Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bicycle trip progress report

My bicycle trip around Lake Michugan is such a wonderful experience so far. Although distance is not what I had expected I am pleased with where I am.

First leg-May 6th: 36th and Burlingame along the Kent Trails pathway North to John Ball Park then West up the steepest hill I've ever seen on Lake Michigan drive to Wilson Avenue in Standale. By that time my legs were rubber and I was grateful to see my support vehicle pulling up. It was back home to ther blue room and a nap.

Second leg-May 20th: West on Lake Michigan Drive to the top of the hill and East boundery of Allendale. Winds were 25mph steady and the hills were intimidating. legs getting a bit stronger but still out of shape. I had to laugh at my overconfidence and having to face reality with humility.

Third leg-May 27th: 6:00 am, dissapointed with my progress I made up my mind I would tackle the metropolis of Allendale on my own with no support. An attempt to get over myself. East city limit to West city limit...and back to get my car. Quiet, beautiful sunrise, very little wind. Excellent for contemplation and facing the reality thing. A needed mental adjustment.

Fourth leg June 3rd: West city limit of Allendale to The Yellow Jacket Bar and Grill, about 7 miles. (No, they were closed) Once again the high winds were kicking my butt. 25mph steady, gusting to 45mph. I maintained a steady pace and never stopped my legs from churning those pedals. A victory of sorts. The legs were there for me. I needed that.

Fifth leg-June 17th: Yellow Jacket Bar and Grill West on Lake Michigan Drive to Lakeshore Drive and turned North. Lake Michigan Drive from US 31 to Lakeshore Drive was scary. No shoulder for a bicycle to safely ride. Cars and trucks whizzing by at 55mph. One particular truck went by maybe only a foot from my handle bar. Just as she was passing she laid on the horn to let me know she didn't like a bicycle riding on "her" road I guess. Takes all kinds. lakeshore drive is magnificant! A bike path on the East side is smooth and friendly. Some bikers still road on the street. I didn't understand that. It takes all kinds. I arrived at City Beach in Grand Haven close to noon. The sun was shining, people were beginning to gather for the days activities and as the water evaporated the steam rose from the sand like a fog, giving the elusion, to my mind of zombies walking. Kinda fun. I continued to the Northern edge of Grand Haven and stopped for the day. It was Father's Day and my kids and grandkids came in from out of town. A great way to end that day.

This weekend I plan to go on from Grand Haven North as far as my legs and time slot allow me. I've found that if I ride approximately 5 miles and rest a bit I can go another 5 miles with little difficulty. Now if I can string a few of those together in one day I'll get somewhere. I'm still learning.

One last thing before I go.I can't help but notice how things have changed in 50 years since I walked around the lake. Back then many of the things we did along the shoreline, due to our ignorance were destroying it. We have come to the point of realization and much of what we do now is restoring it. Progress! Yeah, that's a good thing but still a long way to go. Just like my trip.

Have a wonderful day............Joe
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