Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Day 25: begin en route descent

If you've traveled much by air you've probably come to recognize phases of the flight: the full thrust and steep angle of attack for the initial climb, the backing off the thrust and less aggressive angle for the climb to cruising altitude, etc. At some point long before you've reached your destination there is a phase called (according to my retired pilot roommate) "en route descent" where the angle of the plane is distinctly flat, the engines become quiet and the plane seems to be gliding. You can still use your electronic devices for at least another half hour, but you sense the flight terminus is approaching.

Today's ride had exactly that feeling, from breakfast onwards. Vikki and Craig, the last remaining partial route tourists, were picked up and hauled home after the ride, so our numbers have now shrunk to only include the crew and full-trip cyclists. The route today was "short" - only 102 miles - so everyone was relaxed and the effort moderate. Today was "picture day" with individual portraits of rider and steed taken at the second rest stop, which also included immoderate sized ice cream cones at 10:30 AM (sin of gluttony: check!). Then at lunch we had our first serving of farm-fresh sweet corn. This leant a air of celebration to our day.

As a grace note we wined and dined with Paul's brother Mike and wife Ann who drove over from Lansing to check up on us. We're getting a well deserved reputation for having a lot of connections, perhaps inspiring some envy when we are able to get whisked off in a private automobile to a fine eatery while the rest of the riders choose between the walkable Lucky's Steakhouse, Burger King and Big Boy.

Leaving this morning, we found that the town of Midland used the PACTour Northern Transcontinental color scheme for their 10 mile display. We were flattered, but really, they shouldn't have!

Very very flat with lots of pace line miles today. Tourists Grant, Lisa, Drew (crew) with Steve rotating off the front:

Another stretch on a beautiful Michigan bikeway:

 Me and Grant, showing the business side of things:

Portrait selection: me and Paul because we are there, and Steve and Lisa because they are such good posers:

Crew member John L cools his heels at the lunch stop:

Evidently corn deserves study before consumption:

A Paul sandwich made with brother Mike & sys-in-law Ann:

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