Open Road Press

Rough and Rainy Riding

October 6, Day 96 of TheHopeLine Tour of 2014

What Happened to Customer Service?

Nothing like getting reprimanded as soon as you come downstairs in the morning! After breakfast, Tim was the first to arrive in the lobby with his bicycle when he was spoken to harshly about having it in the room, even though the night clerk allowed us to do so. Not only was the hotel clerk disgruntled with the bicycle situation, she was defensive when we mentioned that the shower curtain does not stay closed when showering, resulting in a very wet bathroom floor.

Isn’t it interesting, when you try to give people helpful feedback to HELP them, they get all snarky! It is a strange phenomenon that this blog post can’t possibly resolve. To put it simply, our Monday morning was not off to the best of starts…but I remember the advice I often put into practice, “You can start your day over at any time!” No need to ruin a gorgeous day with a woman lacking in the graces of customer service.

About That Gorgeous Day…

Tim in northeastern OhioThe weather report predicted a beautiful morning with showers coming in during the mid-afternoon hours. As much as we tried to leave Streetsboro early, errands and excessive bathroom stops prevented us from leaving before 10:30! We would only have a few hours before the rain rolls in.

On our Mom-to-Mom tour in 2012, we often got caught in rain while riding in Florida and up the Atlantic coast. I never minded it because it would cool us down from the 90-plus degrees we encountered.  But that was July and August. Today, we are talking October rain and cold! We had to bundle up and stay dry to prepare for rainy riding, not a comfortable combination.

Rural Ohio has limited accommodations (and gas stations with no bathrooms), so when we stopped at a port-a-potty, thankfully we met a man familiar with the area. He made a call to one of his friends and suggested a guest house in Kinsman, Ohio.

In order to expedite our travel, we skipped lunch and headed east to Kinsman. I called the owner of the guest house a few times and we kept missing each other’s calls. Thankfully, in the middle of the downpour, about three miles from the guest house, we connected and made a reservation. Off we went, in our layers of silk long johns, gloves, fleece tops, and now, waterproof pants and jackets. We still got soaked!

Arriving at a Dream Horse Dream House

Dream Horse Guesthouse signI remember on the phone, the proprietor of The Dream Horse Guest House thought that staying there would be a unique experience on our bike tour. I thought he was just talking about the accommodations! Not only was it unique, the hospitality that Allen and Catherine offered topped the charts. When we arrived, a fresh cup of coffee was made to warm me up (Tim doesn’t drink coffee) and they offered to dry our wet clothing if needed the next morning. The most amazing connection was that they were involved in youth ministry many years back and we quickly shared our mission and our fundraiser for TheHopeLine with them. They understand the need and the calling that we are so passionate about.

DSCN3109Allen and Catherine converted this old dairy barn into a very beautiful guesthouse indeed! Both are extremely gifted and talented in engineering, architecture, interior decorating, painting, and hospitality! Getting soaked in the rain, and chilled to the bone was a small price to pay for landing in such a wonderful place for the night. Check out: and, if you find yourself traveling through Ohio and Pennsylvania, definitely stay there in Kinsman with these outstanding hosts!

2 thoughts on “Rough and Rainy Riding

  1. Jim Burns

    Hey Tim and Deb,
    From an unpleasant and snarky start, to a cold October rainy day, particularly on a bicycle, and then ending up in such pleasant circumstances, certainly runs the gamut in emotions especially all in one day. Glad to hear that the ending did so much to improve all that went before.
    Stay safe, be well, and good traveling…Jim

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