After a verrrry loooong winter we're back at it. We signed up for a tour with Mike Roon owner of Michigan Coast Riders. We are going to ride our bicycles counter-clockwise around Lake Michigan. According to my travel guide Lake Michigan is "the third largest of the five Great Lakes in surface area. It is about 300 miles long, an average of 75 miles wide, 118 miles across at its widest point, and up to 925 feet deep." Starting in Muskegon, Michigan, our route will take us just over 1000 miles (assuming we don't get lost) and 14 days. That turns out to be about a 75-mile bike ride every day with one day off. There are nine riders with three support crew members. We, somehow, tricked our good friend Joy Hunter into riding with us. This is her first time riding anything like this. We, also, get to reconnect with our pals, JB and Loren, from Maine. JB rode the East Coast with us last summer.
Yesterday we met up with the team and our bikes were assembled by, Shane and Brad, our talented mechanics. My bike, affectionately known as Gladys, had a bent derailleur acquired upon shipping. Shane was able to bend her back into shape and I think we'll be ok. (Cross your fingers.)
We took the bikes out for a little warm-up ride. I had been craving stroopwaffels (a yummy, syrupy, Dutch cookie) and ta-duh! we happened upon a cute Dutch Bakery in Muskegon----owned by an authentic Dutchman.
little bakery was decorated with klompen (wooden shoes) and all kinds of Dutch trinkets.
Sunday we didn't ride. We watched the other cyclists take off from the hotel, then we went to church. According to my father-in-law (and Disney), "it's a small, small world." We attended the Spring Lake Ward. It was just two miles down the road from our hotel. So, we walk into the chapel and sit down. I look up and there is Ken Otto, the ophthalmologist I served with in Cambodia last summer! What a great surprise to see him again. I had forgotten that he is a Michigander.
A huge part of the fun of these bike trips is the people you meet---whether it's the other cyclists, or random people along the way.
And the food.... Just tryin' to be honest.
Tomorrow is our first day riding. We are excited to get going!
For more photos see the Michigan Coast Riders blog, and also here.