Sunday, August 17, 2008

Getting out of town

Alicia and our bikes in front of the lovely St. Clair River.

Yesterday, on the recommendation of a free-book room find Road Biking Michigan, by Cari Noga, Alicia and I took a short drive (1 hour 26 min according to Google Maps) to St. Clair, Michigan. It's on the eastern coast of the mitten, right on the St. Clair River. The St. Clair River connects the Detroit River with Lake Huron, making it an important waterway connection. More important to us, however, was the fact that it is one of the most beautiful blue rivers around. We parked at St. Clair High School (again, at the recommendation of the fabulous book), and unloaded the bikes. With only a few turns, we were on Riverside, the unambiguously named street that runs along the river and through downtown.

We biked through St. Clair, and stayed along the river all the way up to Port Huron. This turned out to be 13.3 miles, a distance I'm quite comfortable with. We locked the bikes and headed into Quay Street Brewing for in-house root beer, a salmon burger (me) and a chicken sandwich (Alicia) on their patio. It solidified my appreciation of the road biking book, and my good opinion of cyclists the world over, all of whom seem to appreciate not only beautiful bike routes, but also good food and drink. (Being somewhat dehydrated already, and recognizing the need to get back on the bike, I elected not to try one of their beers. Maybe next time...)

After walking around to let lunch settle and move our legs differently for a bit, we got back on the bikes and headed south. The wind wasn't with us as much going back, but the route was quite flat, so I did pretty well. It took us about an hour each way, adding on a little bit on the way back because I thought the backs of my legs might fall off. I'm proud to have made it 26.6 miles on my bike, which is a personal best. I was less proud to learn last night that the Olympic women marathoners run approximately as fast as I can ride my bike, and for just as long. That aside, it was a lovely ride, and I'd highly recommend it.

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