And so it was. I left work Thursday around 2 and headed for home to finalize packing and get on the road. Our late Spring road trip began with a drive up to my second favorite cycling haunt. Mike drove with my pop-up camper hooked to the back of his pickup truck. I’d picked up the site rent and Mike paid for the gas to get there and home.
A little more than 3-1/2 hours’ drive time and we were on site, setting up our camper. Twenty minutes later we were powered up and good to go. I slept like a brick that night. I did wake up for an hour at my normal 3:30 am but I dozed off and managed to stay down till after 6 (!). We ate some breakfast (Chuck made oatmeal), prepped the bikes, I took a shower, and we waited for it to warm up a little bit.
We rolled out shortly after 9 am to mostly sunny skies and temps in the low 50’s (11 C) and a mild breeze. What unfolded was one of the more enjoyable rides I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying, ever.
While we did some sight seeing, it wasn’t all fun and games as we entered Pierce Stocking National Scenic Drive… there are some massive climbs in that park including one that hits a lovely 22% monster that will leave the best panting at the top. I used every last gear I had (and wished I had one more).
The weather was perfect, with a light breeze, abundant sunshine and mild temperatures. And I ignored my phone all morning until getting to lunch in Glen Arbor and taking care of a few things that needed attention.
We stopped at the Cherry Republic restaurant and chose a table outdoors in the sun to eat our lunch and spin cycling yarns of days past and to come. Mike had chili, while Chuck and I partook in the pulled pork sammich (it was fantastic). I also enjoyed one of my favorites at CR, a cherry root beer. After lunch was done, we had a long journey back to camp and a whole lot of climbing to get out of Glen Arbor. Oh how I love a good climb after a pulled pork sandwich. It was magnificent being able to taste my lunch three or four more times up the hill.
Of course, what goes up, also comes down. We had some great descents that were just fantastic and I ended up with a top speed in excess of 47-mph (75-km/h).
We spent more than four hours on the road and covered 76-1/2 miles, climbing 3,261 feet… not massive as climbing goes, but considering our normal routes are less than 800 feet of up, we did some pedal dancing.
Dinner was wonderful, though the place had been devastated by COVID and had to cut down their menu and raise their prices to make it through the limits imposed by our governor. Still, with COVID winding down now that the majority of the state has had at least their first shot, it was great to eat out and the food was great.
We headed back to camp and I set up a movie to watch before falling to sleep. I did a very good job of impersonating a log. I slept like a baby.