Day 15, It’s ooSummertime and the pedaling is…

Hot! Hi there fans and followers. Another day another 80 miles between Lansing and a bit north of grand Rapids. I went through nine water bottles and finished thirsty.

Said goodbye to my wonderful hosts, Emily and Greg in the morning. I am running out of superlatives for all the kind people who have help me along the way. It is such a great way to get to know a city with a local guide who shares interests (at the very least in bikes)

I was wondering why I was having a hankering for potato chips.

Lots of beautiful countryside and farms, as usual. The route took me on some back roads that were on paved and also a number of bike paths in the area.

I had a cleat malfunction that I had to take care of but luckily found the hardware store right away. There was also a nice Italian restaurant where I stopped for a little Stromboli in the heat of the day.

In general the bike has held up well and is just getting a bit freaky with the miles, just like the rider. In Madison I will have to change my chain because it now has over 3000 miles on it and the shifting is starting to go. Still no flats!

Grand rapids was fairly grand. Although the name I think is a little bit confusing. I didn’t get a very good look at it as I was mostly passing through, but my understanding is that the rapids are on the Grand river and it’s not that the rapids are practically grand. It certainly had the air of a very prosperous city with lots of beautiful leafy neighborhoods and well-kept homes. It was a bit healthier than other parts of Michigan I have been in.

The bike infrastructure was also even more impressive than what I saw in Lansing. There were wide bike lanes separated from traffic in general everywhere I went. I am imagining the next couple stops has ascension into bike heaven. From what I hear, Madison Wisconsin will be right at the pearly gates while Minneapolis will be pure Elysian fields. Maybe the only place that can compete with these is Portland Oregon.

Pretty neat repurpose sing of silos don’t you think? A boldering wall for kids and an observation tower.

The Grand River.

It seems my luck with fantastic hosts has run out in grand Rapids. I was not able to find anyone to stay with and thus ended up in a chain hotel off of the interstate. In many ways it was just as well as I made the decision to set off very early the next day and catch the 1015 ferry out of Muskegon instead of waiting for the 415 one, which would have been the other choice. It’s definitely less complicated and rude busting out at the hotel at 5:30 instead of someone’s home. However, The contrast and experience was great. No friendly host or local guide to take me around to see the sights. Instead it was a receptionist who did not even look up once at me as she checked me in and didn’t think my joke about putting my license plate number down was funny. Then it was a sterile box to sleep in. There was TV. Something I hadn’t watched for over two weeks. Of course this hotel was a completely car driven location. The only place you could walk from there was a McDonald’s or a gas station. I love it up on all kinds of weird food at the gas station.

For all you big box store fans, it was right next to Meijer corporate head quarters. I have never been in one of their stores because it’s a Midwestern thing but it was described to me as mid western Walmart.

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