This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A five day weekend on the road

This past weekend was a good one for a bike trip.  I had occasion to attend a campout with a large group of Order of the Arrow members at a Section Conclave.  For those unfamiliar, the OA, as it is called, is a service organisation connected to Boy Scouts of America comprised of veteran outdoorsy types.  Why it exists and what it does...well if you don't know, you won't.  If I told you I'd have to kill you, and I'm too tired to mess with that.  Anyway it was a worthy destination 130 miles away and gave me an opportunity to continue tuning up my legs for longer trips.  I planned to make frequent stops and stay at a hotel 1/2 the distance to the camp.  I usually
gear up to travel 60-80 miles per day.  I have made this particular trip in one day before, but it was not fun.  60-80 miles is a reasonable goal providing time for mistakes and problems, anything longer seems like work to me.
I was loaded as I usually am except for cooking gear, they intended to feed us in the dining hall at the camp.  The trip was a combination of county roads and MUP's  which extend through Grand Rapids and beyond.
The Hunq and I were happy on the road and eventhough I complain about this particular trail, it is a comfortable trip when segregated from cars.  The trails provide a sense of comaradarie to the mutual users, most of whom are willing to stop and chat, especially when they see a fully loaded rider.
This gentleman in his seventies was warned that lawnchairs were prohibited but makes it a point to ride 50 miles a day and the trail provides a comfort level for a low riding trike that can't be had on the street.
Back on the county roads, I had a first hand look at the rain and flooding which had made local corn fields look like rice paddies.

It was quite a change that one week made, buds and flowers were sprouting on the trees

and soon the trees would be filled with leaves and the air will be full of flowers blooming over the countryside.
The trip went without a hitch, the group at camp were all overwhelmed at the fact that I had ridden there.  It's always amazing to me that a group like this who think nothing of backpacking cannot imagine doing the same on a machine.  The questions that come up after they recover from jaw drop are; "How do you...Where do you put...Where do you stay...How do you eat...?"  All this comes in amazement from people who spend their free time carrying a weeks worth of provisions on their backs up and down the side of mountains.  It takes them waaay out of their comfort zones.
The return brought an opportunity to see some things I wouldn't normally.
An unusual view of the Calder Plaza and sculpture in downtown Grand Rapids,
and beautiful parking arangement outside the Art Institute.
I was especially pleased that after covering 4 times the distance in only twice the time I did last week, my legs were not lead weights coming into the home stretch.  I definitely slept well, but am getting ready for longer adventures in the coming months.

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