Thursday, July 26, 2007

Day 39 - Birch Run to Port Huron MI 90 miles

Day – 39 – Birch Run to Port Huron, MI
A nice day for a bicycle ride through the country, this big wide country of ours.

Special thanks!
Just a note to let all of you know how much I appreciate the comments and feedback on the blog. It really helps me feel connected to friends and family and makes it all that much more fun to keep this up. Again, your comments and names are really appreciated. Special thanks to Russ Morgan, my long time biking buddy who has been the most prolific commenter. I wish you were riding this with me Russ. It really is your kind of ride. I am glad you are at least enjoying it vicariously.

Euphoria Meter (1-10): 6
It is a good thing that I enjoy riding my bicycle. I am getting a lot of it. It is difficult for me to feel euphoric (an exaggerated feeling of elation) when the days start to feel like deja vu all over again. Today was another flat, corn and soybean field day of 90 miles starting with no wind to a brisk headwind half way through the ride. Most felt the ride was a pleasant rolling recovery type of a ride. As a group I think we are getting pretty good at this, for whatever that is worth.

Ride Stats:
Distance: 90 miles
Riding Time: 5:19 hours
Max Speed: 27.4
Average Speed: 16.9
Total Miles traveled: 2,858
Miles to go: 771

I am getting nervous writing about this anymore. It would be hard to script a better bicycling day. Starting shortly after dawn with a hint of “chill” in the air…66 degrees and a little humid. We rode through some fog and thick, humid air. The sky was overcast but cleared up as we rode. The sun peeked in and out of the clouds and it never did rain on us, although it felt like it wanted to. Gerard, the bird watcher pointed out the the sparrows were flying low, a sign of impending bad weather. Cows were laying on the ground, another such sign(?). However, it never did rain on us and the only negative was a brisk headwind for the second half of the ride. I’ve decided headwinds are a worthwhile price to pay for such glorious weather. Thank you God!

Incidents and Rider Report
None known… Tri motor and everyone else made the ride uneventfully as far as I know.

How I Feel (1-10): 10
It is almost embarrassing to feel this good! We took it a little easier today than the two previous days, but I still felt like I had plenty of reserves. Maybe it was the 16” x 10” x 4” high plate of mushroom pasta I finished off completely yesterday at Tony’s in Birch Run Michigan. What they lacked in quality pasta they made up in quantity!

Stuff that happened:
Last night I finally got through to my wife Cindy who is on vacation with some girl friends. It was good to hear her voice again after a two day hiatus. It was especially good to hear her laughter, know that she’s having a good time and know that it is only 11 more days until I can see her and hold her in my arms again. I miss you honey and can’t wait to see you again!
This morning we had breakfast in two shifts. Shift one started at the hotel at 5:00am. We all loaded at 6:00am. Those that ate at 5:00 could take off. The second shift eaters began eating a nice sit-down served breakfast at a nearby establishment. The food was very good, but the service was hard to explain. About twenty of us took this option. Those that showed up and ordered first got served last. It’s the second time this phenomenon has occurred on this trip and it is hard to understand. In any event the second shift eaters all departed at roughly 7-7:15 for the long flat ride to Port Huron.
My good riding buddy Gerard and I hooked up at the restaurant and rode side by side today for almost all of the 90 miles. The roads were pretty quiet and we were able to chat about all sorts of things. He has been studying bridge for the last few years. Gerard and his wife belong to two regular clubs; play in tournaments and he plays at least 3 times a week and periodically on line to stay sharp. Bidding strategies, technology tools, bridge unions, and many other aspects of the game were shared by Gerard. We also discussed the privatization of the City Bus Company that Gerard has worked for in Nimegan Holland and the role he played in that conversion. For years Gerard drove a bus and shared what a great job it was because he was able to read almost 4 hours a day and learned all sorts of things and read many many books which he enjoys doing.
It is nice having company for 90 miles with someone who rides along at your pace. Gerard has been a very nice companion for these rides. We seem to help each other when needed and the companionship makes the ride seem to go pretty quick. Thanks Gerard!

Tomorrow we get to ride across the famous “Blue Water Bridge” to Canada. The really exciting part about it is that this very busy bridge will close temporarily so that we may cross as a group, in unison, all 75 of us with a policy escort.


mom said...

How neat to cross over the Blue Water Bridge as an escorted group while the bridge is closed to other traffic.

Max and Mark said...

Ralph, that's a beautiful picture of the bridge... who did you steal it from?