Lake Michigan Loop – Post Script

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What did I learn while biking, cooking, eating and sleeping solo for 30 days? One thing I learned was that I if I bike across the USA sometime in the future, I will not do it alone. I think these adventures are meant to be shared, despite the tensions that arise when two or more people try to get along in close quarters for an extended period of time. My next challenge will be trying to find someone who can put up with me and my quirky nature for more than a day or two.
I know that I am hooked on bicycle touring. It is a unique mode of travel that gives me the freedom to go at a slower pace. It attracts curious passers-by. I have never been approached by so many strangers asking me where I was from, and where I was going. Then we would talk for sometimes 20 or 30 minutes about all sorts of things. What’s the rush?
There were a few discoveries on my trip that I thought I would share with you.
1. “And God rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Ok, so God is a lot smarter than me. My first day of rest was on Day 10, with only one more rest day on Day 17. One day of rest each week is a good thing. I mean, if was good for God, it should be good for me, too. Right?
2. The state of Michigan is made entirely of sand. Mountains of sand 1000 feet tall. Sand is everywhere. Be very careful. Bicycle tires do not turn well in sand. You may fall over and hurt yourself. I did. Twice.
3. Do not use the Cricket tone on your iPhone as an alarm. The real crickets and cicadas are much louder and they will drown it out. You may miss something important, like the reminder to call your wife.
4. Bicycle touring is an “all you can eat” diet. I ate seven or eight times a day, and still lost eight pounds. Second breakfast was my favorite meal of the day. Is it possible to fit a third breakfast into the morning hours?
5. The weather radar ap is the most valuable function of a smartphone. It is dangerous to ride a bike on a busy road in the rain. Knowing that a storm is imminent and being able to find a warm, dry place to wait it out is priceless. Just make sure that the warm, dry place serves food, coffee and/or alcohol.
Well, there you have it. I have no more words of wisdom. Take care, and thanks again for tuning into my little show on wheels.

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6 thoughts on “Lake Michigan Loop – Post Script

  1. Thanks for the posts. There can be real joy to having a riding buddy. I rode the GAP-C&O with a college buddy this summer. It was just perfect. I had the forethought to ask “how many miles can you ride in a day, for multiple days?”. The answer allowed me to plan the right distances each day. The other thing I learned is to find out what motivates your fellow rider. turns out my buddy was motivated by an ice cream in the afternoon and beer in the evening. No problem!
    One more thought: you may be able to get folks to do pieces of the ride with you. More challenging logistically, but it would mix it up.

    1. I was also looking into the self supported tours offered by the Adventure Cycling Association. They fill up quickly, so that can be a problem if I wanted to take a trip on short notice.

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