tour de thumb
Although our early summer had definitely left Michigan by Sunday I decided
to take a trip on my motorcycle. I toured the thumb of Michigan,
first heading north towards Bay City and taken Highway 25 all the way around
to Port Huron leading to the freeways 94 to 696 to 275 to 14 to 23 to home.
The day started out beautifully, I believe it was in the mid fifties after
I finished brunch with Gretchen and headed out. I expected it to get colder
as I rode and wisely brought my warm winter gear. I had no idea.
The ride on I-75 to Bay City was straight forward though I had to restrain
myself to avoid maintaining speeds of 100+ as I cleared annoying cell-using-coffee-drinking
SUV drivers. The sun was out and the temperatures remained warm.
Driving through Bay City was nice; it's a pretty city and the traffic was
fairly light. Five miles out from Bay City on Highway 25 and I was in the middle of
The further I rode the colder the air became. By the time I reached Port Austin near the tip of
the thumb I stopped for gas, zipped in my jacket liner, and traded up for my
thinsulate deerskin gloves. The next 100 miles to Port Huron were torture. I
stopped once on the way down and once again in Port Huron to regain my composure.
Cold on a motorcycle is cold that sucks the heat out of your body. The constant
stream of air cannot be stopped.
While the sun shone Lake Huron sucked the warmth out of the air. A bank thermometer
in Port Huron registered 36 F in the city, I'm certain it was even colder
before reaching town. I enjoy being cold, but this type of cold is insane.
Just before the town of Port Hope I spotted a patrol car as I crested a hill.
He spotted me too. I had slowed coming over the hill and around the previous
curve but there was no doubt I was still speeding. I figured myself at around 70 mph (marked
and gently decelerating as I approached. The county sheriff officer was oncoming and had
pulled hard to his right in preparation for a U-turn before I had even passed him.
He had not completed his U-turn and I was already on the
shoulder slowing to a halt. Before he made it out to me I already had my helmet
off and had my license and papers out for inspection. After we agreed that I had
been going much too fast he went back and spent and eternity doing whatever it is police
do while holding a person on the side of the road.
Thankfully he gave me a verbal warning (I'm certain this was a product of my
polite, knowledgable, and straight-forward nature; of course I was speeding, saying I
wasn't sure would only let him know that I was reckless and didn't care, not true!)
and then we spent another couple minutes
admiring my bike and trying to figure out why I was so far from Ann Arbor without
friends or a destination. I guess he didn't really understand the concept "road trip."
I put this
together later, but the guy looked a lot like the actor
After huddling around a gas station cappuccino in Port Huron I mounted my steed
and headed south-west on 94. While I had picked up the pace from 65 to 90, the
air actually warmed I as retreated from the Lake and my ride became more about
enjoyment and less about survival. The ride home took me through heavy
Saturday afternoon traffic and I was passed by several crazed squids who thought
weaving through 5 lanes of traffic @ 100+ was fun. To each his own; please don't get
I returned to Ann Arbor just as the sunset, 375 miles later.
fish sandwich festival?
Barry Pepper leaving after giving me a warning.