Day 4, Akron

Bussed around Canton looking for a laundromat, found one, dried clothes and was on the trail in Massilon around noon. Skipped the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Finished at cousin’s house in Hudson, Ohio.

NE Ohio by Bike October 2015

Day 3, Tow Path to the Rust Belt

I didn’t see a single person from New Philadelphia to past Zoar. This bridge on the Zoar Valley Trail crosses the Conotton Creek near the Tuscarawas River. There is not a midget trying to steal my bike. That is just my backpack.

The first section of the trail was a little rough but certainly passable. Saw locks 10 through 7. Almost nobody on the trail. Literally didn’t see anybody from 7 to noon. Checked in to the McKinley Grand in downtown Canton.

NE Ohio by Bike October 2015

Day 2, Township Roads

Parked next to Amish buggies at the Wal-Mart buggy parking and ate breakfast at the Subway with the Amish. Fixed a flat and my bike pump. Got stuck behind horse-drawn buggies along the way. Apparently horses get tired going uphill just like cyclists, I was glad to slow down behind them! Saw more cows and horses than people. Navigated the hilly township roads from Millersburg to New Philadelphia and successfully avoided most traffic. Hung out in downtown New Philly for the evening and watched the Yankees eliminated from the playoffs. Found a campsite late at night near the beginning of the tow path bike trail to Cleveland.

NE Ohio by Bike October 2015

AC vs. DC and HVDC

AC = Alternating Current

DC = Direct Current

HVDC = High Voltage DC


In order to transmit electric power in bulk, you need high voltage, high current, or both to make high power. Watts (power) = volts (“voltage”) * amps (current).

Voltage, Current, Wire Size, Wire Height

The thickness of wire required to carry electricity depends only on the current, so it is very advantageous to keep the current low so you can use thinner, lighter, cheaper wire. To do that and still transmit a lot of power, you have to use very high voltage. High voltage wires have to be placed high up away from other things, but it is better than using heavy, expensive wire the size of a tunnel.

AC vs. DC

So we use high voltage to keep the current down, but what does using high voltage have to do with using AC or DC? A transformer (they are all over the place, you may have seen our heard one blow up) is the device used to convert electric power to high voltage for transmission and then back to low voltage for use. Transformers only work with AC electricity, not DC. This is the reason that Westinghouse’s AC system beat Edison’s DC system.


The AC vs. DC battle is not over! Modern technology enables stepping up the voltage of DC electricity to high voltage for power transmission. There are HVDC lines around the world now. China especially is investing in HVDC power transmission as well as the Baltic states to reduce their reliance on Russian energy.

Day 1, to Amish Country

“Rails to Trails” trails are like bicycle highways. I even had a slight headwind but made it so far because I was fresh and because the trails are straight, flat and the trees block the wind. Hitting the hills that afternoon, however, I decided to cut Steubenville out of the trip. Too much, especially with the hills.

NE Ohio by Bike October 2015

Day 105 Without a Job, Time for a Bicycle Tour!

I missed writing last week because I was so busy remodeling and stuff. Driving now leads biking 1080 miles to 626 miles, so quite a deficit for the bike to make up. However, I’m about to go on my first bicycle tour and the bike will do some catching up.

I am riding for fun, but also to visit Art Drentlau of the Responsibility Movement and to bring attention to the movement itself. I believe in the movement and the people who are putting their efforts towards it. Please support! The best way to support is to read about it, understand it, decide what it means to you, and spread the word. To learn more, click below:

Or, read the book. This is how I found out about it:

Tomorrow morning, I ride east until I can’t ride anymore, then camp for the night. I’ve spent the past 2 days routing and printing maps in preparation and to do my best to stay on back roads without getting too lost. The general itinerary is to make a counter-clockwise loop around northeast Ohio especially including the towpath that runs 100 miles from Dover to Cleveland. I packed my gear and weighed it today and it weighs 30 pounds including my “hotel room in a bag,” but not including food and water. Follow me on Strava!

Answer to last week’s trivia: Thomas Edison started a power company in 1882 that used DC electricity. George Westinghouse started a competing company in 1886 that used AC electricity. Westinghouse’s AC technology won because the voltage could be stepped up using transformers. This made for cheaper transmission over long distances compared to DC.

For further explanation, click here.

Apartment Building: A Black Hole of Time

This week, I got sucked into doing my own handyman work on my apartments. On the one hand, it has taken up all of my time. On the other hand, I have learned a lot and the building continues to progress. In two years, our rent has increased from just under $500 to over $600. We have 8 / 9 units rented now, most importantly with quality tenants who reliably pay rent, and I am upgrading the empty unit with potential renters awaiting showing at $625 per month.

I drove 187 miles and biked 80 miles this week, putting driving up 820 miles to 529 miles. It was not a good week for the bike!

What is the “ecliptic,” and how does it relate to the signs of the zodiac? Answer. The ecliptic is the plane defined by our orbit around the sun. It also refers to the path the sun appears to take on the celestial background. The signs of the zodiac are based on which constellation the sun is passing through during the period. Ironically, it is during your birth month that you are least able to see your associated constellation in the night sky because it rises and sets with the sun during that time.

In one sentence, why do we use AC electricity instead of DC electricity for our power grid?

Autumn is Here

On Saturday, the heat broke and the air was just cool enough to justify jeans and long sleeves–well, maybe just one or the other. Either way, this weather is the reason fall is my favorite season. The cool air makes the sun feel good and the warm sun makes the cool air feel good. It feels like football season and family gatherings. Glad to be home!

My truck odometer reads 82199, and my Strava bicycle tracking all-time mileage is 1556. That means I rode 86 miles this week compared to driving 102 miles. This is going to be a difficult challenge. Using my truck to do contracting work at Riverview Drive is not helping. Driving adds up so much faster than biking. It’s so easy and convenient!

Trivia question of the week: what is the “ecliptic,” and how does it relate to the signs of the zodiac? Answer next week.

Keeping the Truck, but Keeping Track

This week, I decided to keep my truck and not sell it for now. It is simply too convenient. While I would love to have the challenge of being forced to bicycle everywhere, it doesn’t work with reality. So the compromise: new goal is to put more miles on my bike than on my truck. The challenge starts when I returned to Ohio. At that time, my truck had 81,566 miles on it. I track all my bike rides on Strava and my all-time miles were at 1,107 when I returned. My miles are at 82,097 and 1,470 currently. So, driving is ahead of biking 531 miles to 363 miles.

Moonlight Bike Ride

Day 69 Without a Job

In the last 100 years, we have added extreme convenience to our lives. Cars drive us to just a few feet from every destination we can think of. We are climate-controlled the whole way. When we arrive we have climate control. People have actually come to believe that they need it. Do we need it? Is it really even better? No! We are missing out!

I’m not saying I want to go back to the stone age, but don’t be afraid to add some difficulty to your life! We’re designed for it! It makes us better! I haven’t had my truck (or any vehicle) with me for about a week. It’s been great. I feel great! I’m in better shape, and I get to eat twice as much food. I rode home from downtown Friday night 1AM. My headlight broke, but fortunately there was a full moon overhead to light the way. I’d have missed this with my truck to make the trip easy.

Link to the ride on Strava.

Ostrander to downtown for free outdoor ballet.

Produce. Persevere. Own. Succeed. Fail. Care. Do. Learn. Win.