The Final Countdown.
The past few days have been adventure filled with plenty of exciting moments, crossing into new states. I’ve even crossed into some very familiar states. Let’s trek back to Detroit, which seems like so long ago, even if it’s only been a few days. I headed to the ballgame with Husain, who was an awesome and hospitable host. Husain knows so much about the Tigers, and just loves to share his city with you. I had an absolute blast talking about the game with him, and admired his ability to just share his passion with anyone who listened. An absolute class act of a guy!
As for me, I met some new B4B supporters in David and Becka as I was walking around the stadium. They surprised me by calling my name out, and recognizing me as I explored Comerica Park. They ended up sitting down for the rest of the game with myself and Husain and talking about the trip, adventure, and the game of baseball. By the end of the night, I had somehow convinced David to bike all 110 miles with me the next day. I guess some other people are as crazy as myself!
Unfortunately, the Tigers lost the ballgame to the visiting Indians after a subpar pitching performance dug them a big whole. But all was not lost. The postgame fireworks were quite impressive. Somehow a great deal of ballparks I’ve visited have also had postgame fireworks which are a spectacle to watch. After the game I even got to check out the field of Tiger Stadium where I dramatically hit a ghost home run, and sprinted around the bases. I suppose that counts as a Major League Home run. Right? Good luck finding the ball…
The next morning, David and I took off bright and early. The long day of riding was ahead of us, and it was going to turn out to be one of my hardest yet. A significant headwind made the riding a bit difficult. Do not fret. Headwinds aren’t awful. I knew that this stretch would be prone to them with biking east to west. However, then the rains came. Not downpours like I’ve experienced in Florida or Georgia. But enough of a sprinkle where you’d be pretty wet and get splashed around. That’s not bad though. Right? Well, then I had a tire blow out. It sounded like a gunshot. Scared the living daylights of me. Caused a flat. Carrying a spare tire all of these 10,400 miles had finally came in handy. I was able to keep on riding to the hotel. But this long day, with rain, dirt, flats, headwinds, and tire blowouts didn’t keep us from finishing. Both David and I looked forward to the cold beer awaiting us at the end. Thanks to David for the wonderful company along the ride, he really is a great guy, and trust me, having someone to ride with on a day like that is pretty great. Makes it a lot more fun!
Becka met up with us in Albion, MI where we went out to dinner. The Badgers were playing Alabama so of course I had to watch it. Despite the game not going as I had hoped, it was still great to catch a little taste of home. My Badgers will always be a part of my heart, and you know I’ll always Jump Around! Thanks to Becka and David for being such awesome supporters, they were a ton of fun to hang out and chat with. If they’re ever in Wisconsin, they know who to hit up!
The next few days consisted of some more long rides. The sun was beginning to rise extremely late in the morning as I neared the far western edge of the eastern time zone. My typical start time of approximately 7AM was getting a little rough. In another week, I’d probably have to delay it in order to account for more light. However, after crossing into the Central Time Zone on Labor day, all was well. I biked along the eastern side of Lake Michigan, into Indiana, and then back up the Western side of Lake Michigan to hit U.S. Cellular Field. Quite a day of riding, but I made it to ballpark 27! Three left. It feels like yesterday that the numbers were exactly opposite! 3 ballpaks down 27 to go. Now it’s flip flopped.
While in Chicago, I was able to stay with Tim and Joyce, longtime family friends who reside a little outside of Chicago but have been following the trip closely. It was a lot of fun to catch up with them, and it had been almost 6 or 7 years since I had been to their place! No longer was I a teenager eagerly awaiting his driver’s license. Now I was a man who simply rode a bike all over the country to their house. Tim showed me around downtown Chicago, which is always fun to explore. The rain throughout the day kept most of the city a little locked up, and the game in the evening at U.S. Cellular was kind of up in the air. I wasn’t too worried, however, because from here on out, I can afford staying an extra day to make up the game. Earlier in the trip, I would have had to keep pedaling, but now the schedule is a bit more relaxed, which is certainly great!
A rain delay at the beginning of the game postponed the start by about an hour or so. But the game got underway. Attendance was abysmal at least. There could not have been more than 8,000 there. It was absolutely empty. The emptiness of the ballpark didn’t keep me from having a good time though! Tim, along with Grace (who studied with me in Kenya last year), and another Tim who’s a supporter of B4B all joined up with me at the game. From talking baseball, to Grace accidentally cheering for the Indians instead of the Sox, and taking shelter from the rain it was a fun ballgame to take in. The Sox brought home the W.
In the morning Tim drove me back to U.S. Cellular Field to get off to the races once again. The other Tim, decided to ride with me today! Guess what. I finally get to bike into Wisconsin! Five and a half months on the road, away from the homeland. I’ve missed my Spotted Cows, cheese curds, and bratwursts. It’s great to be back home, and I can’t wait to bike through the state that turned me into who I am today. Thanks again to both Tim’s. Tim #1 and his wife Joyce for putting me up for a couple of nights, and Tim #2 for keeping me company along the ride! It’s a blast to have riding partners on any stretch of the ride. Hopefully though, there are a few less Tims. Tim Timmity Tim Timmity Tim Timmitty Tim Tim.
The mileage is lesser, the weather is cooler, and I’m excited to ride. The world out there is beautiful, it screams for exploration and adventure, and that’s just what I’m giving it. I cannot wait to bike through the gorgeous backroads of Wisconsin. I’m looking forward to the whiffs of cow manure from America’s dairyland. I cannot wait to bike through a city of 1,000 people littered with 6 bars. Nor can I wait to see the drones of people wearing Green and Gold on Sunday. I’m home, Wisconsin. It feels great to be back. Thanks for saving me some Spotted Cow. Let’s finish this thing.