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.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The return home.

       The ride home was really an event in a couple of ways.  Sunday, "the boys" and I broke camp pretty early to hit the road.  I had half decided to make a two day trip out of it but on the MUP outside of Jackson I had a flat. I couldn't find a puncture of any kind but a few bits of sand inside the tire.  I assume some sand got in there from my adventure the other night and created a slow leak.  No problem, the temperature was rising and my decision was made for me.  It was getting hot and promised to break 90 in mid afternoon, the couple I had talked to the other day mentioned a campground on the other side of Homer.  I rode to Homer and went to a BP station to cool off and get directions.  The young woman there thought like a car and asked me how I was going to get there, "it's five miles from here."  I told her I had just ridden from Ann Arbor, she stared a few moments then gave me directions to the campground.  After following her directions, I approached the "campground" and realized I had been terrorized by a local again.  The "campground" is an RV resort, the membership type.  The owner was nice and called another campground to make a reservation for me.  It was ten miles away, by my estimation and the map.  According to Google it was 14 miles away.  I followed my directions.  It was getting hot by then and before I got to the campground, I was hearing the tar bubbles popping under my tires.  The campground was mainly an open field for RV camping, but being Sunday they had little business.   It was simple, I was there to sleep and I did.
    The morning came pretty quickly, and I awoke to the sounds of an approaching thunderstorm.  Ten minutes later I was packed up and had the bike sitting under an awning outside the shower house.  I waited and was able to check the radar since the campground had wi-fi.  It looked good, one band of storms to go through and another west of Chicago, it looked like I would have a 4 hour window.  Now that I could live with.  After a shower, I hit the road, 3 miles up the road, I stopped at a convenience store for coffee.  Before I walked up to the cashier, the sky opened up.  It rained buckets.   I guessed this was the first band, or something, kinda, I hoped.  I waited for a break and decided to press on.  The rain died down and I went on.  A few minutes later, a car caught up with me to tell me a storm was coming.  I thought, "Hey, No kidding!" But he interrupted my thought and said it was a possible tornado heading from the southwest and was  about 30 minutes away.  I started looking for shelter and found a place that would provide reasonable shelter from lightning and wind.
I parked at an out building under repair and used some of the plastic packaging for shingles to cover the saddle and as much of the bike as possible.  The building itself was surrounded by trees and some metal buildings just far enough away that I felt reasonably protected from wind and lightning.
It was a good thing, the storm was severe.  Winds went by at speeds in excess of 50 mph with severe lightning and hail.  It continued long enough for me to kick back in my raincape and finish my coffee.  After 45 minutes or so, the wind died, the rain went vertical again and I waited for the lightning to go where I wasn't.  The rule of thumb that I had learned as a lifegaurd is simply that if you can hear thunder, you could have been hit by lightning.   I waited until it had been more than more than 10 minutes since the last thunderclap, and pedaled toward the west where the skies were getting lighter.
    I got a bit nervous when I rode through some open fields
where the tallest thing around was a few cranes out feeding on the newly mown field.  There were a couple of atmospheric bursts of lightning, but they were away in the direction behind me.  I kept riding to reach some rolling woodlands which provide better cover and saw the result of the wind shear that came through.

That was a driveway before the tree came down.
   The rest of the trip was pleasant, the storm cooled things off, the rain disipated, I portaged over a few downed trees, detoured around some live electrical wires and got home with only 3 hours in the saddle.
   It was what I would call a very successful weekend trip.  300 plus miles traveled in 4 1/2 days, I learned that Google bike directions are not in beta but Llama stage, local's think like cars, I avoided certain death at the hands of a terrible storm, found out that Ma Barker has a sock fetish, and made a lot of new friends.
That was a good weekend.

No comments:

Post a Comment