Day 8 on the bike. 60 miles. 5.5 hours. It was another great biking day. Perfect weather. No headwind. Flat road. Beautiful landscape. Excellent ammenities (ice cream bars twice).

And one big problem – solved. Oh, yeah. I stopped at the old Wheeler’s Restaurant in Standish for lunch. I had my map opened as I was doing the preliminary work to plot a course through S. Michigan. No mean feat. I’d taken stabs at the map before but always deferred making a real decision until that point when I got closer.

And Bay City (in the tomorrow early a.m.) is where I need to have that plan. So anyway, at this restaurant in Standish I flew my plan of biking Hwy 15 to Hwy 24 by the owner and he concurred that it would be a good route. I paid my bill and was walking out the door when one of the guys lunching with his fire dept. buddies stopped me and asked where I was going. He had overheard my conversation with the owner and decided that he needed to weigh in with his opinion. And as it turned out, he gave me the keys to the kingdom.

He told me that I did not want to bike through the maelstrom of Detroit. I am usually mildly put off by people who live on the fringe but pretend knowledge to diss the big bad city. But I am glad that I listened to this guy because the path he gave me was spot on brilliant.

So get this – N. Bay City to Midland Rd. West to Auburn. Pick up Garfield Rd. Take it south to M 47. Turn west on M 46ake it to M 52. Then take M 52 all the way to Ohio. Brilliant. M 52 goes right down the center between Saginaw, Flint, Ann Arbor and Detroit to the east and Lansing/Jackson the west. This was a totally non-intuitive route looking at it from the perspective of a days ride south out of Bay City.

And this M 52 route makes no sense by the time one gets further south past Flint because the route has diverged too far to the west. So to say it again, the route is brilliant because it only makes sense to make the move immediately upon exiting Bay City which is something I wouldn’t have seen without this man laying out the proverbial gingerbread crumbs for me. You only have to look at the map to see how this is the one true path through Mordor.

And dinner is looking most excellent. My motel is non close to anything restaurant wise but is close to a farmer’s market kind of thing. So I picked up a assortment of classic low brow Michigan foodstuffs. Oh yes. Pickled Baloney. Pinconning cheese. Pickled eggs and crackers. That with a small salad made from a sweet onion, cucumber, tomato, and an ear of sweet corn. All washed down with some of Tennessee’s finest sour mash. Mmmmm.