Monday, October 18, 2010

Still Michigan.

I spent a few days visiting my old friend Ivan. We met in 1993 when I reported to Coast Guard Station Saginaw River. These days, we’ve both moved on to other things.

From Michigan 2010
Ivan and his family made me feel completely at home. They let me make a cake (and pretended to like it), and I made guacamole (twice!). Ivan even laughed at all my jokes.
From Michigan 2010
Okay, most of my jokes.
From Michigan 2010
I got to pick up the eggs from the family (free-range-ish) chicken ranch .
From Michigan 2010
I got to see his band “Sweet Justice,” both in a real gig and at a practice. And I got free Ukulele lessons (band and ukulele not pictured).

I also got to see the town, Grand Haven, Michigan. The downtown area has seen better days. Apparently, this is the result of a plan to heat the city sidewalks and make the place more appealing to tourists during the winter months. Ivan said the project was suspended during the summer months, but has been in progress for over a year.
From Michigan 2010

From there, I headed across the state so I could get together with buddy Paul for a mountain bike race. I was just along for support, not planning to race.  Good thing, too.
From Michigan 2010

Paul tearing up the trails on our pre-ride.
From Michigan 2010

About 6 miles into our pre-ride of the race course, the left side of my handle bar broke off. We had just come down a bumpy decent and Paul was following me on the fast and narrow single-track. Suddenly, he sees my front wheel swerving wildly and hears me yelling “don’t-crash-don’t-crash!” Somehow I kept the bike upright and got it stopped.


My handle bar breaks off while I'm riding and my pulse is only 104. Cool under pressure or what!
From Michigan 2010

Paul said later that was some of the most amazing bike handling he’d ever seen. Or, maybe he thought it. Or maybe I thought he thought it.

Here Paul is seen tearing up the race course on his way to a respectable 12th in the Expert class.
From Michigan 2010

Also seen this week: four-door cab, full sized bed, and a five-foot extension to the frame. Bet this handles like a great lakes freighter.
From Michigan 2010

Tomorrow I fly out heading to Korea for three days of bike racing on the DMZ.  When I get back I plan to head southwest for Arizona.  Read about that trip here!

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