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The busiest small town in America

If I had wanted to ride into or through a town as busy as Sandpoint, Idaho, I would have visited New York City during Friday afternoon rush hour.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Leaving Kalispell, the road north to Whitefish and Eureka, Montana was chilly but pleasant. At one point it felt as if the temperature got down to the mid 40’s. It definitely felt like I was in a northern part of the country. I never saw any animals other than a dead cow elk that was killed such a short time before my arrival that I could still smell blood as I rode around it.

By the time I reached Eureka I was ready for a warm up. Cafe Jax served nicely. It was blue skies and sunshine and the nip in the air was departing quickly.

Just north of town I veered west and south on MT 37 and followed the east bank of Lake Kookanusa (a combination of Kootenai, Canada, and USA). I practically had the road all to myself. The scenery reminded me of the Cascade Locks section of the Columbia River Gorge between Oregon and Washington, but much longer.

In Libby I gassed up, then took MT 567 north again as I zig zagged my way westward toward Idaho. This road, to a tiny community called Yaak, was rough and narrow, one notch above gravel. I saw several signs warning of grizzlies but never saw any.

I stopped on a wide patch on the side of the road and changed into my warm weather gear, giving a loud shout every few minutes in case of bruin presence. The beasts never showed up. This road reminded me a lot of the forest service road 46 from Ripplebrook to Detroit back home in Oregon, except a bit rougher, longer, and more remote. I seldom exceeded 25 mph.

When I got to Yaak, the road opened back up to 70 mph speeds. I still had the sense that there simply aren’t very many people in Montana.

I eventually crossed back into Idaho, and it wasn’t even noon despite my circuitous route.

Sandpoint has got to be the busiest town of 6,000 people in the country. Just finding my hotel was a serious challenge, dodging lines of cars without end. I eventually found it but I was nearly two hours early with no possibility of early check-in. I parked my bike in front of a restaurant next door and checked out the situation. By the time I got back to my bike a guy on a BMW R1200 was parked next to it. We chatted briefly and decided to share a table over lunch.

His name was Paul and he ran the production crew of a TV station in Boise. Lunch itself was merely adequate but Paul and I had a good conversation. He rode north, hoping to score a motel room in Nelson, B.C. I still had 45 minutes to kill before I could check into my room so I rode to the very crowded lakeside beach park nearby (Lake Pend Oreille). I barely managed to find a quasi-legal sliver of a parking spot in the shade.

I stripped off my jacket and helmet, then sat on the ground against a decorate boulder on the edge of the grass and passed the time watching people come and go to the swimming area nearby.

At 3:00 PM I remounted and made my way back to the hotel. It was on the second floor above a restaurant on the very busy main street in downtown Sandpoint. There is a single door leading upstairs, otherwise devoid of any marking indicating its presence. I got my key from the maintenance lady and parked my bike behind the iron fence at the entrance to the downstairs restaurant’s outside dining area. It looked like my bike was in jail! At least it was secure.

My suite was massive. It had two large rooms and a large bathroom. My room looked down onto the busy intersection outside.

I had noticed something about Sandpoint; there seemed to be a pretty girl walking down the sidewalk at a rate of 10 per minute. Amazing.

My dirty clothes were starting to mount up so I needed to find laundry arrangements soon. The motel at my stay the next night in Leavenworth, Washington told me there was a laundromat within walking distance of my motel.

I ate dinner downstairs at the Sand Creek Grill. My room came with a complimentary glass of wine so that’s where the evening started. I then moved to a table on the outside deck overlooking the lake shore. I was the first customer of the evening and I had five very cute waitresses taking care of my every need. I felt like I was somebody important!

My second glass of wine was from Fort Walla Walla Cellars, a merlot, and to date was the most delicious wine I’ve ever experienced. Instead of ordering dinner, I selected two different appetizers for variety’s sake. Grilled spiced shrimp with an arugula and pear salad, followed by ‘Paradise’ sushi rolls. It was by far the best meal of the entire trip and one of my more memorable meals of all time.

Having such a great time and wishing my wife was there to share it with me, I began to feel homesick. I called the motel in Aberdeen two nights ahead and cancelled my reservation; I’d ride straight home from Leavenworth, getting home a day early.

