Sunday, August 19, 2012

Day 65: Bay City, Michigan

Today we rode from Clare, Michigan, to Bay City, Michigan, a total of 54 miles. The first 30 miles of it or so was, again, on the very-well paved and maintained Pere Marquette trail -- which, whether attributable to a change in my mood or warmer weather or the alignment of the stars -- I enjoyed quite a lot. I even feel like I got my photography mojo back, as I was stopping and snapping photos with regularity.

The trail ended in Midland, Michigan, which is a headquarters for Dow Chemical and shows the benefits of having a large employer. A lovely Main Street, with all sorts of cafes, coffee shops, highbrow stores, etc. (and, by contrast lacking the multiple "for sale/for rent" signs we've seen elsewhere), a highly groomed and expansive park through which the trail runs, to a funky three-prong bridge spanning the Tittabawassee River and two branches, and an immaculate baseball stadium, not surprisingly named Dow Diamond (the official home of the minor league Great Lakes Loons).

I paused and had a leisurely lunch (Italian sub and vanilla milk shake) in Midland, since Bob was miles/hours ahead of me. That morning, I felt an urge to complete my blog post from the prior day (Day 64) before starting off and thereby avoid having the obligation of writing two posts tonight, so I didn't get on the road until 9:30. But no matter. That is, until the storm clouds and thunder began rolling in around 2 p.m. I pushed on nonetheless, until the rain began coming down fairly heavily, with the promise of more to come. So I holed up under the awning of a nursing home that was in the midst of being rehabbed by construction workers who: (a) were amused by the notion of a cross country bicycle trip and (b) wondering why I would let a little rain stop me. But, after 20 minutes, the rain stopped/slowed and the skies looked like they would stay relatively clear (which they did). I bid farewell to my new, umm, admirers and continued on.

I rolled into one of our now preferred chains, AmericInn, around 4 p.m., but again didn't get around to this blog post until, well, this morning. So Bob has understandably taken off, this time also spurred by the need to get to a bike shop to replace his rear tire, which received the "puncture from hell" yesterday (see

We've also done a last-second route change for today. We were going to go to Flint, but some wifely caution from Laura triggered a bit of further research on our part. The FBI lists Flint as the most dangerous large city in the U.S. It's in receivership. Its population has fallen by half. The TripAdvisor reviews of the Holiday Inn that we were going to stay in warn of it being in a dangerous neighborhood. The Holiday Inn, itself, assured me (not in a comforting manner), that, yes, they had plenty of vacancies.

So, a quick look back at Google Maps and the decision was made: it would be Lapeer, MI tonight, followed by Port Huron Township, MI tomorrow. Those should be smaller towns and less traveled byways, and stick closer to the ACA route, so we probably should have sketched our journey out that way to start. The only downside is it does push today's mileage into the 65 mile neighborhood. So I had better wrap up this post and get going!

No metrics for the moment -- had another Garmin malfunction (operator error, perhaps?). I'll try to fix it when I get access to a real computer, I hope, tonight.

[Edit: OK, here they are -- I know you've all been clamoring for them]


1 comment:

  1. mark becker4:41 PM

    love the anecdote about the construction workers. on one hand, you're incredibly tough for bicycling cross country...on other hand, no sooo tough for waiting out a rain storm? can't please those tough-to-please construction workers :)
    fyi -- i think -- all or most of the fab 5 from the university of michigan basketball team back in the prehistoric days (e.g., jalen rose, chris weber, juwan howard, et al) came from flint. or maybe it was magic johnson? hmm...not sure. but i remember even back then flint was definitely a place not to plan a vacation around! :)
    continued happy, safe travels!