Sunday, May 06, 2012

Fifty-mile bike ride

Yesterday, I took a ride to Hell, MI and then on to Pinkney, Whitmore Lake, and back to Ann Arbor.

Trip to Hell and back

Hell, the unincorprated community in Putnam Township, is about 21 miles northwest from Ann Arbor, but - due to unpaved roads - it's not so easy to bike to it, and the route we took was about 23 miles. This little community was all owned by a man named George Reeves, who set up a bunch of mills in the 1830s on what was known - at the time - as Hell Creek. The name for the area was (according to Wikipedia) based on an exclamation in German ("So schön hell!") or from Reeves himself who said - what the town should be called - "I don't care, you can name it Hell for all I care." (These, according to Wikipedia.) Anywho... the settlement was officially called Hell in 1841.

From Hell, we went onward to Pinkney - about a four-mile trip - via the Lakeland Trails State Park.

We stopped in at the Zukey Lake Tavern for some lunch (and mini tacos, in "celebration" of cinco de mayo), and spent a little too much time there. However, as we were leaving the Tavern, I saw a guy looking at my bike. Low and behold, it was one of the guys from Great Lakes Cycling who normally does maintenance on it (and suggested that I get the NuVinci hub). He had recognized my bike immediately and it was just serendipitous that we ran into each other at that time. He was finishing up a ride of his own, going back the other way down the Lakelands Trail. Anyway, after that short encounter, we were off: back to Ann Arbor (but with slightly more-full-than-necessary bellies, which made cycling more of a chore than it was than before we stopped for lunch).

Unfortunately, the Lakelands Trail doesn't go all the way to Whitmore Lake (or even to 9-mile, which is what Google Maps currently shows). The last mile isn't completed, so after cycling along the trail for 9.2 miles, it was a detour off to Hall Road, along Hamburg Lake on a dirt road, and then jumped over the highway to Whitmore Lake (taking 8-mile). Not the worst dirt road, and not horrible to cycle along 8-mile to get to Whitmore Lake, but not the most fun thing, either.

Once at Whitmore Lake, following Whitmore Lake Road all the way back to Bandermer Park was easy, and - thanks to the proximity of the highway - lightly traveled by cars. The final leg - all 16 miles - was relatively quiet, and the fatigue was starting to set in. My wrists were sore, my but was sore, and my legs were tired.

In total, including the cycling from home and back home, the trip was 58.24 miles.

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