Total Elevation Gain (ft): 1456.7
Weather: Rainy, Cool
Hillbilly Insults: 0
Roadkill: 53 (7 Birds, 2 Deer, 1 Rabbit, 3 Turtles, 21 Raccoons, 19 Unknown)
Bugs Swallowed: 1
Mean Dogs Chasing: 0
Animal Rescue: 0
Central Michigan is really hard on raccoons.
I counted 21 of these unfortunate little bandits as roadkill victims on a short stretch of Hwy 10. I'm pretty sure several more fell into my "Unknown" category. They must thrive in the dense forest that makes up this part of the state.
The body count dropped to zero once I diverted onto the Pere Marquette Rail Trail, a mostly uninhibited 40 mile stretch of asphalt. A couple of guys training for triathlons passed me by on their sterling TT bikes. I wondered how fast they'd go if forced upon my steel rig with bungie hobo bags attached.
This gave me an idea for a race: A Tri or combined sport effort where the participants were allowed a budget of only 100 dollars for all of their gear. In order to avoid any advantage where someone might benefit from used equipment, the participants would be required to buy new gear and provide proof of purchase to race organizers. Orbea Ordus gleaned from Craigslist or Argon 18s sold by jilted lovers at garage would be banned.
I see a field of Chinese Wal-Mart bikes mounted by athletic wunderkinds in knockoff Chuck Taylors and Speedo Fastskin fakes. A glorious competition of hyper-testosterone fueled men and women bitching about their split times and poor performance due to mechanical challenges. Of course, this fantasy is motivated by my jealousy. Yet, I think such a race would still command quite a few entrants.
was mostly an uneventful day riding in the rain, listening to audio books about Monte Carlo simulations and how success in business is largely governed by wildly exuberant randomness. Don't tell this to Ariana Huffington or your rich neighbor with the bigger house and BMW, by the way.
Sketchy motels are taking a toll on my hai. It resembles a matted Brillo pad. Cheap dives only supply a tiny bar of soap that they probably stole or stockpiled from other crappy motels and these shards of lye have served as my shampoo and conditioner. When I get a chance, I'm just gonna cut it all off like Ashton Kutcher's abused ex-wife, G.I. Jane. It might suit me in the heat.
I treated myself to an early 80's inspired Best Western. Its convention center with burgundy and green decor and brassy fern bar without the ferns is charming. I can see the ghosts of important Motor City men in power ties enjoying some seminar here. The place is clean and the fish tank in the lobby is soothing. I'm typing this entry with fat fingers on my phone, sitting next to a content plecostomus.
Dinner options were limited, so I had the chicken parmesan sandwich, sans bread, at Gimmicks bar in a nearby bowling alley. I asked Stephanie, my friendly server, why breaded stuff needs more bread. She shrugged and asked what kind of fries I wanted on the side. I think this trip will cure me of eating so much of the American diet. Like a smoker bent on quitting by lighting up 16 packs in a day, my limited meal options made exclusively in fryers is going to turn me vegan or "freegan."
I'm toying with meeting up with Richard Moore, fun loving brother of my roommate in college, by making a detour to suburban Detroit. Perhaps, if I act un-heroically and feeble, Rich will pick me up in one of his large vehicles. He is a Motor City businessman, after all.