With a few weeks still left to cover only 1000 miles or so, our days have become rather leisurely. After a nice relaxed breakfast we hit the road, this time defying the great overlord that is Google and heading due East in the most direct way (instead of its suggested route). Although Google is not infallible (having led us to a dead end yesterday), I could see why it did not take us down certain roads today. For the first 10 miles or so, we juddered over gravelly paths and dirt tracks, the only compensation being the tree shade overhead that saved us from the already intense morning sun. We eventually did join up with the Musketawa Trail leading from Muskegon toward Grand Rapids, which for the brief 10 miles or so we were on took us along beautiful fresh asphalt surfaces.
We arrived in the city in the early afternoon, and after relaxing in a park briefly (i.e. Made full use of the swings), headed over to the WarmShowers hosts who were kindly putting us up for the night. I’m always amazed by people’s hospitality, not least of all when like tonight, despite the busy family lives they lead, we’re still made to feel incredibly welcome.
They also incidentally have a peddle powered blender
which they use to make fruit smoothies.
The afternoon was spent with Ryan down at the local community bike workshop where he volunteers, which also gave me the chance to work on my bike and finally replace the tyre that I’ve been carrying around for so long. My chain too, after the past few days cycling along the (over priced) limestone trails in Wisconsin had been left dusty and dry, and every link once again received due attention.
This place is another great community initiative that allows people gain access to the tools and knowledge to help them work on their own bikes. And it looks like plenty of people use it, with an almost steady stream arriving with a variety of problems needing fixing.
One guy in particular, who either through his shere enthusiasm (or perhaps intoxication) was particularly vocal about his two wheeled “silver bullet”. Only needing a new tube, he seemed to be there for some time, talking about how sweet his ride was, that he was gonna be getting a hair cut after this, and that friends don’t need to be chased after if they ride off to still be friends. We were also treated to his improvised song which I have entitled “apple good for you”. The lyrics were along the lines of:
Apple apple good for you,
Apple apple sweet and good,
Eat that apple it’s good for you.
Or something like that.
Mere minutes after he waved goodbye, he was back with a flat tyre, tragically having run over a pin. You can imagine the reprecussions of the injustice of it all, with cries of “someone wants to stop me ridin ma bike”, a “I just wanna ride my bike man!”. Still, it was all good natured, and it was a fun afternoon (what’s not fun about spending an afternoon in a bike workshop??).
Even more impressive though was Ryan’s daughter, who at only 5 years old looked as confident a cyclist on the road as Jack or I. Maybe not a 2012 entrant, but surely not long…
The heat’s really turned up again today, and with another day in the high 90’s tomorrow (look at me with my imperial references), it’ll have to be a pretty early start to beat that heat….