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A Few Thousand Words on Why Cycling is the Best Way to Lose Weight…

September 2015
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Well, technically “Why you should consider cycling with a club” or maybe “Why you should do a four-day 400 mile tour”…

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Day 1.  0.00 miles in…

 

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Morning of Day Two DALMAC.  Unfortunately, the parking lot of the school was a lot drier than the rest of the county…

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…we passed a horse and buggy.  Day Two.

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Day Three of DALMAC, just putzing along at 22 mph…  And finally dry at last!

 

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Day Four of DALMAC…  Matt took this one, no-handed at 20+ mph.

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Rolling into Harbor Springs…  We had a stop coming up in a mile or two so I didn’t have to worry about falling off the back a bit to take some photos.

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Harbor Springs in all of its glory.

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Climbing out of Harbor Springs.  After getting a mechanical issue resolved at the bike shop three of my friends stayed back to work me back up to the group…  At this point I didn’t know they were actually there to help me back, I thought we were just going to chill out and enjoy the scenery for the rest of the ride.

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Descending to the “Tunnel of Trees”…

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The famed “Tunnel of Trees” in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan.  27-1/2 miles of pure beauty.  Cycling this route has been on my cycling bucket-list since I started riding a bike, literally the day after I bought my first bike.  I still think we’re chilling out, Matt is long gone in search of a slower companion or three.  Mike and Phill are still busting their ass to get me to the main group and we’ve got another stop coming up in ten miles or so…

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Now it’s getting serious so one more photo and it’s time to tuck into the draft…

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We caught the group at lunch and had just enough time to fire down a superb burger before topping off the water bottles and heading out.  We were supposed to be taking it easy from here on in because one of the younger guys in the group was struggling to keep up…  That lasted all of ten minutes and the pace was ratcheted up by the lead tandem to the mid-20’s.  No time for photos, until I asked them to soft pedal for a few blocks so I could take a few photos of this…

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There’s the group…  but this is what I wanted to see…

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We were about 370 miles in at this point, only fifteen miles to go and I was tuckered…  Still, when I caught back on and the speeds were taken back to the mid to upper 20’s again, I hung on for all I was worth.  Then, with about a mile to go, to descend down to the Mackinaw City High School, everybody sat up and the three DALMAC noobs were given the honor of leading the group in…  Ron and I decided that we’d give Eli, just 15 years old, the honorary center position and form an arrowhead next to him…

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Forming up…

This is what I saw coming in…

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My wife and kids are up in the distance, cheering us in…  This is what my wife saw:

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The home stretch, coming into Mackinaw…  380+ miles later.  The perfect cap to a really long ride.

This is from Mountain Mayhem:  Beat the Heat a few weeks earlier:

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Mountain Mayhem:  Beat the Heat, rolling in with my buddy, Phill…  Incidentally, Phill was the guy who helped me home on my first club ride after we were surreptitiously dropped just eight miles into the 30 mile ride.

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My Beat the Heat partners in crime…  More speed limits were broken that day than should be bragged about.

Cycling isn’t just about getting fit and losing weight, even if you won’t find a whole lot of fat in our group.  Cycling, after joining a good group or club, is as much a social gathering and enjoyment of time off spent with good friends as it is about burning a mess of calories.  It’s about bikes and buds (the human sort).

Now, unfairly left out of this post for this long is my wife, who made this whole trip a lot more enjoyable for all of us – and she is why the previous sentence said “buds” and not “bros”.  Because of her having things so well thought out, we had time to help everyone else get their camping gear set up before hitting the showers.  She was, and is, spectacular.

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4 Comments

  1. tischcaylor says:

    That looks amazingly awesome. You are lucky to have such a great crew to ride with, not to mention the support system. Well done!

  2. Sue Slaght says:

    Nice shout out to your wife. 🙂 I like that very much!

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