In a world increasingly preoccupied with throwaway materialistic things; where people are constantly busy earning money to pay for those things, or so their children can have those things;
This is the story of my dreams of travelling the world by bicycle. Because it's there. And because I dont want to die without experiencing the truly important things in life .

A sense of wonder and a sense of adventure.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Kellogg's Fruit Loops Everywhere but no Nescafe to Drink.

Day 39.
Lake Michigan & Bikes.

A nice leisurely ride around the shore of Lake Michigan. The terrain around the Lake would appear to be quite un challenging. Roads are very gently sloping and I struggled to get the bike out of top gear. Compounding this non calorific amble was a cooler than normal tail wind. My new cluster being a 7 speed is slightly wider than the 5 speed I started with so ever so slightly touches the rear drop-out. Every so often it touches and makes a slight scraping sound. Adi thought this was her bike rubbing and asked what the noise was. I told her not to be concerned as the noise was coming from my rear Schnaken torque washer and would self-correct in a few hundred kilometres. She was quite happy with this and it was more entertaining for me than trying to describe what the real problem was. I quite simply can’t be bothered adjusting the rear axle cones and spacers and then re-dishing the rim, an operation that I could perform at the next campsite but would get me very greasy and eat into my personal grooming time. In four weeks that cluster and chain will be in the bin anyway after the trip.

It is nice to have a comparatively smooth running system again although I am conscious of the chain only just holding onto the much reduced teeth of the big chain wheel.  A limited slip Chain wheel situation.

The highlight for the day was an impromptu visit to the Old Cooks Historic Cemetery down a sandy Dead End road. It was well worth the push (the bike not handling the loose sand at all well).  From a look at the gravestones it appears that the American’s love for abbreviation goes way back, but even today I think putting’ Laugh out loud’ on someone’s tombstone might be considered very bad taste.

Day 40.

Brevort Mi, and I find myself in a roadside diner hunting for something edible on the menu. I settle for bacon, lettuce and tomato wrap with a large cup of coffee. The pretty waitress sees my New Zealand top and says “Are you from New Zealand” thinking that the day was about to get better I said that I was. “I have friends that live there” she stated.  O jolly good I thought.

“They live in the Isle Of Man, is that near there?”

Silly girl. I think she needed to spend less time on Facebook when she was at school. The wrap was nice though, and the rest of the day…. Uneventful.

It’s not that cycle touring is totally boring. It’s just boring for extended periods when the weather is good, the terrain unchallenging and when the scenery predictable. When you have cycled challenging and tough terrain it’s lovely to chill out for a time and stamp out some easy kilometres. But that time has passed. Bring on some decent hills and get me away from the great lakes. I want to start the final chapter to the East coast. I have two cats at home who are forgetting who I am. One of them ‘Ken’ was just a mite when we left and he will need his Dad. Henry wasn’t much older and has taken little Ken’s care all on himself.  Ad’s 3 legged Bob will be missing her too. We tell ourselves that in about 4 weeks we should have knocked the bugger off and back with our adopted family of moggies.

In the last week we seem to have cycled out of mossie central and I can type this on the computer in the evening without losing a cup of blood. I do however have to put up with this abomination of a coffee that Adi picked up for me at the supermarket. I will tell you now what it is so none of you have to endure the loathsome taste in your mouths. It is Folgers coffee. I don’t know how they can call it coffee. The stuff comes in a coffee bag like a tea bag. That in itself is very disturbing. What on earth do you need a bag for when talking instant coffee! It tastes like tea filtered through a dirty sock. I’ve tried everywhere, and can I find instant Nescafe or Greggs? Obviously not.

This has become my challenge lately, to find drinkable instant coffee. (I do like the little cube sugars over here though. Very user friendly).

Day 41.

The quest continues. Another day and another Lake. Today we were forced from our bicycles. Told to dismount and to load the treadlies into the Ute. Or flat bed, or flat deck, or into this stupid big over-kill of a truck. We had reached the Mackinaw Bridge  spanning Lake Huron / Michigan and the State Police fella wouldn’t let us ride across on account of the fact that we might fall over the side, and the Mercian and I can’t swim.

I protested and said that I had achieved my Aqua Bear One certificate and could therefore float on my back for at least 10minutes. He wasn’t convinced. And I was conscious of the fact that clipped into the Mercian my chances of making the far bank would be slim.

Adi had already the night before decided to go in the Ute without a fight. She doesn’t like high bridges or deep water. We both left the Firth of Forth bridge in Scotland quite a few years ago shaking in our cleats and the poor girl has never fully recovered.

No Nescafe today.

We have arrived at another KOA campground. For anyone who hasn’t experienced the American family man’s camping dream and others camping hell, you must try a KOA (Campground of America). Here you will find the flagships of RV’s. RV’s so large that they have to escort them to their selected site with little golf carts. The driver’s family then get out and direct him as he tries to back the apartment on wheels into his spot. This is enormously entertaining as they usually manage to rearrange the back of the vehicle or the neighbour’s garden gnomes or other furniture. Angry discussions and pensive faces ensure as the driver extricates himself from the cab and examines the damage.

The rest of the camp activities are as equally entertaining. Teenagers strutting their stuff while babies bawl their eyes out because their parents can’t get the same brand of breakfast cereal that they have at home. Talking of breakfast cereals look at this;


Sweets in a box for kids to eat for brecky. Now don’t get me wrong, I love this stuff. And you can substitute the milk for Fanta and it’s a sugar blast from heaven.

But I’d only eat this stuff on tour. Fancy feeding your kids it! Kellogg’s shame on you. Don’t you know that the average parent is brain dead and that the kid is making the decisions in the family? Or maybe you do know. Shame on you.

No Nescafe today, maybe tomorrow.

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