Entries Tagged as Routes & Rides
"What was I thinking? I must be insane! Why did I think I could do this? You don't do these kind of things! Other people do this, you freaking idiot!" These were just a few of the choice thoughts running through my head on June 29, 2013, as I left familiar cycling territory while embarking on my first attempted overnight bike trip. The plan was to ride from my home in Overland Park, Kansas, to Clinton State Park, which is just west of Lawrence, Kansas. I had estimated that the trip, which would take me through the communities of DeSoto and Eudora, would require approximately 50 miles, each way, of output from my untried (over this distance, anyway) human power plant. How, at the age of 46, had I arrived at this point in my life?
Grand Island sits just north of the small town of Munising, on the waters of Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.) Munising is home to the only ferry service to Grand Island. It is also located within a short drive to the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Grand Island is considered a National Recreation Area, part of the Hiawatha National Forest. Most people spend just the day on the island; with a little planning, however, I thought it would make for a great family bike overnight.
When my husband Dick and I bought our touring bikes last year, we didn't really have a plan. I suspected we'd set out for credit-card type tours, and we still may. But so far, our overnight bike trips don't fit any of the models listed above. I call them "bicycle getaways," two- to four-day trips, more urban than many touring trips. We utilize transit to increase our travel ranges, and overnight in luxury accommodations. Ideally, a hotel with fuzzy robes in the rooms and great restaurants nearby.
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"The Rectangle Ride" is a 110-mile route that starts in Arlington, Washington, heads east to Darrington, north to Rockport, west to Sedro-Woolley, and then loops back south to Arlington. It was a perfect, autumnal weekend for a rectangular ride with spectacular company.
Shortly after turning onto Township Road 362, we zoomed downhill past a horse-drawn buggy driven by two teenage boys. And, boys being boys, they gave chase. (Or at least we think they did.) We rolled by tranquil green countryside occupied by well-kept farms, and the sound of the horses' hooves pounding the pavement stayed behind us. "I think they are gaining on us!" I shouted to Nance.
Excited, nervous, and downright giddy, we exchange four wheels for two and load onto the ferry that goes from Edmonds to Kingston, Washington. We may as well have training wheels, uncertain as we are of biker-ferry protocol. Is it safe to just leave them? Bike-thirsty pirates and misguided harbor seals may be lurking. The ferry attendant kindly instructs us that most people hang the handlebar over the side rail and go upstairs. Then relax.