Ride Around Lake Michigan Day 5 (87 miles)

I had a great night’s sleep. My throat wasn’t sore so my really bad snoring has subsided. The first few mornings I thought I was getting sick because I kept waking up with a sore throat. The short day yesterday must have helped.

The weather forecast called for scattered showers so I tried to get going while it wasn’t raining. I got about a half mile into the ride when the rain started. I considered going back to the hotel and waiting a little while, but once you’re wet you’re wet. This time I got thunder AND lightning. I rode 10 miles before the rain stopped. With rain on 2 of my 5 days, I was feeling pretty good about my full sized fenders. Then the rear fender started to rub the tire. I first noticed at 23 miles when I took my first stop. It got progressively worse pretty fast. I stopped and fidgeted with it to see if I could ease the rubbing with bungee cords. No success. I tried to ride on but it kept getting worse. At 35 miles I pulled off the road again. I was afraid the tire would blow. As I started inspecting the fender, a couple from Alabama pulled over the help. Rob and Linda were on their way to the Canadian Rockies. Rob is a bit of a bike rider so he wanted to help. We spent over a half hour experimenting with various approaches. We got it to rub less but we couldn’t get it to stop rubbing. I told Rob I’d make it to Harbor Springs like that and they have a good bike shop there who can look at it.

15 miles later I stopped for lunch in Atwood (the adorable) and ran into Rob and Linda again. They were just finishing lunch at the same place where I had stopped. I took this as a sign that once again I had chosen the last good option for a while.

A few miles after lunch the fender started getting worse again. As much as I loved it in the rain, I knew it had to go. The boys at Matthews Bikes had done their best to attach it to a frame that wasn’t equipped for it, but it wasn’t cooperating any more. By the time I reached Petoskey I had to pedal down most hills to overcome the drag.

I rode on bike trails for a big part of the day today also. When I wasn’t on a trail, I seemed to be on US 31 with cars and trucks screaming by. I still saw the white Dan Henrys but the painter had changed so I wasn’t sure it was the same route. I believe it was.

With the extra drag, I didn’t get to Harbor Springs until a little after 5:00. The bike shop closes at 5:30 so I just rode to Kim and Velda’s, after a brief stop at the IGA to get beer. The first thing I did was to remove the rear fender. I’ll miss it the next time I get rained on, but I won’t miss it all of the rest of the time I’m riding.

Kim grilled steaks, potatoes, and corn on the cob. It was a great meal, and I had a nice visit with them.

Today was musical day. It started with rain themed songs and continued with any song triggered by sights along the way. Better mental stimulation than math problems anyway.

Kim told me that I don’t have to go out to Mackinaw Island to get across the bridge. They have a $5 service that will drive me across. My Route.

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