Car ride from Chain-O’-Lakes SP, In to Cedar Rapids, Ia – Final Trip Total 784.96 miles
Friday June 19, 6 am: There have been strong thunderstorms since 3:30 am. According to the radio, the current cells are suppose to be done rolling through in the next half hour. The radio reports a thunder storm watch until noon today and then again tonight. Brittany, Danny, Travis and Emily are a little more than an hour away. My decision to quit the ride now is looking better all the time.
7:00 am: About a half hour ago the rain died down to a steady drizzle, so I quickly packed everything onto the bike. I’m now standing with Midge on the hilltop by the bath house. Lightning and thunder is still off in the distance. Brittany just texted and said she’s only 30 miles away. I’m looking back at all the pictures on my phone. Hard to believe it was 2 weeks ago tomorrow when the trip started.
Shipshewana, In to Chain-O’-Lakes SP, In 42.75 miles – Trip Total 784.96 miles
What do you do when it’s day 13 of a 16 day trip, your knee hurts when you ride uphill, you overestimated the amount of ground you could cover and your butt is starting to ache from sitting on an a** hatchet 10-12 hours a day? You get on your bike and ride.
Well, that worked for awhile. After saying my good-by’s to the MUTS, I left camp around 7 am. It was a little chilly out, so I wore my rain pants. They served a second purpose of keeping my knee warm. I thought that would keep it loose and it wouldn’t have as many issues. A small tail wind, no hills and not riding yesterday made the morning pretty good.
Shipshewana, In 10.43 miles – Trip Total 742.21 miles
Non-travel day in Shipshewana, Indiana. I really like saying Shipshewana. Shipshewana is a small Amish community near La Grange in Northern Indiana. Ironically, Shipshewana has the most car traffic of all the towns I’ve visited on my trip. Some things never cease to amaze me.
Every Tuesday and Wednesday, in the warmer months I guess, Shipshewana has a flea market. It attracts thousands of people. Today being Wednesday, I got to experience the flea market first hand. I didn’t buy anything (nowhere to put it), but I did get to look around. There were the usual flea market sunglasses and t-shirts, but also cool things like handmade furniture and lawn art.
Yankee Springs, Mi to Shipshewana, In 88.89 miles – Trip Total 731.78 miles
I made it to Indiana! Woke up early to try and miss the rain, but didn’t quite make it. I was wet for the last hour. The wind was from the East, so I was either fighting a head wind or a gusty wind from the side all day. Terrain is still mostly flat, so that’s good.
I woke up before sunrise and made it out as soon as the sun came up at 6 am. Right away I was hit by the wind. Yesterday I was fresh and could handle it better, but this morning was on the heels of a 100 plus mile day and I didn’t have enough gas in me to push hard. Next tour I plan on riding more 50 mile days. I could probably cover the same amount of ground because I wouldn’t have to have so many days off to recover.
Croton, Mi to Yankee Springs, Mi 102.93 miles – Trip Total 642.89 miles
Long and short day today. Long day because I covered over 100 miles and that made me tired, short day because I made the ride in less than 12 hours point to point. That’s a record for me.
The ground is relatively flat still and more farmland is starting to appear. The wind is still absent and the temps are now in the low 80’s so I’m starting to sweat quite a bit more.
Croton, Mi 3.20 miles – Trip Total 539.96 miles
Today, I took the front bags off my bike, emptied out the back ones and went to Gene’s Village Market to stock up on supplies. I got more sugary stuff than I could eat for today, but now I’m good to go for 3-4 days without restocking food.
I was planning on going back to the Rio Cafe tonight to have more Mexican food, but I don’t think I should push it. I had a combo plate last night and it was great. Everything was freshly made.
Luther, Mi to Croton, Mi 65.43 miles – Tour Total 536.76 miles
Michigan is a great place to ride, but yesterday was not the 40 mile casual day that I had planned. Between that and the lack of sleep from the ferry ride, I started the day a little later than I wanted.
Around 9 am I rolled out of the campground. Found fairly decent reception of a fairly decent station on the radio and started peddling. The ACA maps were a life saver. Even when the roads were unmarked (many were) the maps had mileage between turns and tips like “turn left at the cemetery”.
Manitowoc, Wi to Luther, Mi 65.96 miles – Trip Total 471.33 miles
My first day ever in Michigan.
Let’s start with comparing my experience with Wisconsin to Michigan:
1. Wi has well named county roads…Mi has no problem naming county roads anything or even changing their names between intersections.
2. Wi county roads are paved and many have paved shoulders…Mi count roads never have paved shoulders and are randomly paved at all.
3. Wi has well used roads…Mi roads are not busy at all.
4. Wi has many farms along the roads…Mi has tall evergreens with POSTED No Trespassing signs.
5. Wi has strong winds…Mi has no wind.
6. Wi has big hills…Mi has only a few small hills.
7. Wi was getting old…Mi is a welcome change.
Fox Lake, Wi to Manitowoc, Wi 106.91 miles – Trip Total 405.38 miles
I’m writing this Friday night in my tent. I’m exhausted. I like to write about the day on the day it happened, but the last couple have blurred together.
Thursday morning, I had a strong desire to get out of Fox Lake as fast as I could. So, the time between when my alarm went off and when I was riding was less than an hour. Breakfast was a pouch of chicken and coffee was substituted with a energy drink mix I was planning for long afternoons. Protein is what I crave for breakfast, so a 3.5 serving pouch of that was exactly what I needed.
Lodi, Wi to Fox Lake, Wi
49.56 miles – Odometer 298.47 miles
I’m beginning to feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere. I rode almost 50 miles today and not a single stop (like a town or a park) along the way. Doylestown was big on the map, but just a few houses.
Once I was out of the Lodi Valley, the hills flattened and weren’t much of an issue. Of course, there were still a few big ones. Weather is great, high in the low 70’s with a light breeze and only partly cloudy skies.