Sunday, October 30, 2011

Epic Ride (Part I)

About a week ago I had this great idea for a ride. 

My fabulous friends from D2 Labs Racing (Chris, Eric and Ben) were hosting Michigan's first time based Ultra running race called the "Bad Apple Ultra" (I highly recommend you put this on your race calendar for 2012!).  It became apparent to me as the week pressed on that the only logical thing for me to do on the upcoming weekend was to ride out to the race from my home in Shelby Twp.  Overall the route would entail a total of one hundred and fifty miles of gravel and pavement.

After consulting with Chris about a ride home on his way back from Greenville Sunday, I went in search of a route.  Googlemaps provided me with directions that seemed sufficient and Josh cleared my bike as being fit for the adventure.  I prayed all week for good weather and decided that it was too late to turn back after setting the ball in motion.

Saturday morning I bundled up in my brand new cycling kit compliments of the Active Networks Team VW.  I rolled out of the driveway at seven in the morning and proceeded to travel through Rochester Hills, Lake Orion, Oxford, Ortonville, Grand Blanc and into Owosso.  Every other hour I sent out text messages to let Chris know my progress.

Team VW Cycling Kit!
It was taking a bit longer then I originally anticipated to put the miles behind me and at 2 o'clock it was clear I wouldn't be getting to my final destination before dark.  I had packed a headlight and an extra battery, so I would have a way to see, but my goal had been to arrive by seven o'clock and I was a little disappointed that I wouldn't be able to do so.

In Owosso, I stopped in at a coffee house to grab a quick caffeine boost.  The barrista was extremely accommodating and one of the customers having lunch was actually from Chesterfield Twp...!  We chatted for a few minutes about my trip and they wished me good luck on my adventure!

Great Coffee and Staff!
Between Owosso and St. Johns I saw some storm clouds on the horizon.  It seemed like I would miss them at the pace I was going, but just as I reached the lip of sunny skies the rain came barreling down.  Had it been seventy degrees, a little rain would have been welcomed, but the thermometer was bouncing between thirty and fourty degrees...

I sprinted for the 127 overpass and took cover below it until the worst of the storm had passed.  At this point I was over a hundred miles in and there was still at least fifty miles ahead of me.  It was also at this time that I noticed my cell phone had been draining it's battery.  Soon I would be without the ability to contact Chris, Ben or Eric to let them know my whereabouts. 

I sent Chris another message letting him know my predicament and that I would check in again around 6 o'clock.  Removing the battery from my phone to ensure no additional juice would be sucked from it, I continued on through Fowler and started heading north towards Fenwick road.

The sun set as I navigated the turns that led north and west through sparsely inhabited country side.  The fact that it was Halloween Weekend had not escaped me and eventually I couldn't wait any longer and rolled into the driveway of a white farm house that had a light on, hoping that they would be willing to let me plug in my phone.

To be continued...

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