Back in the US, back in the US, back…

We’ve had The Beatles doing Dylan back in South Dakota (Rocky Raccoon). Now it’s time for The Beatles doing The Beach Boys.

We’re on our penultimate week in this journey. That is sometimes hard to believe.

It was 75 degrees at 5:30 AM. It did not get cooler as the day went on. Many campers had fires going all day Sunday. Must be some primitive urge, as I could see no good reason to have a campfire on a 95 degree day, especially during the daylight hours. The air was thick with smoke.

We started the day by crossing the Rainbow Bridge from Canada back to the US. While looking back from the falls I saw a structure that looked suspiciously like the Space Needle. Rather than looking it up, I’ll ask if any of you know what it is.

Back in the US we ran into a stretch of horrendous road awaiting repaving. I think I accumulated several years worth of head trauma from the shaking.

 

The first 15-20 miles were urban riding, then mixed urban/suburban riding, suburban/small town (where the suburbs of one town bled into the next). Finally after 50 miles we got into the country with mixed farmland and forest. At mile 58 I heard a train as I approached a crossing. I was across in plenty of time but knew we would cross those tracks again in a few miles. I tried racing the train but its route was much more direct than mine – enough so that I didn’t have to wait; it was already through the crossing.

We had two detours after cue sheets were passed out last night, so we followed arrows on the pavement and not the cue sheet. Mileage was thus unknown until we arrived at SUNY-Geneseo.

We arrived to a darkening sky. Later riders were hit by a thunderstorm. So far here there has been rumbling and a few drops.

Lest any of you think I am writing this in my parents’ basement and faking the photos, check out the Cycle America Facebook page for actual photos of me in various places across the country. Plus, my parents have been dead for years.

Niagara Falls! (Did I say that already?)

A heat advisory today. I forced myself to sleep in until nearly 7. Cleaned and lubed bike, replaced cleats and heel pads on shoes, charged phone, put away clean laundry. Backup battery is on solar charger now. To a fast food place to listen to MAYCO concert online due to slow connection at campground. A great concert except that the stream went offline for a while. Is will be rebroadcast on WVMO on August 19 at 3 PM, both on air and online. As a result, I was able to find this 3 Stooges clip I inexplicably recall from childhood. I’ll upload this post before I return to camp, or it’ll never upload.

I didn’t go to the falls today, as the bus trip is over an hour each way and I was advised that traffic was terrible for a bike ride (but had been OK at 7 AM). We’ll be crossing the border Monday morning so I’ll see the Falls then.

Several new riders are coming online for this week, and one staff member is returning after being gone for a few weeks.

A hay bale tractor and a tractor driving doctor.21F72DD1-208E-4E8F-88DA-8A07387CE3AD

To Michigan…and beyond!

Sunday, July 29, Ludington, MI

We’re in a junior high school. We have internet access but much of the internet is blocked. WordPress is blocked, YouTube is blocked, MAYCO is blocked. I’m not sure how or when this will be posted. (Hah! I found a workaround!)

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I rode into town for breakfast at the only cafe I could find open (besides the one where dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow are scheduled).

I ran into Porter, one of our mechanics, and asked him about plans after the ride. He said he might return to the west coast to wrench for another coast-to-coast tour starting a couple of days after this one ends; or he might ride self-supported down the eastern seaboard and back home.

After one week of riding the question was how to sustain this level of activity for eight more weeks. After six weeks, it is how to give it up after only three more weeks.

Will I have to ride the long way to work, going around the lake? Yesterday’s 40 miles felt like a warmup; we were all ready for more. My riding style has changed; in the distance of my normal commute to work, I am now just getting warmed up and ready to get up to speed for the day. Since riding hours correspond with my normal working hours, will I want to go for a long ride after work, or will I be done for the day?

The Door County Century is in September and on a day off; maybe I’ll ride that this year if I can still find a campsite this late. A Century Ride used to be a Big Deal; now it’s just another day at the office.

After breakfast I rode back to camp and walked to the laundromat, where there was a steady stream of cyclists. Back at camp, the dew still isn’t off the grass, so I can’t spread things out to dry yet after packing up wet on Saturday morning.

In the midst of writing this, Robin and Wendy invited me to join them to see a movie. They didn’t mention that it was three miles out of town on a five lane expressway.  I needed the exercise. We saw the new “Mission: Impossible” film and the theatre manager invited us to stash our bikes in the box office. There were six of us all together.

Cycle America lingo

A few weeks ago at dinner Ed referred to me as an EFI. I had no clue what he was talking about, but it seemed complimentary so I smiled and nodded. A few minutes later he called me an ELK. That also seemed complimentary, but my ignorance must have been more obvious this time, so he explained that it meant “Every Last Kilometer” (as in, that’s what I’m going to ride). EFI suddenly became clear.

Terry refers to those who sleep on gym floors in lieu of camping as “floor floppers”.

About ½-⅔ of us (in any given week) are riding coast-to-coast. Beth refers to the others as “weeklings”.

Thanks

Thanks again to Mikko, Rosebud, Tim, Jeremy, and Sarah, who all came out to see me during the Wisconsin week. I understand special thanks are due to Noreen, for a heroic but failed effort to find Cytomax for Sarah to bring to me. Thanks again to Tyler for taking on my duties, and to everyone else for picking up the slack (and for caring enough about what I’m up to to read this). Deb, if you lack for ideas for the Friday song, I’ve left enough links to keep you in music for more than nine weeks. I hope the new residents are learning the ropes.

Next week

The first half of the week we’ll be crossing Michigan. On Thursday we cross the border into Ontario and continue across it to Niagara Falls. We’ll have our next day off there before crossing back into the US on Monday, August 6.

Also next week: If you’re in Madison, WI, go hear MAYCO (the Madison Area Youth Chamber Orchestra) on Saturday night at First United Methodist Church, 203 Wisconsin Avenue, at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $10, students by donation.

If you can’t make it Saturday, you can go to the Chazen Museum Sunday. Concert starts at 12:30. Be there by noon to get a seat. It is live-streamed, so they don’t like to seat people late.

If you’re anywhere else you can go to https://www.chazen.wisc.edu/index.php?/events-calendar-demo/event/sunday-afternoon-live-at-the-chazen-8-5-18/ to find the live-stream link.