In an completely unabashed name-steal from the Tour of Lombardy, I’ve set to very casual work at creating the first annual Tour of the Falling Leaves in Traverse City, Michigan. The initial work was invested in messing around on MapMyRide and putting together three killer routes for the weekend, including a time trial on beautiful Old Mission Peninsula. With the vineyards, views of the bay and topography to rival Solvang (kinda) the TT should be quite the event. The climbing route will feature on Saturday, boasting of nearly 60 miles and 2,000 feet of climbing, just enough to keep everyone somewhat fresh for the final ascent which will decide the leader’s jersey, which will be a $20 jersey I bought at a mountain bike race last year.
I’ve ridden one hundred miles before, and I’m sure you have too. I’ve done a century on the road three times now, including the hilly Michigan Mountain Mayhem last year, where Wes ‘won’ with the official best time. We did the 100 mile, 7,800 feet of climbing in a grand total of five hours and forty-eight minutes, and, barring one shaky episode, did it without any real trouble. So why not, I thought quite stupidly, hop on some fat tires and go try it on the dirt.
The day began with a kiwi cup of coffee and oatmeal with my dad, the Bill Murray look-a-like that refused to be captured on film. The pellet stove hummed warmly, staving off the disgusting cold weather out of doors. They day only needed a bike ride to be perfect.
This afternoon, the last scheduled ride of the TC training camp, I was joined by Dennis Bean-Larson of the famous Fixed Gear Gallery and Hell Yes clothing. DBL showed me his workshop, filled with tons of rare and attractive bikes, parts and memorabilia. It was a dusty sort of heaven and a real treat to finally see. We headed back out toward Cedar, spinning and talking bikes and life, genuinely enjoying both for the moment. I worked in a 35 minute attack on Lawson Road and the climb up Bellinger, but the majority of the two hours and twenty minutes was spent rolling nice and easy. Every cyclist should seize a day to just that. Appreciate it; we never remember just how lucky we are.
Big shout out to DBL for the ride and the knowledge.