Charlevoix, Mi. To Traverse City, Mi: They Call The Wind ..... - Headlong Into The Petri Dish - CycleBlaze

September 15, 2020

Charlevoix, Mi. To Traverse City, Mi: They Call The Wind .....

Heart 0 Comment 0

Names for the wind, from around the world: Bora, Bise, Mistral, Brickfielder, Buran, Scirocco, Gibli , Xlokk, Chinook, Williwaw, Xonda ....

I don’t know what they call a fierce wind blowing in the Upper part of lower Michigan, but we rode in it today, and I call it a Bastard of a wind to ride in.

Marg’s Art Card ... Windy Day
Heart 5 Comment 0

For once all the weather apps conferred and concurred ... it was going to be damn windy from the south, and that’s the direction we were riding. We spent 58 miles getting slapped in the face in the way only a seafaring style wind can. Coming up the fetch of Lake Michigan, building up some proper steam and roaring straight into our faces. Phew.

Some more Gnarly Michigan Roads
Heart 1 Comment 0

Although there were some stretches that were a bit sheltered from the (insert favorite wind name here), we did have several instances where a gust just about stopped us dead in our tracks. Thankfully most of the time it was a block headwind rather than a crosswind, which would have been a white knuckled experience all day. Instead we just put our heads down and powered along as best we could. I see why the pro riders, when questioned, quickly say they’d rather ride in the rain than a cross wind.

Margaret Returns From A “Natural Break”
Heart 0 Comment 0
Warming Up and Stripping Down
Heart 0 Comment 0

Because of this, we were disinclined to take notes or pictures so the narrative will be a bit tepid I’m afraid. Some notable items:

Near the little crossroad that is Kewadin, we stopped at a convenience store to eat a snack. Upon entering the store to stock up on vittles, it was apparent that the only items they sold were candy, soda, junk food, and booze of every assortment. Lots of booze. Sin tax heaven. What the heck we said, when in Rome ... and joined in, buying a Milky Way, Twix bar, Doritos, Sea Salt and Vinegar potato chips, and a cherry coke. Don’t worry though, we added our own supply of beef jerky, Wheat Thins and Provolone Cheese to the mix to stay healthy. *burp*

Oddly, directly across the road from the junk food emporium was the most beautiful rest pavilion I’ve ever seen. It looked like it was designed by a Bauhaus architect, and it overlooked a gorgeous inland lake. We sat there and devoured our processed food, trying to keep our table scraps, helmets, and clothing from being blown away by the wind. Margaret’s bike, which is carrying plenty of ballast, was blown over by the wind and crashed to the concrete floor. Several unprintable words were uttered by us both when that happened. After lunch we were hoping to find a restroom. We wondered if there might be a port-a-potty down below the rest area in the small park below. Imagine our jaw-dropped expressions when we found the lower level held three individual bathrooms in IMMACULATE condition with lockable entry doors ... not just to an individual stall, but to lock yourself into the entire bathroom and have your own unbothered quiet time. This was bathroom Xanadu (Another Seinfeld moment). After an exquisite visit, we shoved off.

Michigan’s Most Immaculate Restrooms
Heart 1 Comment 0
Into This Wind, All. Day. Long.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Today we rode along the west shore of Torch Lake, the same lake we’d seen on the all day rain stage of the tour. Today it was beautiful, because even though the wind made for wretched riding, the sun was out and the view was fantastic.

Marg Along Another Lakeshore
Heart 1 Comment 0

We saw one home whose identifying sign was my middle school, high school and college nickname, which also followed my sisters through those same years. I went bonkers when I saw the sign and we stopped for a photo op.

OMG. My Old High School Nickname, Here in Michigan
Heart 2 Comment 0

Later in the day we saw a street named Dexter Street, same name as one of our Clumber Spaniels. Poor Dexter, still waiting to be picked up from the kennel. We’re coming soon buddy!!

DEXTER! Our dog’s name.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Back to Torch Lake .... the lake homes and cottages there were generally pretty tasteful. Nothing too outrageous or large ... until we turned one corner to discover this monstrosity being built (see picture below). It looks like it will be as large as the Pyramid of Cheops. Who knows, maybe it will also have a crypt where the owner will eventually be buried with all his worldly possessions, wives and concubines, and family pets. It was enormous. The local contractors are happy, I’m sure.

A Modern Medici Castle
Heart 0 Comment 0

As we approached Traverse City we saw some apple tree groves and they were beautiful. Row after row of trees and apples. In TC we passed the boys middle school cross country team out training. It made us both smile ... there is no sight more physically diverse than a bunch of middle school boys. Short, tall, gangly, bean-pole skinny, plump, long hair, short hair. Knock-kneed .... Margaret coached middle school XC and track and she had a flashback, big time.

Michigan Apples
Heart 1 Comment 0

The highlight of today was being able to visit with friends Rick & Gail Venner, who live in Traverse City. Margaret and Rick go way back ... to middle school years. Their families owned cottages in the same vicinity of Michigan and they have been friends for 45 years or more. Great people, who its easy to fall into a real familiar groove even after not having seen them for 4-5 years. Gail fed us a killer meal of enchiladas ! I’m sure we inhaled them. Best meal of the trip!

Road Art.
Heart 4 Comment 0

Today's ride: 59 miles (95 km)
Total: 383 miles (616 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 4
Comment on this entry Comment 0