Bicycle Diary: Michigander: Days 4-6

Day 4
The ride from Harbor Springs to Mackinaw City was 44.05 miles long and took 4 hours and 7 minutes. It's gorgeous. First you ride along the water and into the Tunnel of Trees, which is one of my favorite stretches. It's a great way to start the morning. There are some rolling hills, but the scenery is just stunning. The road is hugged by trees and the path winds up and down through a lush landscape. As lovely as it all is, the road is dangerous. It's not a bike path, but rather a narrow winding road. You really have to be careful on some of the downhills because a car can pop around the corner at any time. If you don't lay off, you can really rip down the hills. I laid off and still got over 30 miles an hour on one. My buddy said her brother hit 45 miles an hour - bananas! There are also little oil patches and random gravel and such. Beautiful yes, but it's subtly treacherous, too.

When I'm on the Michigander, sometimes riding through this whole area is a bit of a tease. I really enjoy the beauty around me, but when I'm on the tour I just want to get to the next damn campsite without falling off my bike. I will return to these areas and soak up the fun by taking pictures, swimming, having picnics and doing all the other stuff that I don't do on the Michigander because I need to haul to the next city.

An interesting note is that there's a lady that hates bikers in Good Hart, MI. The woman owns and runs a small general store nestled in the wooded area. She is known as the Witch of Good Hart. I've never met her, but she doesn't sound very nice. She doesn't allow bikers in her store because thinks that cyclists scare off other patrons and that we scratch up her old floor. Again, I've not met her and we generally ride through before her store opens.

We got to camp pretty darn early again and we scored a great spot near a fence and next to a very friendly Canadian, Herbert. He is my former boss's Canadian twin - even sounded like him! We went to this pizza joint called Pizza Palace. It was amazing pie and I recommend the Spice King for any spicy pizza lover. They also have a very nice selection of beers on tap and in bottles.

Day 5
It was sort of strange waking up and just going to breakfast. This day we had the option to hang out or go for a 45 mile ride. We decided to head to Mackinaw Island. It was my first time and it was awesome. We ended up riding about 18 miles after lapping the island a couple times. I thought "Wow, it'll be great not to worry about cars." Yet, there were many more obstacles. Many people don't know biker etiquette and stop without warning and in the middle of the road. Children are flying around in every direction and adults were crashing in front of us. There's also lots of horse poop. I think the sh*t scrapers were on strike the day we visited. We checked out the library and hiked up to see the rocks. We enjoyed lunch at the Seabiscuit Cafe. Very tasty.

That night we just walked around eating goodies. Somehow we didn't manage to get any fudge.

Day 6
The ride back to our car in Indian River was a bit rough for me. My body was under the impression that our day off in Mackinaw was the end of the tour. The last day I rode 36.14 miles and it took me 3 hours and 35 minutes. At the end of the ride we celebrated by eating cake. We bid everyone farewell and had lunch at McDonald's. We wrapped up the day by shopping at an outlet mall. When we arrived back in Detroit, a giant storm had just passed through and cooled the place down. That made me realize how nice the weather was up north.

My final count for the trip was just over 220 miles. I'd love to say I'm going next year for the 20th, but it would be like 1-2 weeks before my wedding. Not likely, but never say never.

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