Day 27 – East China Township, MI to Croswell/Lexington, MI – 47 miles
We were so excited to get our day started, as we were pedaling to Sheila & Bill’s (Shawn’s sister & brother-in-law) house. We got up & were on the road by 7, traveling with only one pannier, as we loaded the rest of our gear in Sheila’s car after dinner the night before. It was a glorious morning! Comfortably cool, cloudless blue skies and beautiful views of the St. Clair River.
We quickly rode into the city of St. Clair & saw the beautiful riverfront park & decided to pick up a quick breakfast from Timmy’s (Tim Hortons) & enjoy it in the park. Just about the time we returned from Timmy’s, two freighters traveling in opposite directions met on the River, right in front of the park! We ate our breakfast & drank our coffee, hoping to see more freighters but we did not see any upriver or downriver so we got back on our bike.
As we came into Port Huron, we had the “unmistakable” (ha!) swaying of a flat rear tire, only this time Jim was mistaken because he thought it was the grooved pavement we were riding on, he told Shawn don’t worry, this will be over as we get on a smoother road. That wishful thinking lasted about 4 seconds, yup, we had another flat. When we had the bike upside down we noticed that the wheel had a slight bend in the rim – most likely from the blow out we had yesterday. A slight bend on a rim for a “half bike” (one person bike) would not be a problem, but could pose bigger problem for a tandem. Fortunately*, our spare rear wheel was with Shawn’s sister, Sheila only 25 miles away AND a bike shop to swap out the wheel, was just up the road. We replaced the tube, on the bad wheel, called Sheila and planned to meet her at the bike shop.
*We continue to be amazed by the fortunate incidents that seem to follow us on this trip. Call it good ju-ju, “god-sequences”, clean living, the support of all the prayers that are said on our behalf, but we have been very blessed on this trip!
The bike shop experience could be a lesson from a customer relation / customer expectation / human relation seminar. Suffice to say that after understanding the shops capability, who was who in the bike shop, where shop tools were, our combined knowledge of rear hubs and, a critical phone call to Brent “The Tandem Whisperer” back in Holland, Michigan, we were back on the road with a swapped rear wheel. We also added a new gatorskin tire to replace the blow-out from yesterday (got our spare tire back!) and were rolling toward our overnight in Croswell/Lexington. We’re so grateful to people at bike shops like this who are willing to help us on a walk-in basis and get us fixed up to keep riding!
The rest of the day was pretty uneventful – beautiful day, riding up the beautiful coastline of Lake Huron! We kept marveling at the gorgeous blue water & blue sky! I guess that’s why everything around the area is called, “Blue Water”. Rolling into the south side of Lexington, we stopped at Bunny’s Custard for an afternoon snack. Sheila met a couple on a tandem from Quebec at Bunny’s a week or two ago and had offered them a place to stay but they wanted to get further down the road.
We rolled north out of Lexington and before too long we were pulling up to the dirt road where Sheila & Bill’s house is located – and there was Sheila with the pickup truck to save us riding down the newly graded gravel road! What a sweetheart – she’s so thoughtful! Before we got out of the shower, she had our water bottles washed & cooked us a wonderful dinner! A little later, another sister, Sherri came over with her husband, Brad and daughter Annette. We had a nice time visiting with everyone!