Aug 01

Three-fourths done

by in Week 7

  • Frankenmuth to Memphis, MI
  • 80.5 miles/3,160 total
  • We love the hills
  • We love riding fast

Last night we had a beautiful full moon. We decided we should take advantage of it and sleep outside for the first time since Wisconsin. It was a lovely night, not too hot, not too cool. As a matter of fact, the last few days of riding have been Goldilocks kind of days, not too anything. Maybe a little too flat, but there have been enough ups and downs to make it all palatable. The winds have been light or helpful. The temperatures have been moderate. The rains have been elsewhere. Basically everything has been just right.

Today was no exception. We rolled out of Frankenmuth into a very pleasant countryside. Some variety of crops, some forested lands, some wide open spaces. We even had a couple of hills today which required continued effort! Through it all we just kept rolling. Saw this interesting couple alongside the road. It looks like they wished they had a tandem, too. We stopped in North Branch, MI (named for the North Branch of the Flint River) and had an excellent apple fritter. The folks in the bakery were properly astounded that we’d ridden for 6 weeks on our bike.

We spied this bird which we falsely identified as a peregrine falcon on the way to picnic. Actually it is a red-tailed hawk. Seeing it is a result of what we call the “stoker advantage.” Sheila has the chance to look around and see things I miss while concentrating on the white line. It was so calm and collected, sitting in its tree right next to the rushing traffic. We got a good long look at him.

Picnic entailed the usual hobnobbing and joshing around. After picnic, we decided to go for our speed record. We tooled along quickly to a water stop which had about 8 cyclists preparing their paceline for the last 15 miles. They left. We left. We caught them and hit the gas to put some distance between us. That sparked us into high gear. We kept pushing the pace and lo, there in the distance were Dennis and Holly (pictured here). They’re fast riders we can never catch. But we were gaining on them slowly. They’d disappear around a curve and we’d come around and they’d be further away. Several times Sheila stood and pushed our pace up to the 25 mph range. But we just couldn’t close the gap. After about 6 miles, we gave it up. But now we were very close to our best average time ever, 17.1. We kept flying and finished the day in Memphis with a 17.2 average. That means we spent less time in the saddle than usual, which is always a good thing.

The tent is set up. We’re clean. Now all we have to do is wait for dinner. We like the rhythm of the days. So far we are still enjoying getting up every morning and riding. That’s a good thing. We think one of the reasons is because we’re pretty much always in the moment, with no work or worries to distract us. We’ve still got more than a thousand miles to go in the next two and a half weeks. Tomorrow we cross into Canada. Our own wi-fi won’t work there so we’re hoping to find libraries and cafes to blog in. If you don’t see us tomorrow, that’ll be why.

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5 Responses to “Three-fourths done”

  1. From Phil Beard:

    Do you think Dennis and Holly would get around those curves and step on it because they knew you were coming. Glad to hear of the wonderful conditions. Funny I was looking at that same moon last night from a bit different perspective, but the same old moon!
    Phil

    Posted on Aug 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm #
  2. From Matt & Janet:

    Hey guys! Catching up on your blogs. Love the pics. Michigan sounds like great riding. Based on your route, it looks like you’re on or near the US Bike Route 10. Have you seen any signs?

    Enjoy your time in Canada, eh!

    Posted on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm #
    • From Matt & Janet:

      Correction, that should be USBR 20, not 10.

      Posted on Aug 1, 2012 at 9:39 pm #
      • From S2Cycle:

        Matt, It appears we might have been on USBR 20, but it was never identified to us as such. We were definitely at both its start and end points: Ludington and Marine City. I’ll have to find out more about it before I can respond better. We’re having a great time, eh.

        Posted on Aug 3, 2012 at 12:23 pm #
  3. From Spencer:

    July 2013 – Memphis was the little town with the crummy roads where we stopped by the store on the way in to get some soda and chips. There was the little donut shop just down the block run by the 3 girls, I think. Sat on a bench on the main street watching other riders dropping in for a beer or a treat.

    Posted on Aug 2, 2013 at 6:31 am #