Into the Park

Thursday was my ‘loop day’ into Glacier National Park. I took my side cases off, packed my warm weather gear in case it was needed, and headed toward the park. The sky was overcast but the pavement was dry when I entered the park and paid my $12 entrance fee. I took a picture from the edge of the lake but the clouds were low enough that you couldn’t really see the mountains very well.

Because the cloud deck was low enough, I didn’t get any close up view of the mountains until I was a couple of miles into the park. Then, suddenly, I caught a glimpse of the mountainside. I let out a few expletive words and pulled over at the first wide spot I could find. The view was only a sliver of what was to come (I later learned that I was only seeing the bottom half of the mountain).

Soon the road switched back, got narrow, and began to climb the hillside. That’s also where the construction began. I had to stop for close to ten minutes while waiting for the go-ahead to move forward. I never got out of first gear and often had to come to a complete stop as our line of cars crawled forward. The hillside gets steep, often vertical, and the road gets even narrower.

I was not able to stop very often to take pictures, and being on a motorcycle I had a difficult time trying to get glimpses of the view. But the sights I did catch were taking my breath away. The scale of the park is extraordinary and simply cannot be conveyed in pictures. The road I entered the park upon looked like a thin gray line far below me on the valley floor. The clouds danced around the mountain tops, revealing and concealing them from one minute to the next. The effect was ominous and made the experience more dramatic.

By the time I reached the summit of Logan Pass, the Continental Divide at 6,449 feet, I found myself in a dual state of awe and reverence. Mother Nature gives us hints of what she has in store in the scenic places we’re familiar with, but they are mere refined fractions of what She has in store. Glacier National Park is a personal audience with the Goddess at her kitchen table. It is raw and powerful and inspiring and little bit frightening. You know that Mother Nature is fickle and can change her mind in the blink of an eye. Being there was a privilege and a gift.

I took a picture of the view looking down the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, then rode on. The road up the western slope is slow, a crawl. The road down the eastern slope opens up and is much faster. The views are still just as inspiring. I stopped at a lake and took another picture, trying to dodge the tourists that kept getting into the shot.

By the time I reached St. Mary, the temperature felt like it was in the 40s and the clouds had descended almost to the deck. The speed limit cranked back up to 70 mph and the turns began to sweep fast and delicious. Without my side bags, I was able to really get sideways and fast. That stretch from St. Mary south on highway 89 to Kiowa was the funnest run of curves of the entire trip.

In Kiowa, I took a narrower side road back toward East Glacier. The road was narrow and bumpy so my speed was greatly reduced. There were numerous groves of aspen on both sides of the road, gray bark and gnarly branches. The road curved into a clearing and I was able to catch a view of the surrounding area. It looked like something you’d see in Alaska, not the lower 48 states, and I kept expecting to see grizzlies and elk on every turn.

Once reaching East Glacier, I got onto Highway 12 heading west bound. The speeds went back up to 70 mph posted limit and I took advantage of it to make good time back to Kalispell. I stopped off at the West Glacier visitors village and bought a souvenir t-shirt for my wife, then headed back to my hotel.

During that evening’s meal at the NW Bay Grille, I met a couple from Arizona named John and Joan. They moved to Kalispell seven years earlier. I was curious why people in Montana drove fast on the highways but drove the speed limit, or slower, in town. Apparently Montana law enforcement on the back roads is lax but overly aggressive in the cities. That’s a good thing to know, because I’m used to riding 5-8 mph over the limit in town. I adjusted my speeds accordingly.

Ride over Lolo Pass to Kalispell, Montana

Breakfast was compliments of the motel. Standard continental fare — all carbs and no protein. It had sprinkled slightly during the night so when the sun came up the next morning a fog formed. Heading out of town, the cool air, fog on the ground, and the sun shining in from the horizon made it a magical experience.

The ride up highway 12 to Lolo Pass was uneventful. It’s ridiculous that it has a 50 mph speed limit, which jacks up to 70 mph as soon as you cross over into Montana. For some reason the ’77 Miles Curves Ahead’ sign near Lowell was missing. I stopped at the visitor center at Lolo Pass and took a bio break and snapped the first photo of the trip.

