Day 45: Flushing, MI to Port Huron, MI — 78 miles

Today wasn’t quite as good as yesterday. The terrain wasn’t as flat. The tailwind wasn’t as strong, or direct. Clouds gathered throughout the day, looking more and more ominous. But it was still a good, fast day.

Once again, I got a late start on the day, as I chatted with Paula over breakfast. She was incredibly helpful in determining a route that avoided the worst sections of Flint, while still being as short and direct as possible. That’s not easy, as a simple detour for a car might add 10 miles and be no big deal, but the same is not true for a bicycle.

I skirted the northern edge of Flint, and on the way I saw a lot of boarded-up buildings (which Paula had mentioned I would). It made for a depressing start to the day, as it made me realize just how economically struggling the city of Flint is. We had had dinner in Flint the night before and driven through it, and some places are doing just fine, but not everywhere. The economic recovery that is coming to other places is slower to come to Flint.

A couple of the abandoned buildings on the northern edge of Flint.

Even though I didn’t bike through Flint proper, it was clear that the places I did bike through were thickly settled. I am used to biking through a town or a city, then I continue on to the countryside, and then bike through farmlands for several miles, and then enter the next town or city. But for much of today, it seemed like the edges of one town sort of bled into the next, so there wasn’t much countryside to speak of.

For example, the eastern edge of Flint was pretty much the same as the western edge of Burton. And the eastern edge of Burton was next to the western edge of Davison. So the impression was of biking through a big metropolis. There were some spaces in towns later on, but toward the end of the trip they were pretty close together again.

Most of my day was spent on one road, about 55 miles. For most of that distance, the shoulder was fine if a bit small, but throughout the city of Lapeer, there was a nice, large bike lane!

A bright moment of the day happened in Imlay City (or as I like to think of it, Imlay Itysay). I stopped at a convenience store to get a cold drink, and when I was paying for it, the cashier started asking me about my trip. Once he heard I was biking cross-country and had biked 2700+ miles so far, he let me have the drinks for free! I was quite surprised!

Toward the end of the day, my route interesected with US Bike Route 20, one of a network of designated bike routes across the US.

I knew from the weather forecast that thunderstorms were likely for the evening, so I didn’t go as far as I might have, and stopped in Port Huron for the night at 6 PM. It was a good thing, too, because within a couple of hours the skies opened up and heavy rainfall mixed with thunder and lightning filled the night sky. Unfortunately, I missed dinner (it was a Sunday night, and the only nearby restaurant closed early) so I ended up cobbling together a meal from the local convenience store while dodging raindrops.

The storms raged on all night, but they will end by morning, and I think I will be able to get a full day’s biking in, which at first I didn’t think would happen. My charmed tour continues!

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1 Response to Day 45: Flushing, MI to Port Huron, MI — 78 miles

  1. If you haven’t seen it, you should watch “Roger and Me”; Michael Moore’s documentary about the decline of his home town Flint, MI.

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