Days 84-85 – Eight donuts in one day

I set a new record today for donuts consumed: 8. I also took my bike into the shop to repair a broken spoke that I discovered this morning on my way out the door. This delayed my start to the day, because I had to wait for the shop to open at 10:00, but I had a cappuccino at the neighboring coffee shop and read a bit of Oscar Wilde. Its interesting how some communities seem to organize their businesses extremely conveniently for me. I surveyed some of the patrons about the bridge from Sarnia, ON to Port Huron, MI, and the general consensus was that bicycles were not permitted to cross. I figured I would try anyway, since the next closest crossing was a ferry 20 miles to the south. After quickly fixing my spoke, truing my wheel, checking air pressure, and tightening my headset, the Bicycle Shop sent me on my way for a minimal charge (only $5!).

The rumors proved to be true that bicycles could not cross the bridge; however, the Canadian border patrol has a policy of ferrying cross-country cyclists in an official truck in the fast lane over the border, so that worked out wonderfully to my advantage. I did have to wait an extra 45 minutes in the inspection building as they checked over my passport, etc. It was such a stark contrast to entering Canada, where they barely glanced at my paperwork and waved me through. I got out of there around 12:30. This meant I needed to put down about 100 miles before dark in order to stay on schedule. I have to catch a ferry in Muskegon on Friday morning, and a friend from home has offered me a place to stay Thursday night in Coopersville. My initial estimates were 230 miles to Coopersville, but subsequent calculations put me the trip right at 200 miles, which was a great relief. Luckily, also the road was really flat, and I cruised to 90 miles before deciding to camp at a rest area for the night.

I had hoped to just sleep out, not set up my tent or anything, since the night looked pretty clear, but thunderheads rolled in just after I lay down among the mosquitoes, and I barely managed to get all my things inside the bathroom before it started to pour. This was actually not a bathroom, but a vaulted toilet with no sink or light, but possessing a large floor that I could spread out to a certain degree. It seemed recently cleaned; however, that could have been from the leaks I discovered in the ceiling a few minutes after the downpour started. I contorted myself around the drips and puddles, and remained relatively dry, considering. I awoke from what wasn’t really a sleep at five and got my things together. It was dry but foggy outside, and I needed to wait until it was a little lighter before hopping on the bike. I loitered around a convenience store, bought a donut when it opened, and set off for Grand Rapids. Today will need to be 110 miles, but as long as I keep up a steady pace, it shouldn’t be too tough.

In my last entry I was whining a bit about the uncertainty, blah blah blah, of my trip and how it was starting to wear me down. Strangely, after a night of no sleep in a soggy men’s room in the middle of no where, I feel somehow recharged and ready to go again. My mood has been somewhat capricious as of late, and I think the challenge of this last leg of my trip will be to overcome a bit of that self pity and toughen up. No more whining.