Monday, June 22, 2015

June 21, 2015. Bridgman to Dowagiac, MI. 45 Miles.

I don't know why someone always has to have a flat tire on the first day, but it never fails... this time it was me. When I filled the tires I found a defective valve stem and had to change it before we even got on the bikes.
After changing the tire we lined up for our pre-ride photo. Here we are left to right: Martha, me, Dianne, Malorie, Toby and Tom. Bill drove the truck the first half of the ride, so I took his photo before we left.

We rode out on the hilly road we drove in on yesterday. There were a lot of rolling hills today, which was a lot of fun. Toby and I rode together all day, which is required since I signed for him to come on this ride.  Dianne and Malorie left first and the rest of us passed them before the first rest stop.

We stopped at every SAG, including the last one--the Licorice Lady! She has been giving out licorice at the last PALM SAG stop of every day for ten years now.

Toby and I got into Dowagiac around noon. Tom was already there with the truck and had picked out a spot for the tents. We set up my tent, Toby's and Tom's, hauled everyone else's stuff to the campsite and then I told him I really needed to eat lunch. We returned to the parking lot and Toby got a flat tire!

By the time Tom finished helping Toby change the tire, Martha was there. Tom gave her a big hug because she saved him today--Bill had parked the truck near the halfway point and got on his bike, with the understanding that Tom would ride about halfway and then bring the truck to Dowagiac. When Tom sailed past the truck, Martha said "hey Tom, isn't that your ride back there?". She saved him a lot of miles!

We were just about ready to go into town to eat when Bill arrived. So the five of us rode our bikes down the big hill we had just ridden up, had a great lunch at an expensive Italian Restaurant in town, and rode back up the hill to the school.  Malorie and Dianne arrived soon after we got back from lunch. After everyone showered Dianne and I played some scrabble while waiting for dinner. No one had much energy after dinner--we read our books and eventually went to bed.

My total miles were 45--42 miles on the route and 3 miles for the round trip into town for lunch. Martha had 48 miles, since she took a wrong turn and did a few bonus miles. All in all it was a good first day for our 2 novices, Malorie and Martha.

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