Fat Bike Touring on Lake Huron: Day One
Within a few hours, sand became everything. It turned out the western shore was way more rocky than what satellite maps could show, which only made things more difficult. Instead of acting like pavers, separating my tires from the energy-sucking sand, they were like marbles. Having the front tire wash out happened every five minutes at first, since I had no idea what I was doing, but then I began to find the sweet spot of dense sand— not dry and fluffy, but not soaked and full of little ball-bearing pebbles.
Early on I met a woman out collecting rocks that caught her fancy. I told her it would be awesome for me if she would be a little less picky. Our talk was only for a few minutes, and was luxuriously devoid of questions about the size of my bike’s tires (part of the reason people ride these bikes in such remote places is to not have to deal with everyone asking about them, I bet), but she was curious about the bandana I had. It was bright pink, and she asked if it had anything to do with it being breast cancer awareness month. Turns out she had been a survivor of breast cancer for a decade, and after finding out that no, I just like the bandana, she asked if I would wear her pink bracelet as well.
I’m actually still wearing it now as I write this post.
There was one thing I knew would be an issue. The satellite maps online showed that along the ride there would be sections with long, steel and concrete barriers separating private properties. Sometimes you would see just the one, other times they were every thirty feet for half a mile. I couldn’t really tell online how tall they were. My heavy rig, slowly being eaten by sand, might be able to just ride over them. Or maybe they would be four feet tall and I would have to figure out how get my bike and myself over the wall without falling and breaking anything. Turns out I would get a lot of practice with both.