Sunday, April 12, 2009

Riding to Leland via Cedar and Schomberg Road

I was thinking of heading to Glen Arbor yesterday and I bailed. Ended up short, going to Cedar instead.

Fact is though I've been wanting to get that metric century under my belt early this season, so I climbed back on the Schwinn fixie and pushed off towards Leland...the long way.

Bicyclists in these parts all know Schomberg Road in Leelanau County. It's a notorious nine mile stretch of road heading north out of Cedar. Straight roads are funny things. They can wreak havoc on your good sense. This road seems unimposing...for the first mile or so.

Then it just keeps coming at you, hill after hill after hill. Granted, each uphill push comes with a nice downhill complement, but you know how it is with fixed gear bikes. You're working pretty hard going downhill as well as uphill.

The early spring scenery is spectacular today, and that makes it all more tolerable. At the crest of each hill the horizon seems to open up a little more, providing some hope that Leland will be just around the next corner.

Well, it's Easter Sunday and the whole town of Leland is shut down except for all the brunchers at the Bluebird Restaurant. Critical error on my part.... I didn't bring much food and had expected to reward myself with some kind of chow here. Oops. So I down my one apple, and a few power-cubes, chug some water and off I go.

Working my way towards Lake Leelanau Drive on M-22 the wind hits me hard in the face and I hunker down again. Finally turning southward things get comfortable and the scenery is glorious. The north end of Lake Leelanau is packed with ice, and the white surface is blinding as I look across.

By the time I cross County 204 in Lake Leelanau, I'm feeling the bonk. I know if I don't get some food I'll just drag myself home. But it IS Easter, and nothing seems open. I point the wheel south and keep rolling.

Then an Omen. Manna falling from heaven. Or more precisely, a sandwich from Joe, really. As I crest the hill at Donner Road, there in the center of the two lanes, lying between the two yellow lines is a ham and cheese sandwich. I'm not kidding. It's perfectly wrapped in plastic, and it's from NJ's Indian store in Lake Leelanau. On the wrapper, along with the "made-on" date, is written in big letters the name JOE, in thick magic marker. Poor Joe must have placed it on top of his car. While turning off 641 onto Donner Road it looks like it slid off, safely face-up in the middle of the road.

Now some of you would ask why I wouldn't just leave that sandwich sitting in the middle of the road? Well, I'm a do gooder, and that was too much litter in the middle of the road...and I was hungry! And, yes, I ate it. And it was good. Thanks Joe! I owe you one.

Here's the trip map:

1 comment:

samh said...

The "found sandwich" story is awesome!