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)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 38 -- July 28th -- Mt. Pleasant, MI to Birch Run, MI

Miles Ridden: 80.9 (plus an extra 14)
Avg Speed: 17.5
Avg Heart Rate: 114
Climbing: 476 ft
Calories Burned: 1,560 (so says my Garmin ... it's higher!)

Pancake flat ... nice tailwind part of the day ... bonus miles with Beth ... Frankenmuth

Today' route and map -- to be posted

Our first morning "route wrap" was scheduled for 7:30.  As usual, Dave and I were downstairs about 30 minutes before luggage load (also 7:30), and the breakfast area was empty.  Folks just love to get an early start and stand in line.  Another waffle and bowl of oatmeal later, I was outside and threw my luggage on almost last.  We got our cue sheets for the day and ... boom, they were off.  By the time I got my gloves on, almost everyone was gone. Not up for any chasing, I eased into the day as I passed a local casino.  It was fun to see and talk briefly with folks usually on the road before me.  After a short 2 miles, we turned south and into a cross wind that slowed us some.  That lasted over 16 miles before we turned in Alma (Scotland USA).

Soaring Eagle Casino ... Just Down The Road From Our Hotel

Some Farms Were Not Pristine

Flat Roads
 It was very humid and the weatherman called for isolated storms.  The sky often looked threatening, but it never came.  The route from Alma was pretty non-descript, but the wind was our friend and I took full advantage.  After riding with the Swiss train into the wind, I set out on my own at a blistering pace.  I caught sight of Dave, but some lights in town, put him out of reach.  I never saw the other Geldings ... they left before I did out of the hotel.  A few miles before the only SAG I caught up with Beth.  There was a bridge out and a vehicle detour posted.  Often, bikes can make it past stuff, but there was an ABB arrow on the ground saying to go left.  I guess there was some words on the ground too, but Beth and I did not see them.  A short while later, the vehicle detour turned right.  Well ... Beth and I were looking for another ABB arrow and the road looked like dirt, so we kept going.  We rode up past another three turns (all dirt) before we made the call back to Debbie at ABB.  Turns out the words said to follow the detour signs!  Oh well.  That meant a few more miles back to the dirt turn, which we rode past a little :-)  We were laughing our butts off.  We finally pulled into the SAG with an extra 7 miles under our wheels.

The Detour ... I was Laughing Too Hard to Take One of Beth or I

I was only at the SAG for a short while and was off to make up some time.  Not much to see, no climbs, just me ... free to ride hard when I wanted to, and coast when I wanted to ... almost perfect conditions.  Before I knew it, I was in Birch Run with 81 miles done just after 12:00.  I am definitely in the east ... my first 7/11 in 5+ weeks appeared. 

Me Drafting A Tractor

Kim Drafting The Tractor
Dave lives about an hour or so from Birch Run and had mentioned a local diner (Tony's) and a local town (Frankenmuth) as good options for arrival.  I was not that hungry just yet, so I decided to make the extra 7 mile trek to Frankenmuth. Frankenmuth is a small Bavarian town with a monstrous Christmas shop and several chicken restaurants. I opted for a sub, but enjoyed the scenery and people watching before heading back to Birch Run and the hotel.  The Geldings made it to Tony's and witnessed their infamous one pound bacon BLT (Joe actually ordered it).  They also saw the half gallon of ice cream sundae.  Karen will be happy that I passed those up (so will my belly)!

Bavaria ? ... No, It's Frankenmuth

Bavarian Inn

One Of The "Chicken Dinner" Spots

Another Inn

Joe's 1 Pound Bacon BLT

Half A Gallon Of Ice Cream Sundae
Upon my return I showered and gathered my clothes for cleaning.  Our hotel washer & dryer (singular) was in the lobby and had already built up a huge queue.  Chutzpah comes naturally to me, so I headed across the street to the Holiday Inn.  No one was there, they had two nice washers, two nice dryers, a folding table, and a comfy lobby. I was back by route wrap and avoided the long wait at our hotel.  Dinner was at the "Exit" across the street.  Not too bad ... I had the fish and chips, but passed on the pies (see Karen, I am cutting back).  Dave's family came up for a visit and dinner.  I was able to meet them and talk for awhile.  His grand daughter is so cute!

Another flat day tomorrow into Port Huron.  A little longer (87 miles), but no worries.  Maybe the gang will stay together for a change.  If not, no worries.  On Friday we head into Canada.

Good night moon ... good night Beth (bonus miles made for a great laugh) ... good night flat roads and tail winds (please come back tomorrow) ... good night Bavaria (or least Frankenmuth) ... good night Federal News Radio - AM 1500 (talk with you tomorrow afternoon)