We completed the last century (>100 miles in one day) of our tour today in ideal conditions. We left at dawn when it was still quite cool and rode quickly along a flat course flanked by lakes at every turn. We saw plenty of low-lying fog early in the morning but it dissipated quickly once the sun was up. For most of the day, the temperature hovered in the mid-70s and the humidity never really got serious. Plus, we’re riding in trees now so we get a lot more shade. The big deal, however, is that we had a tailwind most of the way. We all agreed at the end of the ride that this was one of the easiest centuries we’ve ever ridden.
Michigan should be called the Land of Lovely Lawns. Every lawn is neat and trim and well manicured. It’s like riding along a never ending golf course. They must spend a ton of money on lawn mowers here. We’re now in Mt. Pleasant which is a sweet little college town (home of Central Michigan University) and also part of the Chippewa Indian reservation. So the west side of town looks like a nice college town while the east side looks like Las Vegas — with a huge casino/resort dominating everything else. It must be an interesting place to live.
Meanwhile, the PR campaign continues. I don’t have any interviews scheduled (yet) in Michigan but we got some very good coverage in Minnesota and Wisconsin. In Mankato, Minnesota, the ride was front page news. You can read the article here: http://bit.ly/rn9vDe. In La Crosse, Wisconsin, the local affiliate of ABC news gave us a nice spot on the morning news. You can see it here: http://bit.ly/ojtTsM
Now it’s time to introduce three riders from Europe. Jan (pronounced yahn) and Andries
(pronounced andries) are brothers from Holland who are doing the entire coast-to-coast ride. Since they’re both very strong riders, we’ve nicknamed them the Flying Dutchmen. In Sioux Falls, they were joined by Jan’s girl friend, Connie. She too is a strong rider so we now call them the Flying Dutchpersons. Actually, that’s a bit awkward so we’ve simplified things and started referring to Jan as Jan Cheese. This is actually a nickname that goes back to the 17th century when the Dutch and the English were struggling for supremacy in New Amsterdam (later called New York). They didn’t like each other so they came up with somewhat derogatory nicknames for each other. The Dutch called the English roastbeefs based on their dietary preferences. The English did the same for the Dutch, calling them collectively, Jan Cheese. The nickname is still with us today but the pronunciation has changed. We now pronounce it yankees.
We’ve passed several milestones in the past few days:
- We’re now in our seventh state. Only Ontario, New York, Vermont, & New Hampshire are left.
- We’re in our fourth time zone.
- We have less than 1,000 miles to go.
Day’s distance: 113.9 miles (183.3 km)
Average speed: 16.5 mph (26.6 kph)
Day’s climb: 2,410 feet (734.6 meters)
Total distance: 2,783.9 miles (4,480.3 km)