Saturday, March 7, 2009

Michigan farm country

Yesterday reached almost 60 degrees F, and the sun was shining beautifully! By the time I got out of work, it was around 55...I knew I had to get a long ride in. Especially since it's supposed to rain all weekend. My goal was about 30 miles, so I planned a route that started on the nearby bike trail and then took Kalamazoo Ave about 10 miles south of Grand Rapids. Even though Grand Rapids is the second largest city in Michigan, and the urban sprawl is significant, it doesn't take long to reach the country from the southeastern suburb where I live.

At about mile 10 of my ride, I was surrounded by rolling corn fields and cute farm houses like this one. What a wonderful feeling!

I grew up in an urban suburban town on the western border of Detroit, and I've always lived in a pretty suburban area. Whenever I visit cities like Chicago, I love it, and I know I could live in a downtown appartment somewhere riding my bike or taking the bus to work every day. Even so, I have to be able to get to nature. When I find myself standing in a patch of forest or on a beach, all I can do is try to soak as much of it in as possible. So, when I ride 10 miles from my house and see the farmlands of Michigan, it really makes me happy.

At the turn around point of my ride, I stopped to take this shot of the sunset. I was going to include the road and another farm house in the picture, but the owner of the house pulled up just as I was framing the shot. He said that I absolutely had to see the view from behind the house. If the house didn't sit right next to a busy little church parking lot, I don't think I would have taken him up on the offer (hard to say who's genuinely friendly and who's a psycho creap, right?). But I'm glad I followed him because I got to watch the sun set over the corn field.

By mile 20, it was getting pretty dark. I have lights on the front and back of my bike, which I was especially thankful for last night. Every car that passed me slowed down and gave me plenty of space. A strange but welcome occurance! As of this weekend, I'll have that extra hour of sunlight to eliminate most after dark riding, but even so I wouldn't mind finding a brighter set of lights. I got mine at Meijer for about $15, and from what I hear about cycling lights, you get what you pay for.

In any case, I made it home in one piece and loved every minute of it. I can't wait for more! And I can't wait for that road bike, either! ;)

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like such a great ride! I had my own great ride yesterday, but I'm still envious!