College towns

by Andrew Stein

We have been teased with many college towns along our journey.  I use the word teased because in many of them we arrive late in the afternoon, and then we need to hit the road the next morning before the day gets too warm.  We usually aim to start pedaling around 7am, and this time is only going to get earlier as we head south and west and the temperatures continue to rise.

That said, we did get to spend some time a block from Penn State, a short walk from Ohio State, and a mile or two from Indiana University.  The vibes permeating from these towns are great.  Lots of coffee shops, lots of local bike shops, and of course lots of restaurants and bars.  In State College, PA, I have a chance to check out the local watering hole, Phyrst, and then swing by a delightful coffee shop called Saint’s Café to start my ride in the morning.  In Columbus, there’s One Line Coffee, North High Brewing Company, and the much talked about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.  Jeni’s gets a lot of hype, but after having been, I would recommend it highly!  And in Bloomington, even though we are only there for a hot minute, we stopped by the Upland Brewing Company for a quick taste.

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The other oddity of finding ourselves in college towns is that we see other clumps of people about our age walking around.  In almost every other town we stop in over this summer, when five or more twenty-somethings are walking on the street together dressed in gym clothes (or something close to gym clothes), it will almost always be fellow Bike & Builders, but in these college towns we seem to blend in a little more.