Ludington to Mt. Pleasant, MI

Guess what–one of my tent poles broke again this morning; I’m not sure if it was the replacement one, or the other original one. I wasn’t even taking it down yet this time, I was just sitting inside soon after waking up, and I heard a “pop” right over my head as it snapped. It was in the same spot as before, so it must be a design flaw in the tent. I’m going to have a long talk with both The North Face and Gander Mountain (where I bought it) when I get home.

We started the day by riding back into town (in slight darkness) for breakfast at the Old Hamlin Restaurant, then continued on for the longest-mileage day on the tour–110 miles. I rode with Bruce and Patti again. The weather was relatively cool, and it seemed like we covered the first 50 miles to lunch in no time at all. The lunch stop was set up in the middle of nowhere, next to a dirt road that turned out to lead to a construction site, so large trucks were constantly whizzing by, throwing dirt all over our food.

On the way to lunch, several people had an incident with a guy driving a red pickup truck. He passed them very close, yelled out the window, and in one case, stopped abruptly in front of a group of riders and exchanged a few harsh words.

A few miles after lunch, there was a one-mile stretch of road under construction that was all dirt and gravel. It got so loose and deep at times that we had to walk our bikes a bit. It started to get a little hotter by this time, but it cooled off again later in the afternoon. We even got a nice tailwind, which was a welcome boost for the last 20 miles of the route. I felt pretty good all day, and in the end, even after all the miles, many people said it was one of their best days of riding to date.

We stayed at a middle school on the edge of town, so not many people wnet in to explore the downtown area. Mt. Pleasant is the home of Central Michigan University, the “other CMU.” After showering, I napped for a while until dinner, which was at Immanuel Lutheran Church right next door to the school. After dinner, I went to a bar called Cheers right up the street with a few other people, including Molly, Marisa, Richard, Ted, Robert, Brian, Kira, and Scott.

The noises that I had been hearing in the bottom bracket and/or headset of my bike seemed to quiet down today. Before bed, I swapped my front and rear tires and cleaned my rims up a bit.

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