July 16/17 - Our First Thousand Miles - Almost; King's Island, Ohio

We hoped to get into Greater Cincinnati this afternoon, biking from near Lancaster to King's Island resort, where we would take a day off to amuse ourselves.

Our resolve to leave early is improving. Will, Cheryl, and I were ready before 7 AM. Al, the owner of Camp Coonpath RV park, had said he would ride with us, and promised to show up just after sunrise - "When it's still cool". He came by a little after 7, and apologized for being late.

"Oh, I had some tenant problems - people problems. I'm no good at that. Some 17 year old kid who's dad is trying his best to raise him while working in Columbus. I don't know, they're just bothering everybody too much. I had to tell 'em to leave - gave 'em their money back, didn't want to make life any tougher for them than it already is. But can you believe it? They asked if they could come in to visit their relatives, who are staying here!"

Al led us that morning from his Camp near Carroll, OH, into Circleville, via the GOBA route (Great Ohio Bicycle Adventure). Marked by little "A"s painted on the road, with the peak pointing the direction to turn. It was a great country roads ride, little traffic, and we could go 2 or 3 abreast most of the way. Al told us a lot about himself, his views on life learned from his varied experience, most recently trying to run the RV park in a way which gave him some time to ride and relax. Most park owners like 4th of July the best - brings in the most money. Al hates that weekend; it brings in the most trouble.

In Circleville, we said goodbye to Al, on his 1980 Schwinn special which kept him up quite easily with our tandem. We gave him our web site address and email address, as well as snail mail. He assured us he wouldn't be looking in on the computer. "Just one more complication in my life I can do without." [Two days later, we got an email from a Coonpath Park resident, telling us they had shown Al our web site, and he was suitably impressed, although he did note how difficult it was to get Netscape up and running.]

The Midwest inferno has really set in, and the girls (Cheryl, Shaine, and Annie) wisely chose to ride in the RV the rest of the way into King's Island. Will and I pressed on, hoping to meet up with them again at the Little Miami River bike path. When connections failed, and the heat rose, I made an Executive Decision that what we needed was to take a complete break from biking - skip the bike path and drive in KI, buy a two day pass (bought after 4, the same price for two days as one - I guess they hope you'll spend enough on drinks and dinner and other junk on the extra evening to more than make up for it). From 4 to 10 PM, the whole crew rode themselves silly on all the roller coasters and other whirligigs, ending the evening with the nightly five minute fireworks show.

I discovered once again that twenty-five years makes a big difference in one's enjoyment of coasters. I tried the Beast, the world's longest/largest wooden roller coaster. Featuring two assisted rises and more brainpan rattling twists and turns than a NASA centrifuge, I walked off checking to make sure I hadn't permanently ruptured a cervical disk. I'm surprised no Chirpracter has opened an office just outside the park.

But Annie, Shaine, Will, and Cody all loved the coasters, and KI has all varities: the Beast; the Racer, a twin wooden ride featuring one train going backwards, the other forwards; the Vortex, with sic loop the loops; King Cobra, which you ride standing up; Top Gun, where the cars hang from a monorail; several varieties of water rides, and a number of tamer ones the kids wouldn't touch. Lace in midway barkers, bumper cars, a complete water park with wave pool, and you have all the fun of the fair, enough to OD any vertigo junky. I'll let the kids add their comments here, as they were the ones this was all designed for.


Well I<Shaine> , had a BLAST at Kings Island (although I'm not so sure that my parents did). I went on the Beast, Racer, Amazon Falls (a large log/boat that just goes up and drops you down into a pool of water, I'm sure the people on the observation deck got wetter), Adventure Coaster (my dad liked this roller coaster but Annie and I thought it was boring) Top Gun, King Cobra, Kakabonka Canal (kinda like Splash Mt. at Disneyland),

Miles: Will, 60; Al (Tandem & single) 60; Cheryl (Tandem) 26.

Total miles: 973

**Next Day's Journal**

-Al Bikrutz