Day 31: The journey to Ann Arbor

I am exhausted today.  I am not sure how I pedaled the 90 miles from Portland Michigan to Ann Arbor but somehow I got here.

I was exhausted like this once before in southern Michigan.  When I was younger a friend convinced me to come out and do the Wolverine 200 Belle Isle Bicycle Marathon in Detroit.  This marathon was simple.  For about 40 years an island in the middle of the river, next to downtown Detroit, was shut down to all car traffic for one day. 

Bicyclists then pedaled round and round the island in an attempt to do 200 miles in 24 hours.  The first time I tried, I was only able to do about 150 miles.  The second time I did the 200 miles with time to spare.  At the end of the 200 miles I was exhausted.  I got off my bike after hitting the double century goal and fell asleep in the grass by the side of the road.

I am feeling that kind of exhausted.  Two days ago I averaged 13 mph over the day.  Yesterday I averaged 12 mph.  Today, it is down to 11 mph.  That might not seem much but the two miles per hour difference means sitting on the saddle an extra hour.  That extra hour hurts my bottom, a lot, especially on Michigan’s roads, which look like the state’s highway department ran out of money years ago.  I have not seen roads in such poor condition since Montana.

I need a rest day.  The last one was almost two weeks ago in Bismark, North Dakota.   My son, however, is flying out and will be here tomorrow.  He is expecting to go riding with me.  He is also a very strong rider.  We did a 70 mile training trip together just before I started this adventure.  After the 70 mile ride, I laid on my couch and watched a movie.  That was all the energy I had left.  He wasn’t tired.  Instead he went for a four mile run because he wanted a bit more exercise and then went out with friends.

I will try going to bed immediately.  Maybe 10 hours of sleep will help?  I will let you know tomorrow.


PS:  The big adventure/problem of today was exploding chocolate.  I bought some chocolate bars to eat during today’s ride.  I ate part of them this morning and then stuck the rest back in my pack and forgot about them.  When I got to the hotel I stuck my hand in the backpack and it came out covered in melted chocolate.

When you are exhausted the last thing you want to do is wash chocolate out of your clothes and pick chocolate pieces out of power cords.  It took some time, but I think the biggest part of the mess is cleaned up.  The proof tomorrow is the bug test.  If I cleaned up enough, bugs will not be attracted to me.  If I didn’t clean up enough, I will be a bug magnet.

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