Jul 31

Flying Wheels

by in Week 7

  • Farwell to Frankenmuth, MI
  • 84.7 miles/3,079 total
  • Just a plain lovely day
  • 80° and dry

Another gigantic lightning storm last night. We were tucked in our bed in the school so we didn’t have to fret about it, but it woke us both up with the crashing and flashing. At least one of our intrepid group abandoned her tent and came inside because it was enough to give her the shivers. It was scary loud and close.

We began the day on the same pristine bike trail we’d been following yesterday. It would turn out to be another 35  miles of smooth trail, no traffic, and generally downhill cycling. We snapped this morning shot of the sun breaking through the clouds which were busy keeping us cool and comfortable. There were remnants of the old rail business along the trail, like these concrete or stone mileposts indicating the distance to Saginaw which must have been the terminal for this line.

The forecast for today was thundershowers at our destination until noon, so we dawdled in the morning. At a convenience store we got to chatting with the clerk about our trip. He was impressed with the distances we’ve traveled. After we left the store and before we got on the bike, we started doing some of our stretches. He was obviously watching because he came out and asked if we needed any Alleve before we left. What a nice guy.

As we rolled through Midland, a decent sized town, we caught up to a group of riders from Pennsylvania that joined our tour this week. There were 7 of them (of the 11 from the club that joined the trip) and they seemed fast. We finally all got off the bike trails and onto the street. We pulled out past them and zoomed away at 21 mph. They gave chase with the advantage of a line of bikes to take turns pulling. We stayed away all the way to picnic, 4 miles down the road. We were feeling pretty slick. Here’s a picture of that group at picnic from the day before. They’re all wearing their matching club jerseys. We actually gained a large group of one week riders this week. There are 36 of them and only 30 going coast-to-coast.

That set the tone for the after picnic portion of the ride. We were going to go fast. The storms were supposed to be past, the roads were flat, the wind was low. It was perfect tandem speed conditions. So we sped. We were rolling in the high teens and low twenties the rest of the day. We zoomed past clumps of singles, only to meet them again at water stops down the line. The one exception was when the Fly Boys went past us like a bullet train. They must have been doing 24-25. It was stunning.

We rolled into Frankenmuth just after 1. We decided to poke around the Bavarian-themed town before we checked in at the school. We sat on a bench and ate our lunch while I sipped a soy chai. We saw other riders checking out Main Street. The architecture is generally Bavarian, but we both thought Leavenworth, WA carries off the theme much more completely. The place we are eating dinner at tonight can seat 1,500 people at a time! Can you imagine how many staff must be working to make that happen?

We’re settled in at the middle school, home of the Eagles. Last night we were at Farwell High, home of the Eagles. I kind of wonder which Eagles we will be staying with tomorrow night.

Postscript
We just got back from dinner and wanted to share how impressed we were with the vegan option they provided us. Check out this quinoa stir-fry they put together including asparagus, red peppers, eggplant, green beans and more. Yummy!

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2 Responses to “Flying Wheels”

  1. From Dale Dell'Ario:

    I missed last week and haven’t caught up. This post definitely sounds downhilly. You seem to be holding up pretty well. Having spent some of my youth growing up in Michigan for four years, the names bring back memories of a pleasant area. Glad to hear you are enjoying it.

    Posted on Jul 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm #
  2. From Charlotte Boynton:

    Roxie and Charlie brought your postcard of the Garden of 1000 Buddahs to sangha last night. We all enjoyed looking at it and reading your message. We are all so proud of you for all the efforts.

    Look forward to your blogs with the pictures and the prose on your progress.

    Posted on Jul 31, 2012 at 9:22 pm #