Steve and his ride at Lolo Pass
Steve and his ride at Lolo Pass

Lunch was at a Subway in Missoula, plus a change into warm weather gear. The 100 odd miles from Missoula north to Kalispell was rather boring and uninteresting. I found my motel, the Kalispell Grand Hotel, right downtown on 1st and Main. It’s an old west style hotel and was probably built 100 years ago. The desk staff were very friendly and although my room was rather small it was quaint and comfortable.

Dinner was at the NW Bay Grille a block away. It tasted good and the service wasn’t bad but I ate something that didn’t agree with me later on.

Ride from John Day, OR to Grangeville, Idaho

Day two would take me from John Day, Oregon over the Snake River into Idaho, with an overnight stay in Grangeville. I got up at 6:00 AM and had a breakfast of huckleberry pancakes, bacon, and eggs with juice and coffee at The Outpost next door. The food and service were much better than dinner in the lounge the night before.

I rode to Prairie City just down the road and gassed up at the Chevron under cloudy and threatening skies. As I climbed the hill just outside of town sprinkles began to appear on my face shield. The precipitation gradually increased as I rode through the rolling curves and hills on my way to Baker City. They were chip sealing the road near Sumpter but the construction delay was minimal. Since gas would be in short supply until I got into Idaho, I topped off my gas tank and ate a snack in Baker.

When I got on highway 86 from Baker City to Hells Canyon, I noticed something unusual. There was a light rain and instead of smelling like wet high desert, the air smelled more like the tidal flats you’d fine on a coastal bay. I never did find out why.

When I got to Hells Canyon, I turned north and crossed the Snake River at Brownlee Dam. As I climbed my way above the river the rain really started coming down. The curves require very slow speeds, and combining that with the downpour, I got fairly wet. The inside of my left boot was feeling very squishy, which was odd because my boots are supposedly waterproof. I figured water had run down inside the side zipper of my pants and entered the boot from the top.

I stopped at Woodhead Park and parked my bike under the relative shelter of a spruce tree hanging over the parking lot. I huddled under a picnic structure and ate my snack (of Reses and frappucino) while trying to warm up. My left boot was definitely wet inside but the wonder of wool socks is they remain insulative even when wet.

By the time I crawled back onto my bike to continue the ride, the rain stopped. Just like my trip in August of the previous year, there were very large black bugs crawling from the right to the left side of the road about half way between Brownlee and Cambridge, Idaho. They looked like very large crickets and were crossing the road en masse.

The sun was shining when I rolled into Cambridge, ready for lunch. There was a red V-Strom parked in front of the cafe so I parked next to it and went inside. In the booth closest to the front door was a gray haired gentleman, obviously the red Strom’s pilot, motioning me to join him. His name was Georgian (I never did get the spelling) and he was a retired engineer from Victoria, B.C. He was on his way back from a solo trip to Yellowstone. We had a great conversation, confirming yet again that I’ve yet to meet a Canadian I didn’t like.

The rest of the ride from Cambridge north to Grangeville was uneventful.

I stayed at the Super 8 in Grangeville and was immediately impressed by how helpful and professional the staff was. I was given preferential parking under the front entrance cover and was even offered a towel to wipe down my bike. My room was spacious and clean.

Dinner was at Ernie’s Steakhouse two blocks away as per the suggestion of the gal at the front desk. Ernie is apparently a local rancher who serves his own beef in his restaurant. The Red Diamond merlot was excellent and the rib eye was great as well. I also experienced a continuation of a pattern I’ve noticed in small towns. The hostess that seated me could very easily be showing up in the middle pages of next month’s issue of your favorite men’s magazine. Absolutely gorgeous.

For those motorcyclists looking to travel over Lolo Pass from Idaho into Montana, I highly suggest staying at the Super 8 in Grangeville. Not all Super 8’s are created equal, and this particular motel exceeds the standards I’ve found in several Best Western’s, presumably a higher-end chain.

Day One: Home to John Day, Oregon

Departure was on a Monday. 8 am, I pulled out of my home under sunny skies and 55 degrees. Perfect riding weather as far as I was concerned. The destination of the first day would be John Day, Oregon. I made it as far as Maupin on the Deschutes River before it got hot enough to change into my warm weather gear. I grabbed a snack (Reses peanut butter cups and a vanilla frappucino — Food of the Riding Gods) and continued on my way.

