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19th – 20th Sept 09 Fun Cycling in Indiana and Michigan’s Country Lanes

October 3, 2009

The very first weekend I was here, and not yet over jet-lag, my Aunt’s friends offered to lend me a bicycle and asked if I’d like to join them on a 2 day 100-mile sponsored ride around northern Indiana and southern Michigan’s country lanes. An offer that I simply could not refuse. I was treated to beautifully sunny and warm weather and it was so great to be back exploring by bicycle; experiencing the countryside rather than catching glimpses from a moving car. At this pace you can study the different sights and sounds. I got to hear the loud (and huge, I had seen one in the garden the day before) grasshoppers merrily chirp in the many corn and soy bean fields I passed by, saw sandhill cranes flying overhead searching for food, farms of varying size from machine worked to smaller ones with Amish farmers at work with horses and traditional plough.

Buggies (horse and carriage) and cars share the roads

Buggies (horse and carriage) and cars share the road

Both days ride returned to a retreat centre where I was sleeping in a bunk room nestled upon the edge of a forest and not far from a lovely lake that I dozed by in the evening sun. I was happy that hog-roast was on the menu on Saturday and definitely ate enough calories to make up for my exertions!

Despite the bicycle being too short for me causing uncomfortable knees, and many stops for photographs I still managed to complete the distance along with those on their lightweight, speedy racing bicycles and those on relaxed recumbent bicycles. I did manage to get a short ride on the latter though.

Scaring folk on my first try of a recumbent

Scaring folk on my first try of a recumbent

A kind chap foolishly allowed me to try his recumbent bicycle. It was quite different in feeling to a normal bicycle and took me a while to get a hang of getting it going and having enough momentum to steer properly. Thankfully, I caused only amusement at the supplies and gear stop and not carnage!

For more pictures of the countryside, bicycles and compatriots, click here

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