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, July 23, 2013

Ridin' a RAT

This past weekend was a great time to go on an adventure.  It was the end of the passing heat wave, a storm came through Friday night and knocked out the power for half the city.  Fortunately, I had plans to leave town on Saturday morning and wasted no time getting away.  So while my son sat around wondering how long the battery of his laptop would last.
I took off for a weekend on Fisherman's Island on the northeastern coast of Lake Michigan.
It's a really beautifully wooded peninsula which used to be an island until the water levels in the Great Lakes began to recede.  Don't worry though, if Al Gore has his way, it will be an island again.
It's about 5 miles south of Charlevoix, a beautiful little village which has a reputation as a great Chicago Society getaway.  Several notorious gangsters are famous for hanging out in the area back in the '30's and Ernest Hemingway spent most of his childhood summers in the area with his family.  Many of the Nick Adams stories refer to or were set in the area.
But this weekend, I found the city filled up with a gigantic annual car show.
The downtown and marina area were overflowing with examples of the auto crafts.
Moderns mixed with street rods and 
I especially liked this old Cadillac two seater with a rumble seat in the back.
I thoght this would make a great center piece for a bike expo.
We'll call it the "Future of Motoring."
Apparently the reputation as a home for one of the greatest minds in the history of human existence means nothing to the populous.
They built a monument to a cherry pie.
Ernest doesn't pay the bills around here I guess.
Actually I came up to ride the RAT (Ride Around Torch lake).  It's an annual ride held by the Cherry Capital Cycling club which encompasses Torch Lake a few miles south of Charlevoix.  I had been through the area last year on my ride back and forth across the state and was impressed enough to check up on any organized rides in the area.  Sure enough there was one.  On Sunday, I drove to Elk Rapids, another tourist getaway on the big lake, and met a friend,
Steve Sawyer, who is from Detroit.  We had a great day, with temps in the mid '70's, no humidity and some very moderate terrain to cover on the metric century.  The event is really well managed.
There are 3 stops set almost exactly 15 miles apart with a good selection of refreshments the most impressive of which is an early sampling of this years local produce.
I'll be back just for the cherries, they were perfect.  There is another peculiar attraction,
This ride is particularly female friendly for some reason.
Steve and I both noticed there were more groups of women here at this ride than any we had seen.
I don't know if it's just because of the area and the season or something about the terrain makes it more popular for the girls.
They were certainly out to support this one, more so than any ride I have attended.
That can be a good reason to come back as well.
Monday morning came around too soon and I had to come back to reality, hoping the power had been restored to my home.  It had, and I am settling in to get ready for another trip.
For the next week I will be trying my hand at mobile blogging and hope I can provide 
 daily posts from my upcoming trip


  1. Looks pretty great!

    I'm beginning to plan a ride around Lake Michigan over two weeks next summer. I may just meet you somewhere along the way. Not sure how to PM you. Marcus

  2. Just keep an eye on the blog, I watch all the comments I get every day. When planning in Michigan, you can order bike maps from the MDOT website. They are great! Each one shows segments of Michigan with the bike friendly roads marked in green, less friendly in yellow and the absolutely dangerous routes in red. That is a place to start in Michigan.