I got to Fossil at 11:00 AM and had lunch at the Big Timber Cafe. As I was getting on my bike to leave, a guy in a Ford Focus pulled up and asked me several questions about my bike. He had a Suzuki SV650 and was thinking about switching to the V-Strom. He seemed really short to me so I asked him how tall he was. He said he was 5′ 3″. I mentioned that even with lower modifications, the V-Strom would probably be too tall of a bike for him, but it was worth checking out.

Not 5 seconds after he pulled away, a guy on a DL1000 pulled in and parked next to me. His name was John and he was from Ephrata, Washington. We chatted for probably 15 minutes about our bikes and trips and so forth, then he asked where I was headed. I mentioned one leg of my trip would be near his home town. He was very helpful in pointing out how thick traffic would be on one leg and suggested an alternate route. We said our goodbyes and he went inside for lunch while I rolled on toward John Day.

The heat continued to rise as well as the humidity. I had to stop several times to drink water — and pour some on my t-shirt under my Aerostich — in an attempt to cool off. I got into John Day at 2:00 PM and checked into my motel. At the Best Western, they gave me the same room I had on my previous trip through John Day back in May. Fortunately this time it didn’t smell like a tavern like it did earlier.

Dinner was in the lounge of The Outpost next door. The same gal was working that night. The service could be classified as ‘indifferent’. The pizza was undercooked as well. Breakfast in the main restaurant the next morning was great, however.

Review: HJC Sy-Max II modular helmet

Up to this point in my riding career, I’ve been wearing an HJC CL-MAX modular helmet. I paid $199 for it at Gresham Honda in Gresham, Oregon and have been very happy with it. It’s been comfortable and has performed adequately. It has some room for improvement, however, as can be expected in a budget helmet.

The air flow with the vents open is minimal, and when closed the vents rattle. The face shield doesn’t form a tight seal against the gasket surrounding the helmet itself and during top-down rain showers water can run down inside the face shield. The liner isn’t removable, either.

When HJC came out with the Sy-Max II, the CL-MAX’s more full-featured big brother,HJC Sy-Max II modular helmet I was excited after reading numerous glowing reviews. I finally found one with a great price, $209 at NewEnough.com, and placed my order. It arrived two days later (shipped from Medford, Oregon).

The Sy-Max II has a moisture-wicking liner that’s removable and washable. It’s also much softer to the touch than the CL-MAX. I bought the same size Sy-Max II as I wear in the CL-MAX without having tried it on first (the dealerships in my area can’t keep the darn things in stock, they sell so fast!). It’s a bit tighter around my cheeks and seems to ride higher on my head, but it fits as expected. I haven’t figured out yet what my exact head shape is, but I suspect it’s oval. The HJC line seems to fit me well, with only one slight pressure point on the crown of my head, immediately above my forehead. It’s possible the padding in my CL-MAX has collapsed slightly making it feel more loose than the brand new Sy-Max II.

I wore it for the first time on my ride to work this morning. My first impression was that the amount of air flow is substantially greater than the CL-MAX. I especially notice it flowing from the top down over my ears, which is surprising but pleasant nonetheless. It’s as quiet, if not slightly quieter, than the CL-MAX. I wear foam ear plugs every time I ride so that impression is rather subjective and helmet noise is not much of a factor for me as a result.

The overall fit is comfortable but that opinion may change once I’ve worn it for several hours in a stretch on one of my longer trips. 20 minutes into the office isn’t much of a test as far as fit is concerned. So far I haven’t noticed any hot spots.

I also noticed the face shield forms a tight seal against the gasket surrounding the face hole. I can assume it will perform very well when riding in the rain. The chin latch that opens up the modular portion of the helmet is large and easy to operate. The chin bar doesn’t stick up as much above the helmet when in the open position and has a very solid feel to it. It feels more substantial and solidly built than the CL-MAX.

The final feature I especially like is the drop-down integrated sun-screen. A slider across the ridge of the top of the helmet drops it into one of three positions. A single button at one end of the slider releases it, allowing it to snap back into the up and unused position. You basically tap the top of the helmet with your finger and snap! Back it goes, out of your way. I’ll have to see how it performs when riding into the sunset.

Considering the price I paid and the features offered, my impression is this helmet provides an outstanding value. Time will tell how it holds up and performs under more diverse and longer riding conditions, but it’s definitely looking promising so far. More to come.

