Zoo-de-Mac 2007

I went to Mackinac Island for a bike ride. I drove 900 miles round trip to ride my bike for 50.8 miles. The mathematics don’t seem to work. My cousin invited me to go and how could I pass up a ride and spend more time with my family?

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Thursday I picked up the car (ended up with a Chrysler PT Cruiser). Drove home, packed quickly and then started the seven-hour drive to Petoskey, MI which is the city just south of the resort where we were staying. I was about four hours early for my cousin to arrive with her boyfriend and a friend of theirs. We slept after flipping between the hockey game (Detroit lost) and basketball game (Chicago lost against the Detroit Pistons).

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Friday my cousin and I went on a “short” ride (5 miles each way up hills) and nearly got lost. We found the town and brunch.

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That night the rest of the crew came up. We switched to a much larger room (queen bed and four pullouts!). That’s when the drinking REALLY started. Jager bombs. *shudder* The first night we each had 7. THEN more drinking. We went downstairs to the pre-ride party. Now. If you’re planning to ride 51 miles the next day with a chance of storms… you’d think you’d not drink so much. For some reason I didn’t heed that warning. About 12:30a I was VERY intoxicated, VERY dehydrated and VERY sleepy.

Saturday morning we all stumble out of bed. Slowly. Showered. Dressed. First things first: take the cars to the end point in Mackinac City, about 45 miles from the resort (the starting point). That’s 1-1/2 hours round trip. Everything in Northern Michigan is FAR away. Coffee in one hand, water in the other.

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Bike is ready to go. We start the ride. Everyone else but of our group of 9 is on a mountain bike. I’m on a road bike. I see a hill, I call it and I take it. The first nice hill I was able to get to about 35 miles per hour. I’d stop at the top of the hill, or even turn back around. There’s a rush when you go that fast using your legs, gravity and physics. Then the rain. At first a pissy rain. Then it rained. Then it stopped. Then it pissed again. Then it stopped. Then the sun came out. Then it went away. Then it rained. Then it stopped. At the halfway point we stopped at Legs Inn, apparently famous, for a turkey sammich and resting. I rubbed my feet. Twenty minutes later, we’re off again. Don’t want to linger and fall asleep. We continue. One more big, lovely hill. We’re near the water now and the roads are twisting something beautiful. Near the bottom of the hill a pshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhht and there goes the rear tube. The one time of all my rides I didn’t bring a kit I actually need it. Luckily one of our group had tools, spare tube and CO2 cartridge for air. Twenty minutes later we’re back on the road. The rest of the ride went without a hitch. Toward the end we had to race the rain back to the city.

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We ate a strange restaurant filled with stuffed (taxidermized?) animals and a wilderness scene. The service is awful, but the food is really good.

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We finish that and head to the Island for drinking. There are no cars allowed there, so we take a 25-minute ferry ride across a bit of Lake Superior. We get there around 9:30p and, after MANY drinks, we return on the 1:00a ferry (else we’d be stuck until 8:00a the next morning).

Sunday I get up slowly. I didn’t drink too much because the thought of getting in a car for 7 hours with a hangover was a bad idea (been there… hated it). After goodbyes and packing, I headed south to catch up with my Aunt at my grandmother’s place (she passed away in ’04 but they’re getting the house ready to sell). My cousins Krista and Carrie were there so I spent about four hours with them catching up and spending time. I didn’t expect this, but I have been really into getting reconnected with my family. This was nice and I didn’t care how late I was going to get home.

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After the afternoon, I got back on the road. Six-and-a-half hours and 494 miles later I’m home, with a parking space a half-block away (that’s REALLY good!) and I unpack the car.