Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Great Sanilac Adventure

When I reached the ocean it smelt like cinnamon and there were sail boats as far as the eye could see.

Alright, maybe it wasn't the ocean, maybe it was just Lake Huron.  We can blame the confusion on the ninety degree muggy air and my recent addiction to RAAM race results.

The air did smell like cinnamon from the boutique ice cream shop that sat just inside the Port Sanilac Marina.  It was a pleasant change after being exposed to my own stank smell for miles on the road.

A thick covering of grime and dried salt coated my arms, legs and face.  Eighty miles into the ride and I was only halfway to my final destination.

I circled through town seeking a good place for lunch.  I settled on a small shop that advertised bacon stuffed donuts on their sidewalk chalkboard.

Unfortunately or fortunately, they didn't have any bacon donuts left for the afternoon.  Instead I ordered a six inch sub, two bottles of water, two bottles of coke, two bottles of gatorade and a brownie the size of my hand. 

The young girl behind the counter took in my bounty and said with wide eyes,

"There's a walk up atm across the street if you don't want to buy all this stuff."

They had a $15.00 minimum on credit card purchases sign posted on their counter.

I thanked her and told her it was a long ride home and it would save me a stop at the gas station before I started back.

I stationed myself at one of their tables and plugged my phone in to charge.  It was already almost completely drained from the ride out and I was worried it wouldn't make it home.

Riding long without good cellular coverage and no battery puts me outside of my comfort zone.  This, once again makes me want to put a spot tracker on the top of my needs list for the near future.

After consulting my route print out, I made a few adjustments to the route home.   There were several sections of freshly graveled roads that I hoped to avoid going back.

My other concern was what the wind would feel like, I was hitting 17-20 mph without barely touching the cranks on the way here, never a good sign.

Packing up my goods, I said goodbye to my new young friends.

It became clear, very quickly that I was correct to be concerned about the wind.  It sucked...

It sucked every mile for the next sixty point three miles to be exact.

Just outside of Emmett I located an electrical outlet behind an elementary school where I was able to call Josh in desperation.  There were still three projected hours of travel in front of me and my phone was dead.

We agreed to meet at the head of the macomb orchard trail in Richmond.  This would get me a pick up just ahead of the storm that was traveling from the west and it got me off the road before 10:00 (I started at 8:30 in the morning).

After hanging up I felt five minutes of relief and then immediately disappointment set in, followed by anger sharks.

How would I ever make it to the Tour Divide or even to RAAM if I couldn't even finish a hundred and sixty mile ride that takes me back to my front door.  What would Jill Homer do?  Would she throw in the towel...probably not...

This was about the time that I noticed I had a friend following me.  He was a tiny little black bird with red feathers on his wings.  He had a lot to say as he flew over my head...

"What? Am I mother f'in Snow White?" I shouted at him (remember the anger sharks).

He didn't seem bothered by my attitude and continued to follow me.  He either phoned a friend or he followed me through Emmett, Memphis and just to the outskirts of Richmond.

It brought me back around to being a bit more appreciative of what I accomplished and less woe is me.

Call me Mother F'in Snow White.

Josh was right on schedule, just ahead of the rain.  We packed up the bike and my belongings with 143 miles on the odometer.

Another good ride in the books.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Everything Over A Hundo Is Awesome Sauce

Earlier this week, Josh and I had a discussion about the upcoming Team Alex Poker Ride for Make-A-Wish.

I was super excited about it because it was an opportunity to get in a hundo with other people (I don't mind riding them solo, but every once and awhile it's nice to have some company).

What I failed to realize was that the departure time was 7:00 in the morning from ACF in Walled Lake.  Given the current lack of an extra vehicle, getting there would be a problem. 

Josh was working all day and it really wasn't fair to ask him to get up at six to drive me.

And then it happened...

He posed the question, "Why don't you ride to the ride."

I'd like to say that I was immediately stoked about the idea...but I wasn't...I reacted like it was absurd.  Who in the world would want to get up at three in the morning to ride to a hundred mile ride...

And it hung there...

Until I wrapped my mind and the idea of the extra mileage around it and formulated the plan that anything over a hundo is awesome sauce.

Now, it's the morning after and I'm alive...slightly sore, but happy to have completed the adventure. 

The superfly was fabulous and handled the road, dirt and paved alike, with grace.

My map following skills leave something to be desired, but my gps did get me to my destinations in one piece.

More to come after recovery!