My ride is over, but the memories will last forever.

A life long dream fulfilled ... a great cause ... new friends ... amazing support

Thanks to everyone who helped make a difference!

I have maxed out the picture space on this blog. To see my postings for Day 42 (August 1st) onward click the link below:

GOTO Mark's Trek - NEW Daily BLOG (August 1st Onward)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day 37 -- July 27th -- Luddington, MI to Mt. Pleasant, MI

Miles Ridden: 113.2
Avg Speed: 17.1
Avg Heart Rate: 122
Climbing: 2,585 ft
Calories Burned: 2,686 (so says my Garmin ... it's higher!)

Final century of trip ... strong time ... increasing energy and power ... forest and lakes ... chasing the ghost

Today' route and map --

A few weeks ago, a 113 mile day would have meant a 5:30 departure, but alas, we are back in the eastern time zone, and we have to wait for the sun.  That meant I could sleep just a little longer.  That was good, as I was up late trying to load my rest day pictures on the blog.  Dave said I had a restless night and moaned a lot like I was in pain ... maybe tossing and turning on my side, but it didn't stir me.  Another lackluster plate of powdered eggs and some pancakes had us on the road about 7:00 AM.  The long distance had me pacing myself early to make sure I had sufficient power and energy for later in the day.  I rode with the Geldings for about 10 miles and then dropped back and set the throttle a few miles per hours lower.  I rode with John quite a bit and even joined the Swiss train for about five miles, but again dropped back.  Great roads, smaller farms, and the start of the Manistee National Forest highlighted the first 30 miles to our 1st SAG in a gnat infested field.

Mark and I Early in The Morning
Still A Lot of Farms

Great Scenery Through The Forest

Streams and Lakes Lined Our Route

Another Manicured Farm
I set out with John soon after the Geldings left and continued to move through the Manistee National Forest and past several streams and lakes.  John and I caught Toronto Mark prior to the 2nd SAG and rode together toward the final SAG.  Lush green trees and scenic lakes provided a great back drop to the smooth and rolling roads.  We went through Big Rapids, the home of Ferris State (strong NCAA Division I hockey school).  My energy level and speed increased as the day went on.  I pushed hard into the some of the climbs and went out ahead several miles before the final SAG. 

Another Roadside Stream

Big Rapids ... Home of the Ferris State Bulldogs

See ... I Stop and Smell the Flowers Too!
I headed out of the final SAG with Joe and Mark, but quickly went forward in pursuit of Dave.  I reached him after a few big kicks and we rode together for awhile.  We really started to pound it out.  That got my energy going even more and I put the pedals down big time and led Dave at speeds in the mid 20's.  I accelerated  a bit ahead of Dave as we made the turn through Lake Isabella.  I stopped for a drink and was joined by the Tandem (Mike and Matt), Toronto Mark, Joe, Jeff, Jeff (ABB), Rick, and Alex.  Dave was hot in pursuit of me and did not see that I had stopped.  He cruised by the store in search of me.  He was chasing a ghost and made great time to the hotel in Mt. Pleasant.  I went out with Joe and Toronto Mark from the store, but pushed out again on my own to speed into town.  Dave was waiting for me (well napping anyway) in the room when I got there.  All in all, a fun and fast day.  My 100 mile time was less than 6 hours and I averaged over 17 mph over the the day ... no complaints at all!

The Lakes Reminded Me Of Maine

Lake Isabella I Think

Dave And I Really Pounded It Out Late In The Day

A Wonderful Canopied Country Road

Ice Cream At The "Happy Ending" ... I Stayed with Chocolate Milk

Mark and I Heading Toward Mt Pleasant

Our Home For The Night ... Mt. Pleasant, The Home of the Central Michigan Chippewas

Dave Naps and Dreams Of Catching The Ghost
A nice nap before dinner at the Pondergrossa and then some phone calls with girls and my sister.  Rest of the night was spent catching up on  the blog and emails.  A flat 75 miles into Birch Run, MI tomorrow.  We ride about an hour from Dave's house and his wife is scheduled to make a visit.  I plan to treat the day as a bit of recovery, but we will see how the legs (and heart) feel.  The days are just flying by.  We will be in NY before you know it and then quickly to the Atlantic.

Good night moon ... good night ghost (me and my son (his nickname)) ... good night century ... good night trees ... good night lakes ... good night buffets (I promise to never go to another one when I get home)