Archives for posts with tag: biking usa

Day 13 on the bike. 65 miles. 7 hours.

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times…

Sorry. First the good news. Hwy. 23 South turned out to be [legally] bike-able in spite of what I was told yesterday. It is a state highway, not an expressway (even if it looks like one) , so maybe when people were telling me that it wasn’t bike-able maybe they were speaking to the fact that it would be insanely desperate for anyone to want to bike it.

The bad news. 45 miles of the bike was Mad Max American style. Crumbling shoulders covered with debris. Cars. Trucks. Semis. People pulling boats. Trailers. All speeding by real-time at 60-80 mph. True high speed combat biking.

So when biking the devil’s corridor don’t ever imagine that you’ll escape totally unscathed. And so it was that I experienced my first road side flat tire somewhere close to the last exit for Marion which was about mile-marker 20. There I did my first bike tube replacement under true battlefield conditions.

I am very (very) thankful on that last day in Marquette that I had the presence of mind to return to the bike shop to purchase a spare tube. The best 6 bucks I’ve ever spent. Without it (and the tire tool and the pump) I would have been majorly screwed.

Now I am chilling in Motel 6 in Columbus drinking bad whiskey, putting aloe vera on my over exposed self. I am in a rough part of town but thankfully some right minded Vietnamese persons had the where for all to put in a Pho joint just a short bike away so tonight I’ll be dining on real food.

Cheers and remember to stay home with the doors locked and the blinds closed. And be sure to watch lots and lots of TV.

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A new bicycling trip! Oh, yes, my friends – just think of it: a new – and most different – bike trip. I am very excited. This new plan has gradually begun to coalesce now that I have to start thinking about having to leave Mexico to renew my visa at the end of July.

So the idea is to kinda sort of do what Sarah and I did last June when our month long running vacation got derailed by injuries and we improvised and switched to bikes and rode the 500 mile Western Loop of Lake Superior.

And I think that unless my present contract work schedule gets in the way, then I will fly up Marquette, MI, on the 26th of July, hangout with an old buddy for 2-3 days, purchase another second hand bike and then ride (and then ride some more).

And I have friends and family in Michigan that I haven’t seen in years. And my mother and one of my sisters live just 1100 miles south of Marquette. And then Miami is only another 1000 miles further down the road.

I figure that if I buy a one-way ticket to Marquette then I am free to do whatever I want for as long as I want.

So if I get burned out, run over, or otherwise injured then I’ll donate the bike (just like we did in Duluth last year), head to the nearest airport, and return to Mexico.

But I just landed an engineering consulting job and I won’t know for a few days yet what my total time commitment will be. But I am optimistic about this bike trip. July 26th is 7-8 weeks away which should be plenty of time to knock out the majority of the work. And maybe – if there is any wrap up – I can do it on the road.

PS – And just like how we ditched all of our stuff in Grand Marais; I plan on riding with no more than a change of clothes, a hat, a raincoat, and my new Nexus 7 tablet. Exciting.

PPS – As my friend, Seamus was fond of saying ‘upon such a journey the beast of my mind will feast.’