Such kindness in this world!

What an incredible day! I left Chesterfield on a dreary day, headed for Ann Arbor, but life has a way of changing our plans. After cycling 20 miles, I found the REI I was looking for. It’s on Big Beaver Rd in Troy Michigan. The folks there, treated me like a celebrity! They loved my bike. They made over my journey, and me;) I got a working computer installed on the bike…. finally. I’ve missed so many turns, by overshooting the distance mark. I start enjoying the scenery, or otherwise get preoccupied, enjoying the ride, and just cycle right past my turn. With the odometer, maybe that will happen less. While I was at the REI in Troy, I met several wonderful employees. Rodney put my computer on. He was very helpful, and sweet. Bob, is a young man with enthusiasm and a heart of gold.There are a couple Bob’s at that store, so I’m talking about the younger of them. Well, Bob and I started talking about my trailer, and the fact that I’d sent it home, and was working off 2 “front” panniers, and a handlebar bag. I felt that I needed something a bit larger, but need something waterproof, and hate to buy a new pair of Ortliebs, when I have the “rear” set of Transits at home.Well, Bob asked if I could use a pair of Ortlieb panniers if they had some damage and were very inexpensive. We worked out a deal, and I got a pair of brand new Ortlieb rear panniers for less than $50!!!!! I’ve had to connect one side of one pannier with a zip tie, but will write to Ortlieb and see if I can get a replacement part from them. It would be easy to fix. Thanks Bob! I’m hoping to hear from you. I did promise Bob that if you e-mails me, so I have his contact info, I’ll send the panniers to him (hopefully, repaired), when I finish this trip. Cycling from REI, I went on, still hoping to get to Ann Arbor. Googlemaps left me floundering again, though. I stopped and bought a paper map, and got as far as Southfield. Discouraged, I stopped at a fire station, hoping for a safe place to stay for the night. There really wasn’t a piece of flat ground on the property, so the guys there, called over to the next firestation (#2) and asked them to “host” me for the evening. The lawn was very flat! It was a beautiful place to stay the night. The folks on the shift, welcomed me in for the night, and shared their meal with me. A very generous meal. We had huge pork loin chops on the grill, home-made mashed potatoes, and broccoli steamed al dente. Yum! They got called out about 9 pm, and I went into the tent, and crashed completely. Slept until 6:30, went in and met the new shift. They were just as kind and caring as the previous folks. So, to the folks at Southfield Fire station #2, thanks. Leaving Southfield, using my googlemaps again, I am wound through all many, many side streets and neighborhoods, rather than a simple, straight course, toward Stockbridge, MI. The final 15 miles are on a a lakeside multi-use trail. It starts out great!

But within a half mile, the excessive rain we’ve had presented me with a pool-sized puddle. I had no idea how deep it might be, but ventured in. It came up above the bottom bracket.Unfortunately, I couldn’t shoot a pic at it’s highest, as it took both hands to keep myself upright and pedaled as hard as I could, but here’s my point of view: I LOVED this;0) It may not be the best thing in the world for my bike, but I’m content to use my bike up, rather than preserving it for eternity, or even a decade, if it means I don’t do the things I really want to do on it. The trail got impassible for me, due to hoof damage, and a very soft trail bed.

I finally got on a hard-surface road, and cycled the remaining few miles of today’s 50, and stopped in a cafe. Dinner in Gregory, MI was good, and a lady came in for her dinner and we began chatting. She asked where I stay at night, and I told her I was looking for a yard to camp in. She said she didn’t have a yard, but she had a couch. We had a great evening chatting. She allowed me to take a shower, wash clothes and sleep on a very comfy couch! I enjoyed this time, and I was able to help her also. She had a new comp and camera and I got to teach her a little about how to use them.
Everyone….. every one of us….. has a story. It’s so amazing to get 8-12 hours with a person, and learn their story, and become a part of their story.
And have them become a part of your own story. I hope Denise and I will be friends for a loooonnnngg time.
I hope Bob gets in touch and that one day, we cycle together;0)
Today, is going to be the best day of the tour so far!
Watch and see.

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About rivercityweaves

I'm a mom, wife and fiber artist, living in rural Virginia. On days I'm not creating fiber art or teaching others how to, I'm probably saddle surfing on my Bianchi, or laughing with friends.
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