The fourth installment of my sixth DALMAC (Dick Allen Lansing Mackinac) ride this summer.
|Pure Michigan Hospitality! Boardman, MI.|
We are going to be riding downhill for most of the day, dropping from our current 1200 ft. to 600 ft. by late in the day. But we are still riding up and over enough of northern Michigan’s glacial moraines and inland dunes that despite the overall loss of elevation, the day will still have 1,900 feet of climbing in the 67 miles ahead.
Breakfast is a quieter affair with our downsized group. The breakfast fare is similar, and I enjoy a mix of eggs, sausage, oatmeal, a couple small pancakes and some fruit. After breakfast, it is back out to the bikes. I change into my cycling shoes and zip my Keene’s into my bag, and then walk them to truck, carefully climbing the damp metal ramp. It always seems harder to walk down the ramp then up, so I use the door’s handrail and step down off the bumper.
I am surprised at how many riders are already on the road as we mount up. I felt no need to rush out on a cold morning and a relatively short day of riding. In any case, we will still have plenty of company on the road. We start off at a pace that soon takes care of the chill, heading north and quickly leaving the town behind. We are now riding in mostly forest, with only a few scattered fields as evidence of past farming.
|Smooth roads and clear skies!|
|Steve finishes up the old M66 roll-out.|
|PIE! The Boardman Church bake sale!|
The elevation data is also another interesting aspect of the GPS. In the past, you remembered the big hills, but you never really thought about the constant changes of the terrain as you crossed the state. Inland Michigan almost 500 feet above the surrounding great Lakes, and crossed by many streams and small rivers. The GPS elevation data really brings that to life. It was also interesting to talk so some riders who were not using a GPS, one was a TCBA volunteer, who didn’t realize you could download the route and elevation to your phone.
|An abandoned farm on Valley Road - near Kalkaska.|
After another stretch on M66, turn west to go up to the church at Boardman, where the congregation has hosted a DALMAC bake sale for many years. I enjoy some pie and a sandwich and a GatorAde, and pick-up some some cookie bars to go. It is still cool, but the sun is bright and day is slowly warming up as we head out again. We are soon rolling north on M131 through Kalkaska, and then turn west on M72.
A few miles west of Kalkaska we turn of the main road on to Valley Road. It is a relatively recent route change and new to me. We are following a winding road through a mix of small hillside farms and forest; it reminds me of both riding in New England, and the roads in Traverse Bay area, another day’s ride north. It is great improvement over the long run on a state highway that I recalled.
|A "two-day" cookie!|
Our riding day finishes with a long stretch along the eastern shore of Torch Lake, though the lake is only occasionally glimpsed through the trees and between homes and cottages. The road is freshly paved, and the traffic is light, and the day has warmed enough that I am down to a jersey and arm warmers. We finally begin the last climb over the ridge before we drop into Central Lake, and another high school.
|Now that's cooking!|
After dinner, I take a short walk into town for some socializing with Steve and a few of his Lansing friends. It’s a very comfortable evening, though with the clear sky, it will probably cool off quickly, and it does. We return to the school just before dark, and I settle into my tent for the night, looking forward to a good night’s sleep and another day of riding ahead. Life is good.
Day 3 by the numbers:
Start: Lake City
Finish: Central Lake
Mileage: 67.1 (227.9)
Riding Time: 4 hours, 22 Minutes
Elevation: +1914 / -2498 ft
|227 miles in, Life is Good|
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