Mackinac Island, MI to Petoskey, MI: - Mackinac Island after abandoning the USBRS (US Bicycle Route System) - CycleBlaze

May 18, 2019

Mackinac Island, MI to Petoskey, MI:

One final slog

We couldn’t have asked for a more convenient trip to the ferry as our hotel was adjacent to the terminal. Since the ferry workers insist on wheeling the tandem and parking it on the ferry this time we took the panniers off so that we didn’t have to watch them struggle. On the trip to the mainland I entered the car rental address into Google Maps and then realized the distance was 35 miles, not the 14 I promised Rhona. To her credit she followed the tandem couple golden rule of not blaming the partner in the midst of a “foul up” (to later be described as an “adventure” when recounting the story to friends in the warmth of a fire in the fireplace). It was cold (41 degrees), windy (15 mph from the east) and spitting rain which was supposed to continue all morning. We had to reach the car rental before it closed at 12 and Google Maps predicted it would take a cyclist until 11:15 to travel that distance. We didn’t think Google Maps took into account we are senior citizens and with loaded panniers. We were routed on another of the Michigan gravel bicycle/snowmobile trails. Once again the gravel was not packed well. Within 5 miles Google Maps added 3 minutes to the estimated duration of the trip and we were tiring, dodging branches and twigs and struggling to avoid having the front wheel wash out. Next to the trail was Michigan Rt. 31 with a wide shoulder and new smooth pavement. We switched over and our speed picked up 3 mph and we shifted up two gears. About 10 miles from the car rental the road deteriorated (still not bad by Michigan standards) but then bicycle/snowmobile path became smoothly paved all the way to the end. It started raining again but we didn’t really care at that point. Ultimately we shaved off 4 minutes from the original Google Maps estimate. Our car was ready for us and they allowed us to disassemble the bike in their waiting room. The agent said he wanted to watch the process and us fit the bike in an Elantra. Several customers came and asked questions about the bike making it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. Rhona had not seen the bike disassembled since the conversion to the Rohloff hub with two belts. She barely kept ahead of me with a rag cleaning off the frame as I took the bike apart. It was almost too easy fitting it in the car and we were soon on our way.

In the back of the rental Elantra. No worries about getting grease on the carpet.
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After a quick meal in Wendy’s there was still a cold rain falling as we got into the car, sufficient to quickly chill us. I am coming down with a cold so I napped for a while and when I awoke after a 2 hours drive south was shocked to find temperatures in the 70’s. I didn’t even want to know if the wind was now at long last coming from the south.

I’m done writing this journal hunting and pecking on this iPhone. I’ll edit it and provide some more technical and logistical information when I get home sitting in front of my desktop computer.

Today's ride: 35 miles (56 km)
Total: 794 miles (1,278 km)

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