Dennis and I picked up "gear-head" rider Brian Beauchamp and took a trip out towards Sutton's Bay today. We want to hit the TART trail and see if the snow has cleared. It doesn't take long for us to run into enough snow to challenge our skinny little tires, and then after Cherry Bend Road, enough to turn us back and hit the roads.
Here's a short synopsis video of the ride set to some Pink Floyd.
We all know Dennis is a strong rider, so I figured we'd be putting the hurt to our friend Brian. But Brian, riding his Cannondale geared bike, is also a strong rider and holds his own doing some damage to us on the hills... up and down.
We take Leelanau County Road 633 from where it tees with Cherry Bend, climbing the familiar and subtle hill that starts it off. Once on top, it's a fun set of rollers that help us make it through all the bare farmland, and cherry orchards. The fields are still covered with small blotches of snow. And every now and then, where the road narrows and the trees shade the tarmac, snow creeps out onto the roadway reaching out at our 700c tires.
On the way back we choose to head out towards Lee Point, a gorgeous little spit of land that helps make up the bay that settlers named after named Sutton. A quick climb up reveals upon looking back, a killer view of the bay and rest of Lake Michigan in the distance. Not to be missed if you ride out this way.
While leaving Lee Point Road and entering M-22, I accelerate and in the process lose Dennis off my shoulder. By the time I look back he's gone. I wait until Brian shows up and just assume Dennis is with him. Oops. We tinker around waiting but he doesn't show up. I get on the cell and leave him a message with our intended route and we plod up Shady Lane hill. (Dennis had been having some problems with his seat after spending some time on the Velodrome in Detroit last week.)
By this time it is about 8:00 PM and the Sun is setting on our right, just at this moment the field to our left opens up revealing the full moon rising. This is why we ride here. It's simply gorgeous any time of year.
As Brian and I make our way across 633 heading home I suggest that if Dennis is on M-22 he may in fact catch up to us. And as we jump off the TART Trail at M-72, there in the distance is a flicker of red. Yup, it's Dennis. He managed somehow to beat us home. Well, that's just Dennis. Probably pissed him off that I left him behind and that charged him up to crank up the RPMs. I've learned too well to never underestimate the cycling prowess of this man. He's a friggin' god.
So that's it. Watch the video. And get on your damn bike!
Here's the Trimble Allsport GPS trip map of the journey.