Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Michigander on the Michigander: Part Two

Bicyclist Hunger: How can one be ravenously hungry just hours after one ate?
 This is a common occurrence among us bikers. It led Josh to begging strangers for food and being happy to devour a dusty rice cake that had been lying in their backpack for who knows how long. It led me to eat Funyuns, numerous protein bars, and cheese whiz on top of rice, stuff I would never have touched if I hadn't been biking. It makes food especially tasty. I've eaten meals at little hole in the wall places and thought, how great is this food. I would return at some point not biking and eat the same food thinking what was I thinking? There are some exceptions to this. Naomi and I stopped at Paula's cafe in Indian River on our first ride 9 years ago and thought the food was fantastic. Would it be so just riding in a car? Yes it was. Thumbs up to them. Also our post ride Polish feast at the Legs Inn Friday. Yeah I was especially hungry but it was so, so good! There was an article in the WSJ yesterday about riders on RAGBRAI (ride across Iowa). Although they expend 5000 calories a day, the food tents set up along the way turn them into gluttons that actually gain weight overall. Initially I tried to avoid  the greasy breakfasts meats but found I needed something slowly digestible to stave off hunger. The day we stopped at Atlanta, there was no convenient place to stop for lunch. Yeah we could ride the mile or so to  town but that would be work! I tried to wait until dinner. Everyone else had the same idea. People were lined up at dinner and went into a feeding frenzy. Not pretty.

One chain ring Sue: I have a 3x7 or 21 speed bike. The rear derailleur works just fine. The front? Not so much. The bike is 20 years old and I can't remember when or  if I had it tuned. I know I had the road bike tuned and the other bike that Naomi used. For the first two days on the trail, I kept myself on the 2nd ring, too afraid of the chain coming off. This was fine but on the third day, against the wind and up the hills, I had to switch over to the granny ring, not easy. I was too afraid to switch back. I needed the granny ring for the 550 foot climb but after Lewiston, we just had little hills. Higher gears would have been nice and I tried but the derailleur just would not cooperate. On the flats and the downhills, I just coasted as the wind was pushing me. I pedaled only on the uphills or if my speed dropped below 12 mph or so. People of course zipped right by me but I would have needed to spin way above 100 cpm to go faster. Rasta man left me in Lewiston as he didn't see me sitting by the lake so I didn't worry about slowing him down. The next day we were back on the trails requiring more work and lower gears though we dropped 770 feet. On the last day when I left the trails to go along Lake Huron with a tailwind, I did get into the 2nd ring finally so I was able to cruise at a reasonable speed. The third ring? Maybe someday. Josh used it when he had the bike.

Itinerant bicyclists: Listening to some of the others, life seemed to be just one bicycle ride after another. Do they work? Have families? Didn't seem like it.

Are there only Michiganders on the Michigander?: No sirree. CA, TX, CO, FL, NY were represented along with our border states and country.

My press,0,127677.story?track=rss Well my name is spelled wrong and they didn't put the picture of me and Rasta Man that they took. They did put my buddy Pitbull's picture in though. I got much more press from the Munising paper years ago plus pictures

stay tuned for part 3

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