campground for me in Cambridge, right off Interstate 70, which was a real score (thanks, Paul!). With the late start getting out of town, only logged 38 miles today, but looking forward to a good night’s sleep. If it rains tomorrow like it rained yesterday, I’ll need it.

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“DOWN TIME WITH FAMILY & FRIENDS” (Saturday, November 6, 2010)

No riding today. Spend part of the day editing videos and updating the travelogue, then hung out with my family. High in the 40s today, so nice to be inside where it’s warm. Looking forward to catching up tonight with one of my best friends, who I’ve known since 1st grade.

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