I woke before the alarm went off to a very cool tent. I zipped up the sleeping bag and snuggled in for a bonus 15 minutes of warmth. Soon, camp was loaded into the van, and I was on my bike for the 56 mile ride from Greenville to New Bremman.

The scenery was very rural again with seemingly endless rows of corn and soybean. Agriculture soon turned to livestock with dairy, swine and poultry farms common along the country back roads. The sweet aroma of grass was replaced with the pungent smell of manure.

There was a very distinct change in the small farming communities. For the past days I cycled past numerous small traditional white country churches, mostly Brethren. Today, tall red brick steeples loomed in the distance marking the town centers. I was now cycling in a predominantly Catholic area.

One if the highlights of the ride was the Maria Stein Shrine of the Holy Relics. It was a large church with several chapels. One was home to a large collection of religious statues. It was well worth the time to rest and recharge. Coming across a church this size in the midst of miles of Ohio farmland is quite a surprise.

Today took us north for most of the day. Fairly string headwinds combined with a constant uphill grade made for a more challenging ride. A strong headwind and upward climb makes you appreciate rolling terrain that gives you a chance to coast now and then. Today’s ride was almost constant pedaling.

New Bremen welcomed cyclists into this quaint town. The planning here is amazing. There are many dining options offered at Gobaville and in town. Each benefits local service clubs and charities.

My GOBA roomie Paula and I joined my friend Susan and her parents for the evening. They are camping nearby in a state park. It was a delicious dinner and good company. It also afforded us with a chance to do our laundry. Now I am off to a well earned good night’s sleep after this busy day.

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