Review: Fieldsheer Mercury textile pants

My current primary riding pants are Fieldsheer Booster. They are black, waterproof, and have a zip-in liner for colder days. I’ve worn them in the pouring rain and in temperatures down to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, in comfort. They have armor in the knees but nothing more than some thin padding in the hips and the small of my back.

Heat is an issue, however. They are black and have no venting so wearing them in temps above 70 degrees is uncomfortable.

I’ve been looking for white or silver riding pants for quite some time and have had a difficult time finding them. They are uncommon, but are slowly becoming more available as manufacturers get a clue and realize that people want variety, especially if they ride where the sun shines (as opposed to where the sun doesn’t shine?)

Fieldsheer replaced the Booster line with a new, updated version called Mercury. Fieldsheer Mercury PantsThey improved some areas over the booster, such as added padding in the lower back, improved padding in the hips, and most importantly of all they come in black OR silver. They also have ‘butt pads’ inside the rear of the pant that give you extra padding where you need it most. On my first ride on the bike the additional comfort was immediately noticeable, and welcomed.

They do not have any vents, disqualifying them from being considered a true hot-weather pant. Where I live in western Oregon, that’s less of an issue than hotter parts of the country. There are two vertical pockets on each thigh and they are lined with a mesh material, but there is a wind-proof liner inside that prevents air from coming through.

I purchased mine from Motorcycle Superstore for $134.99 with free shipping. They arrived on the estimated shipping date. I wore them on my 20 minute commute to work and have the following impressions:

The first thing I did was try them on with the liner inside. I was wearing a pair of blue jeans, which is typical when I ride in colder weather. They seemed much tighter than the same-sized pair of Booster pants I already have (medium). My jeans were somewhat baggy, however, and bunched up when I put my legs in. They felt fine but I could tell I’d need to relocate the knee armor. When I was pulling my legs out, I pulled out the snap that holds the lower part of the liner in place. The stitching came out completely. I was upset about it, but felt that I could live with it. I also assumed it was my own fault for wearing jeans inside that were too baggy.

They seem to fit tighter in the thighs and around the calves than their predecessor. The waistline and cinching belt seem to be more substantial. The bottom of the crotch flap is attached to the main body of the pant, however, unlike the Boosters. This makes putting them on a bit tighter. The overall attention to detail and quality seems to be slightly higher.

I next put on a pair of shorts and removed the liner. I also moved the knee armor up one notch. Putting them on and assuming my normal sitting position, I could tell that they were indeed tighter in the legs, which is a good thing; my Boosters are somewhat loose. The middle of the waistline in the back pooches out slightly when I sit. This isn’t an issue, however, because that will be inside my 3/4 length Aerostich Darien jacket. This would be a problem, however, for someone wearing a shorter sport-bike type jacket.

Once on the bike I noticed the inside of the crotch and thighs is grippy, rather than loose, presumably to help stay on the saddle during dual-sport riding (I ride a V-Strom dual-sport bike but seldom take it off the pavement). The next thing I noticed was the padding in the seat area. I sit slightly higher as you can expect and definitely felt more comfortable.

They fit tighter around the legs but the knee armor was now placed correctly and was comfortable. I had no hot spots or binding points and in general felt the pants were very comfortable. I’m 5’10” with a 32″ waist and 32″ inseam so my dimensions are fairly standard; those that have longer legs will probably still find these pants to be comfortable. I raised the knee armor up one notch from the lowest position and the legs are plenty long enough.

So far I’m very happy with this purchase and feel the pants are worth the purchase price in value. I’ll report more once I’ve had a chance to ride with them in the rain and also to see how warm the temp gets before I feel the need to take them off and switch to a vented pant.

Hitting 15,000

My 2007 V-Strom 650 rolled over to 15,000 on the odometer yesterday on my way to a work-day lunch with a buddy. I purchased the bike on February 12, 2007, putting my average miles per month at just over 880, or 10,584 miles per year.

How does this compare to the rest of the riding world? According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), motorcyclists in the United States average 160 miles per month, or 1,920 miles per year.

I’m riding 5.5x more miles per year than the national average.

This doesn’t make me special by any means, and I believe that the average will go up — way up — now that people are buying motorcycles and scooters in record numbers to save money on their commute (due to high gas prices).

