Sunday, June 27, 2010

Riding around the lake

So apparently it was a pretty stormy day in southwest Michigan today. We were at our friend's Susan and Elvin's cottage on Lake Paw Paw. We got a little rain around noon and a great light show, but it was all over in about an hour. It seems that the big mass of the storm went north and south of us. Which meant we went out for two rides. 13 miles in a counterclockwise direction around the lake before the storm. Then 11 miles in a clockwise direction after the rain. We're still not sure why it was shorter in one direction than the other. It probably has something to do with Daylight Savings Time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day Ride

Today the JDRF team had a beautiful ride. We started at Townsend Park and rode into Rockford. We then went up Summit hill and took 13 mile out to Wabasis Lake before heading down Ramsdell and past Pickeral Lake before returning to the park.

Coach Mike and Kathy in downtown Rockford

The ride was 35 miles. Ian and I completed the full loop. Mary did a shorter route of 22 miles as she needed to go to the Detroit Airport to pick up Colleen. Colleen was returned from three weeks in Mexico. So now the family is all back in Rockford.

Ian and Mary about 12 miles into today's ride.

It's great riding with our team and getting ready for the big JDRF ride this October in Death Valley. All the funds raised help to find a cure for diabetes. Thank you for your support.

The JDRF West Michigan Team on the road

Friday, June 18, 2010

Great night for a ride

Yesterday evening I had to go to Muskegon for business. We have several team mates who live on the lakeshore. So I got a hold of Amy and Melanie and after my meeting got done we went for a ride. We left Norton Shores and headed south toward Grand Haven. We rode by Hoffmaster State Park and along Lake Michigan. It was an absolutely gorgeous night. The temperature had cooled off, there was no wind and the sun setting over the lake was beautiful. We rode a shade over 25 miles and we had a great time trying to keep pace with Melanie.

After the ride we had an impromptu beer tasting on Amy's deck. We picked up an assorted 6 pack at a little party store near her house and had great fun rating the different beers. Winner's were Anchor Summer Ale (my favorite) and a Belgium Blond Ale (Amy and Mel's fav),

Thursday, June 10, 2010

White Pine Trail Update 2

Yesterday I went out for a short afternoon ride and started by heading north on the White Pine Trail to see how badly the Memorial Day storms had damaged it. The trail is closed by barricades from about one mile north of Belmont to House St. The damage is in three sections about a half mile south of House. The trail has been undercut and washed away on the downhill side. Snow fence and hay bales have been erected to move trail users who ignore the barricades (that would be me) off the trail and into the dirt on the uphill side of the trail.

This is not going to be a quick fix. The DNR cannot just resurface the trail, the actual hillside must be rebuilt. And it's washed out, as in the above photo, in three separate locations. The Powers That be know about it but so far there is no timetable for the repair. This section of the trail will probably be closed most of the summer.
In other news I completed 18 miles yesterday on a beautiful, if slightly windy day. That gives me 468 miles for the season so far. Kind of paltry when compared to some of my team mates who have been doing a century every month. But I still consider it early, since we don't do the Death Valley Ride until October.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

100 Grand

Our friends from Chicago, Elvin and his son Eddie, joined Ian and I for the Rapid Wheelman's 100 Grand Ride today. The ride leaves from the west side of Grand Rapids and travels in a big loop out into Ottawa County. We all did the 65 mile loop, which was actually closer to 67, but who's counting. The route was wonderful, taking us through the little hamlets of Lamont and Conklin. [Unfortunately Fenien's Irish Pub doesn't open until noon and we went by there at about 10:30.] At the 45 mile rest stop they were serving pulled pork sandwiches along with the usual ride goodies like bananas, chips and gorp. There was also a bluegrass trio playing live music for us. That was very nice. Ian did great, this was his longest ride ever. Up until today the most he'd ever done was 29 miles at our first team ride. He did hit a little bit of a wall at 50 miles, but he pushed through and finished the ride. So three months after starting training he's completed his first metric century. The kid is tough and he doesn't turn 15 until Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

White Pine Trail Update

Up here in the Rockford area we had a lot of rain yesterday. A LOT of rain. There was a small lake in our backyard. There are several dirt road wash outs and a couple of parking lot driveways that had asphalt stripped away. I was going to ride yesterday, but decided to wait out the storms and ended up going out late this afternoon. My intended route was to head north on the White Pine Trail through Rockford and up to 15 mile. I was then going to do a country road loop and head home with a 20 miler under my wheels. Things didn't turn out that way.

About one mile north of the Belmont trail head there was a large washout that sent part of a hillside and several trees over the trail. A member of the Friends of the WPT was there taking pictures. He said there were two more washouts farther north, one of which had actually cut away part of the trail. He was concerned that there was too much work for the volunteer group to handle and that fixing the trail may be a state job. However considering the lack of money the state has right now he wasn't optimistic about the trail being repaired. I didn't see the other damaged areas. The first one makes road bike travel difficult. You have to slog across 30 feet of mud and water with several downed trees mixed in. The trail volunteer made the other problem areas sound worse. I'll take a ride around the damaged areas later in the week and make a report.

I did get my 20 miler in. I just went south on the WPT instead. I rode all the way to Riverside Park and back. A pretty interesting afternoon on the bike.