Let's Get Outta Dodge - Headlong Into The Petri Dish - CycleBlaze

September 1, 2020

Let's Get Outta Dodge

This idea wasn't entirely off the cuff. For at least six weeks we have been muttering to each other about riding a tour, even specifically in Michigan. But, honestly it has been no more than a squishy, half-baked, Hail Mary idea that comes up when we're feeling bummed about the lack of an adventure to look forward to.

But. About two weeks ago a butterfly's wings in the Andes must have fluttered in the precise manner needed to shift some metaphysical weight that snapped open our eyes, turned our heads toward each other, and with coordinated and laser sharp clarity said, "Let's do it!!" We were off on a maniacal bout of planning.

I hauled out the maps we'd need from the archives. This entire trip will use ACA (Adventure Cycling A'ssn.) maps and routes. I've been plotting start and stop locations and distances hoping to do the whole shebang in eight days and keep the mileage pretty consistent around 60-70 miles a day.

Planning Our Invasion of Michigan like a German Field Marshal
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The touring bikes, which have been slumbering in the basement since last June, were hauled upstairs, yawning and blinking their eyes, and placed in the Bike Rack Of Honor in the living room. The fast bikes were shuttled downstairs. The Seven Expats were shocked and pleased to hear they were being pressed into service. They had nearly given up hope they'd ever be ridden again.

The Touring Bikes Are Startled That They Get "The Rack Of Honor" in the Living Room
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Margaret loves few things more than organizing for an adventure. She hauled out our trusty bike touring checklist and proceeded to stockpile various items into the spare bedroom which is now the trip staging area.

The Glorious Packing List
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Just The Start of a Huge Pile of Crap
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Margaret and I, who's Mamas didn't raise any fools, quickly agreed it would be quite clever of us to take the Expats for a spin or two and make sure they were actually in a rideable condition, seeing as how they've been in hibernation for 13 months. So, for the last few days we have been taking them out for an extended series of shakedown cruises. The first outing sent us into the gaping maw of an approaching rainstorm about which we'd been oblivious, but we dodged the downpour and took that as an excellent omen.

Marg and Her Touring Bike, Ready for the First Shakedown Ride
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"Hey, Do You Think It Might Rain?"
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"Uhhh, Yes."
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It proved that Margaret's bike is in fine fettle, and mine just needed a small brake adjustment so we are feeling good about the fitness of the Sevens for this project. Best of all, they tested negative for Covid-19, though it was tough locating their nasal cavities to take the swab sample.

So. The route is set, the bikes are ready, and there is a massive pile of gear sitting in the spare bedroom which we shall winnow and sift to get to a manageable size. If all goes according to plan we will hightail it out of town on Tuesday Sept. 8th when all the masses have returned to their virtual jobs and the kids are in their virtual schools. But we will be on an old-fashioned analogue bike tour ; - )

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