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July 23


Monday, July 23

Ludington, MI to Mount Pleasant, MI

107.91 miles

Avg 12.3 Mph


          For the first 60 miles of today’s ride, I thought all I would write in this journal tonight would be these words: Ugly day, bad ride. Period. The roads were so bad for long stretches. They were so cracked up and messed up from the winter freeze and thaw. Road crews had not filled in any of the cracks or potholes. It was tricky trying to ride around and between these dangerous obstacles. I thought for sure I would get rained on today but lucked out again and biked faster than the storm was moving.


By the time I got to the second SAG stop at 60 miles, I just didn’t have much energy. Others were saying the same thing. We lost an hour with the time change, maybe that had something to do with it. The SAG van was parked next to an Arby’s. I ordered a small roast beef to go and took it on the bike with me. I ate it slowly while continuing on. It started to help and I was gaining some speed and motivation. It was plenty humid out there and I was drinking a lot.


With 40 miles to go, I made a quick pit stop at a country corner gas and food store. I wanted something real cold and energizing. I picked out a little can, probably 7 oz size of something I had never seen before. Don’t even remember now what the brand name was but it said it had Ginseng and B vitamins. When I got to the register the clerk said $2.09 please. I said “Wow!” this little can better be powerful. (Actually I was to lazy to go to the back of the store to select something cheaper). It tasted great! By golly it was a magic drink. Those last 40 miles I just sailed along having a great time.


The roads were good and I got in by 3:00 and had biked 107.91 miles. Some people did 112 miles – not by choice. The route map cue sheet had a misprint.  It said left turn when it should have read right turn. The staff found out about people going the wrong way and one of the crew marked the road with chalk.  Glad I didn’t have to back track.


The ride though the Manistee National Forest was lovely. The pine trees smelled great. The soil is pretty sandy around here. We also came through an Indian Reservation. The Isabel Indians, I think. They have a Casino here near this town. Doug said this ride today would be, “float as a pancake.”  HA! It was more like a Belgium Waffle. We really got on him tonight. There was plenty of rolling terrain all day. When he said tomorrow’s route will be float – we all laughed.


          A favorite game these days amongst the cyclists is name the cities and describe the motel. We ride along and someone calls out a state. The next person has to name all the overnights we had in that State, West to East across the state. The other version is someone calls out a city we stayed in and the next person has to describe the motel we stayed at. It is so funny, because no one can do it!  All the time when we stop here and there the locals will ask, “Where did you start from today?” We will look at each other and have to think for a minute or two. We have been to so many places we now don’t even remember where we were just last night.


That’s it for today from Bicycle Boot Camp – Summer 2001.


          THANK YOU ALL, each and everyone who has cheered me on for all these miles (over 2,500 now) with your donations to Habitat for Humanity.