The first challenge of the day was figuring out how to get across to blue water Bridge in Sarnia, Ontario. I knew that it is not bicycle friendly and you must get a shuttle to take you across, much like I had done for the peace Bridge in Buffalo. However, there were some issues. The first was that my cell phone, even on the edge of the border, was not working, so I couldn’t call anyone. I went down to the bridge area and entered the Canadian customs building but no one seemed to pay attention to me except a helpful custodian. But he wasn’t really sure how I would get to the toll building because that was on the main highway that in theory bikes cannot go on. It definitely was a catch-22 because I had to go to a building that I couldn’t get to on the bike or by walking. Auto supremacy is so annoying!
I rode by the Ontario tourism office and thought that they would be able to help me out, but of course they did not open until nine and it was only a bit past eight. Just as I was about to kamikaze the 200 yards to get to the toll building I saw a woman walk on by with an official looking shirt. She was an employee of the office and when I told her about my predicament she went to call the bridge authority. The driver came lickety-split and I was across the bridge no problem. He said he only transported a couple of bikers a week.
And then it was off to find my way to Flint, Michigan, where I would be staying. This marks the fifth state or province for me and my very first time in Michigan. From here on out everything will be a first time for me as I’ve never been to Wisconsin or Minnesota either. It’s also worth mentioning that probably sometime yesterday I reached the halfway mark. Woo hoo!
I thought it might be a relatively easy day at about 70 miles over very flat terrain. Boy, was I wrong! I know I’ve complained about wind before, but today was on a different level. I thought it was windy yesterday when I peeled my banana and it flapped in the wind like tissue paper, but that was nothing. Today it was fierce and steady westerly wind that tore into me for all 70 miles under the hot sun. I was having to pedal on the downhill sections just to keep going and couldn’t listen to any podcasts because the sound of wind rustling past my ears was too great to overcome no matter how high I put the volume. On a normal day I drink four extra large water bottles. Today I drank eight and probably could have used another one. One of the games I played in my mind as I was trying to make headway was figuring out how much distance I could have covered over the same to route today without a head wind given the energy I exerted. I figured I did the energetic equivalent of over 100 miles with no wind. Normally I arrive at my destination between three and four. Today, giving my maximum effort, I arrived at nearly 6 o’clock.
This is exactly how I felt today. I was glad to see someone get out of their truck and make sure he made it.
Pretty full featured bike paths. I used the tools and the pump for adjustments.It was in the sticks but I was glad for the food and time out of the wind.
The flag was straight out. I wanted to go in.Pure Michigan
The positive part of the day is that when I finally arrived in Flint, I was met by my neighbor Mary’s parents, Dick and Judy. They served me a scrumptious and nutritious dinner of all local produce as I got to know them. After dinner they took me out on the grand tour of Flint. The city has whole sections of fantastic mansions that were owned by the automobile magnates of the area. It also has a really surprising cultural district for a city of its size including an art museum a symphony hall, planetarium, theater ect. The downtown is going through revitalization as well. It is a city with a great deal of interesting history and my hosts were generous in sharing their knowledge.
Among his many talents Dick is s musician. Here he was showing me a coronet from his family that was built in 1856. Guess where? On the bell it said WORCESTER, Massachusetts.
I am bushed. I hope you all are having a great summer. I am turning in. Tomorrow it is on to Lansing Michigan.