Did everyone have a good weekend of riding? The weather here in southern Michigan was spectacular, a bit of wind notwithstanding.
Originally, my plan was to visit Wauseon, OH, have lunch, and return home in one big loop. Mid-way through the week, I decided to add a detour through Morenci, MI, because I wanted to visit C&W Cycle, a local bike shop that a number of folks around here speak very highly of. However, once I mapped that out and saw that it would be just over 72 miles round trip, I opted instead to make Morenci the destination, but to take the scenic route both directions. This past Wednesday was the first time I’d ridden in ten days, save for my daily commute. On top of that, I just can’t get away from the house that long.
So I set out at 8:30a and made it to Morenci just in time for C&W Cycle to open at 10a. Alas, the doors were locked and no one was around. I would later learn that Morenci’s annual city-wide yard sale event had made the shop owner about 15 minutes late getting to work (on the one day she decided to drive instead of ride her bike — that’ll learn ya’!) because traffic was such a mess. This came as no surprise. I had more trouble navigating my way through the throngs would-be junk traders in this small town than I do navigating city traffic at rush hour. So, I wandered around their quaint little village for a bit (it really is a pretty cool little whistle-stop), grabbed some snacks at the local market, and then made my way south. (More on C&W Cycle in a minute.)
Having never ridden these roads before, and not being at all familiar with the area, I had mapped the entire trip with Map My Ride. I think Map My Ride is a fantastic tool, but I discovered a couple of things on this ride that will ensure I exercise a bit of caution next time around. First, Map My Ride does not distinguish between various road surfaces. About five or so miles into the ride, I turned left, as directed by my cue sheet, and found myself on a dirt road. (Note: I wonder if this is reason enough to justify buying a cyclecross bike.)
The second issue was far worse. Even though the map was correct, the cue sheet incorrectly told me to turn right when I should have been turning left. (For anyone interested, on the route map, it is the direction to turn right on County Rd. T at mile 24.01.) After riding a good four or five miles in the wrong direction, and having no map of northern Ohio with me, I had no choice but to turn around and head home following the same route I had taken to get there. I ended up doing just over 62 miles. For the life of me, I can’t understand why the cue sheet would indicate something different than what the route clearly indicated. So, a word to the wise and a note to self: double check the cue sheet against the route and carry maps. (Maybe a compass wouldn’t be such a bad idea either! Note: I wonder if this is reason enough to justify buying a GPS cycle computer.)
The good news is that this unfortunate mishap gave me an opportunity to pass by C&W Cycle again, and this time I found them open. What a terrific little shop! They cater heavily to the BMX crowd, but they have plenty of other goodies hanging around, and it’s clear that the owners know a thing or two about working on bikes. While there, I stumbled upon a 2008 Raleigh One Way. I spent the better part of the return trip lusting after it, and I haven’t stopped thinking about how I might somehow get my hands on it.