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.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What is up with that water thing anyway?

It goes well with Scotch, I remember that from my post college days when I pretended to afford drinking it in the more popular Westport/Plaza bars in Kansas City.  I really drink a lot of water and most people who ride bikes find a reason to also.  What I wonder is, why do we look at it?   People go out of their way to just stare at big pools of water.
As I mentioned in the previous 3 posts, I spent the past few days riding around drinking at the lake shore.  We call it a lake, it would be a sea if only the water were salty.  Anyway, it struck me how important that vague demarcation between sky and horizon can be.  I rode north from South Haven to have lunch in Saugatuck which, by straight roads is 25 miles.  But in between are all these short
little "Lakeshore Drives"where people have built little summer cottages to enjoy the view. 
 There are hundreds of these quaint little places tucked away along the shore line and some neighborhoods have bought the roads from the county in order to keep tourists like me away. I understand that.  If I paid that much for a "cottage" I would want my privacy too, after all, it's hard to keep to your self when you only have 8,000 square feet to work with.  Searching for as many "Lakeshore Drives" as possible made a 25 mile ride stretch to about 45.  I didn't mind, finding all these cul de sacs was like playing hide and seek in an 8,000 square foot cottage.  The questions that popped into my head were; not only, why did I go out of my way to look at a hunk of water, why do we value it so much we make it so expensive to own a glimpse, but how can that many people have that great a relationship with that many banks to spend that much of somebody else's money to just look at water a couple of times a year?  I could wax philosophical and ramble on about our primal instincts to return to the womb, and the desire for unending nourishment, blah, blah.
I could even get into a poetic trance about wheelbarrows and rainwater

but instead I went to Saugatuck for lunch, and to check out the art galleries. There were some good buys being marked down at the end of the season, I'll be back. 
 I really did pick an excellent week to be at the shore, it was perfect weather, but the downside was camping among all the people who attempted to bring their homes with them.
Seriously, an area like this gets overrun and there are no places to hide out.  
They are nice enough people to talk to, but come on,
who wants to spend their time free in a trailer park?
If I could find a more rustic site in the area, I would snap it up.  Instead, I made a day trip away  until it was close to dark.   I thought about subletting my campsite as a parking space,
most of these people had two other vehicles beside the bus or trailer.
I avoided the idea and took off across the countryside again, to meander around to the Yankee Springs forest.  My old stomping grounds made for a good day of rest
and the day I spent there, I had one neighbor.

It was a young couple and their dog, just getting away for a weekend, nice people, quiet and friendly.  They fished while I explored the mountain bike trails in the area.  
The trails were, as usual, beyond my expertise, but that didn't keep me from having fun.
I had wanted to try out the Schwalbe Big Ben tires and this was a good test.  

They perform well enough for me.  I had to walk out of a couple really deep, sandy bottoms, but that may have been my lack of experience.  They seemed to float across most of the sandy stuff pretty well.  If I was more familiar with the trails and better at it they would been adequate.  The end result is that I'll be using these tires on the Hunq for a long time.  They seem to have the right combination of tread and speed.  The 50mm Big Ben is a perfect match for this bike. 
What an excellent way to spend a few days.  It was a total of 5 days, 3 days traveling with full camping gear, broken up by 2 days of local exploration. I only experienced one really hot and exhausting day. It was a nice bit of variety with about 300 miles of cycling worked in.

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