It was a crisp 55 degrees this morning, cool enough to perk me up for the first hour of biking into Evart. We rode on the Pere Marquette Trail, an old rails-to-trails bike path that parallels HW 10. There were no cars or hills, and we got to see lots of wildlife. In the first 15 miles I saw several of Michigan’s famous black squirrels, a couple of chipmunks, five deer (including a doe and her two fauns), and no fewer than ten rabbits.
We stayed on the Pere Marquette for the entire 70 miles into Midland. It passes through towns at regular intervals and it has well-made signs that make it easy to navigate. It is, in fact, a part of the rails-to-trails hall of fame.
Saturday was the first day of the 2019 Tour de France, which will continue for the next three weeks before ending in Paris. It coincides almost exactly with this three-week stretch of our ride from Petoskey to Bar Harbor. I’m not usually an avid follower of cycling but I’ve really enjoyed keeping up with it while on the bike trip.
Yesterday was stage 2 of the Tour: the team time trial. Each team raced a 16.5 mile course around Brussels in a tight draft line, averaging speeds of up to 35 mph. Evan and I were nowhere near that fast today, but it was fun to pretend that we were racing through Brussels, especially with my new aerobars that I borrowed from Wes’ bike.
Today felt more productive than the past few days did since we were actually traveling East. From Mackinac to Reed City our route had taken us South-Southwest, the opposite direction as Bar Harbor. Now we’re back on track and ready to cross into Ontario in just a few more days!