A sweltering day for cycling made even more difficult because I had to say goodbye to Leisa as she takes a marathon drive to Winnipeg to catch a flight home to Victoria and I put my head down and cycle east with a fully loaded bicycle on a rear rim with cracks in it.
I leave from Ashland on Route 2. Much of the road has a shoulder about the width of a hotel mini-bar refrigerator or one of those cheap dorm room fridges. So imagine lining up these narrow refrigerators end to end for about 150 km. Now, cycle on top of them for about six hours. If you fall off of them to the left, you will be in the way of cars and semi-trailers. If you fall to the right, you will spin out in gravel. Get the picture?
Here is a video to help. Taken at my favourite time of day with the sun going down and traffic too.
I keep pedaling and pedaling for a while after sunset not wanting to face the loneliness of being in the tent again longer than just a night’s sleep.
I make it all the way to Bruce Crossing where there is a little camping area next to a baseball field. It even has showers. I find a place to pitch the tent next to the only trees in the park so that no motor homes drive over me in the morning as my tent is the same colour as the freshly mowed grass.
Wheel update. Rivendell Bikes had planned on sending me a loaner wheel overnight but when they heard I would soon be heading back into Canada they instead did something even more generous. The wheel builder, Rich, built me a new, stronger wheel, a DT Swiss TK 540 rim, with the same White Industries M15 hub, and a new 8 speed cassette and sent it to Sault Ste Marie via UPS. He also said that when I finish the trip, he would rebuild my front wheel on a DT Swiss rim so that I would have a matched pair. The company with the cracked rim, Velocity, is backing all these changes because with a fairly light rider – now about 160 pounds, carrying about 25 pounds of gear on tires inflated about 50 psi – these cracks should not happen.
So I feel very much mechanically supported. Go Rivendell Bikes.
Stats – for Wednesday 11 July 2012
Start: Ashland, Wisconsin
Finish: Bruce Crossing, Michigan
Distance: 143 km
Time on Bike: 6 hrs 33 min
Average Speed: 21.7 km/hr
Distance to Date: 4,460 km