Susie and I flew back from DC early Wednesday afternoon. I should have gone to work on readying my bicycle for the trip. Instead we went golfing in the league. Afterward, I was too tired to prep the bike so that left me with an early morning.
My first disappointment was the discovery that I couldn’t fit the bike in my car so I had to take Susie’s car. I had prepped her for the idea but it was the least appealing part of my plan.
I still managed to get on the road on time and arrived at Jim Warfield’s house in La Porte by 9:00. That was the first time I loaded all of my gear. Then I realized that I couldn’t pull up my route on my phone so I worked from memory as I hit the road. I ended up going too far east.
When I figured out I was off course, I stopped at the 30 mile mark to learn how to program my Garmin Edge (which I had just purchased after hosting Charles and Denise Coderre during their cycling journey). The Edge told me I had 70 miles to go. That would turn out to be the first lie of many from my GPS. It seems to give an estimate that it revises as I get closer. The 70 ended up being 83.5 for a first day total of 113.5. But that wasn’t the fun part.
Right about the 40 mile mark it started raining, and it rained for the next 40 miles. At some points it was thunderstorms. Most of the time it was a gentle, steady rain. Every time I thought about how miserable this was, I realized I was grinning. Who rides in these conditions at home?
I rode so far on the first day because I couldn’t find a hotel around the 75 mile mark. It turns out that there are many little hotels and motels out there that aren’t on the internet. But I had prepaid for my first night so on I rode.
At 80 miles I entered South Haven. The rain stopped and I saw the most beautiful view of the Lake. I grinned again.
It was 8:00 when I reached the hotel. I ordered a pizza and convinced the bartender in the joint next door to sell me a couple of beers to go. And then I slept.