My annual miles per year will probably be higher in 2008 than it was in 2007 because I’m commuting on my bike more often and I’m taking more trips this year than I did last year. My V-Strom is not only an efficient way to travel (I average 53 mpg) but it’s fun as well. I find myself wishing I had a longer commute.

Ride report: Oregon Wheat Country

It was a quick 24-hour overnight trip to my Dad’s in Hermiston, so instead of getting there in 3 hours via I-84, I spent 6 hours riding there via a very circuitious route that looked more like a sine wave than a travel itinerary.

When I left Sandy Saturday morning it was sprinkling lightly but was already 60 degrees outside so the ride was pleasant despite the precipitation. There were very few cars on the road and I made it up and over Government Camp without too much frustration.

My route took me on forest service road 48 from White River past Rock Creek Reservoir and into Wamic. By this point the sun was shining amidst occasional puffy clouds. Just east of Tygh Valley, OregonFrom Tygh Valley I headed east on 216, and pulled into the White River Falls State Park on the suggestion of a buddy. I’m glad I did. The falls are incredible and worth a visit. There’s a trail down to the river but I stayed up top.Just east of Tygh Valley, Oregon

It was getting warm enough that I stripped off my cold-weather pants and put on my cooler warm-weather riding pants. From this point on, I was riding unfamiliar roads. I crossed the Deschutes River at Sherars Bridge and climbed up some tasty curves to the plains on top. Heading north I got into Grass Valley. My breakfast had worn off and I was feeling a bit peckish so I stopped at a small convenience store for a snack. There was an older gentleman there with a steel-blue ’06 V-Strom, and we chatted for a few minutes. I also chatted with the guy working there for a few minutes before heading north to Wasco.

Once I got to Wasco, I turned southeast and headed past the giant windmills to Condon. By the time I got there it was lunch time so I pulled into the Twist and Shake drive-in and enjoyed a bacon swiss mushroom burger and a Pepsi. There was a Fourth of July celebration going on in the park a block away and I could hear music on their loudspeaker. I got gas at a local station and continued east on 206 toward Heppner.

Once at Heppner, I turned north on 74 into Lexington, then into Hermiston. I arrived at 2PM to warm and windy weather. I had a great visit with my Dad, including a wonderful meal of ribs and fried shrimp at Hale’s downtown Hermiston. The wind blew all night.

We awoke to sunny skies and a warm west wind. After breakfast, I mounted back up and began backtracing my steps to Heppner and Condon. I gassed up again at the same station in Condon, but chose a different eatery for lunch, a small cafe on the main drag. They were still serving breakfast so of course I had to partake of their biscuits and ‘ugliest gravy in Oregon’ with a side of bacon and a fried egg on top. Two cups of coffee washed it down.

This time, I headed south to Fossil, then westward over some of the tastiest curves in the state back to Antelope and Shaniko. I followed Bakeoven road, the middle half of which is gravel and tar, down into Maupin, then back up the other side of the Deschutes River canyon toward Tygh Valley and Wamic. The rest of the route home was identical to the reverse journey the day before. Traffic coming down off the mountain was typically thick for the Sunday of a holiday weekend.

The trip was 529 miles in 24 hours and covered some absolutely gorgeous wheat country between Heppner and Condon, and arguably the finest curves in the state between Fossil and Shaniko.

Ride report: Estacada to Detroit via FS46

One of my favorite rides is 46 from Estacada to Detroit. From my house, it’s about 160 miles there and back. For me, the biggest benefit is the fact that once you leave Estacada, there isn’t a single stop sign or traffic signal until you reach Detroit. The road has a nice mixture of sweepers as well as several tight 25 mph corners.

The scenery offers glimpses of rugged rocky cliffs, beautiful rivers and creeks, and a brief but impressive view of Mt. Jefferson.

The road to Detroit finally became snow-free this past week. I had made the attempt twice before but got turned back by snow drifts. I left the house early Sunday morning because I knew it would be hot by mid-day. The road was mine and I made it back by 11:30 AM.

I noticed the woods had a unique smell to them. Instead of the usual smell of fir and cedar, it smelled more like someone’s dank basement. Perhaps it was the heat and humidity.

There are numerous bikes heading toward Detroit by the time I turned around and headed back home. It was obvious I had made the first run of the day as I didn’t see a single bike coming towards me on my way there. I’m glad I made the run early because it was already uncomfortably warm and muggy by the time I got home.