Thursday, June 27, 2013

Day #30: A Long Day

Today's Route: Boyne City, MI to Traverse City, MI (71 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 1461

Day #21 marked my longest bike tour (last year's Pacific Coast trip was 20 days in length). Today marks the most miles traveled while on a bike tour (I travelled 1450 miles of the Pacific Coast).

Although it was an exciting record-setting day, it was a very long, tiring day.

In all honesty, I didn't get too much sleep in the dugout.

My first stealth camping experience in a city park.

As mentioned in my prior post, I originally thought I'd sleep in the picnic pavilion. But when the skies grew dark, it just wasn't that stealthy. So, at about 10:30pm, I decided to set up in a dugout instead.

I didn't fall asleep until after 11:00pm, which is super-duper late given the long days of biking and the early morning starts.

I got up around 3:00am to pee. When I walked around to the other side of the dugout (the bathrooms were locked sometime after I went to sleep), I heard a strange sound. First it sounded like wind. Then rain. And finally, I recognized the sound as a sprinkler in a nearby playing field.

Although my alarm was set for 6:00am, I was awoken by the sprinklers going off in the playing field adjacent to my tent. The spray hit one of my panniers and just barely skimmed the corner of the tent. Nothing worth getting out of the tent for.

With little sleep and with the last four days consisting of 70-80 miles of riding, I was not exactly in tip-top shape to tackle today's rollers. Particularly when considering the day's intense sunlight and high heat.

It was 7:30am, and I had only been riding for about fifteen minutes. When my mind noticed that the sunlight and temps made it seem like mid-afternoon, I knew it was going to be a tough day.

I made the following observation about today's route: You climb consecutively higher rollers when leaving a town, and you have nice long descents getting into town.

At lunch, I looked to see if there was a Warm Showers host nearby. Sure enough, there was one in Traverse City, about 30 miles away.

I typically like to give Warm Showers hosts a few days of heads-up, but I thought I'd give it a try. The worst is that I would receive a big, fat "no."

The Traverse City host, June, was super accommodating and said I'd be welcome to come to her place to stay the night, I offered to set up my tent in her yard. Her shower was wonderful, although I couldn't quite seem to get it cold enough (as I am a lover of hot showers, my wanting a cold shower just goes to show how hot I was after today's ride). Unfortunately, June had plans for the evening, and so we only chatted for a short while. What an interesting lady! She's biked all over the world. I would have loved to chat all day with June about touring.

As I was done with biking for the day, I walked about two miles to check-out the downtown.

I wouldn't have expected Michigan beaches to look like Florida beaches.

I sat down with a cold drink and my maps and did some rejiggering of the schedule. Tomorrow will be a 65-mile day, followed by two partial "rest days" (traveling 40 miles each day), and then I'll ramp up the mileage again.

Looking forward to a shorter day tomorrow!


  1. "Stealth Camping" looks a lot like being in a bicycle touring jail. Congratulations on all the record setting days ahead (every day will be a record now).

  2. Ha, Alex. I guess it sorta does look like that. :) Thanks for introducing me to bike touring. I owe it all to you!


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