Our sweet Kritters Campground was hard to leave! The day still looked iffy as far as the weather was concerned, but we had to move on. Our goal was Tahquamenon Falls. I had heard so much about the falls over the years that I lived in Michigan, but I had never seen them before.
We arrived at the campground, where they only had a site available for one night. We took it, and to our pleasant surprise, B&B (Brad and Betty) were our neighbors. We had last seen them when leaving Grand Marais headed for the gravel road. We all talked for a bit, then Betty drove me over to the store on the back of their Spyder trike! We bought wood for a fire and marshmallows, then settled in for the night.
The road to Tahquamenon was another Michigan county road that had no shoulder. I have hesitated to write about our adventures on these roads. I am not sure why…maybe it is because I don’t want to scare our families and friends, I don’t want to dissuade others from trying it, I don’t want to put too much negativity into my blog unless I can make it amusing…and this topic is far from amusing. But, I think I should share our experiences on these roads, and maybe provide a lesson in passing a cyclist.
We are getting used to these roads. We put ourselves out on the road enough that the cars have to go around us. If we don’t, they will not move at all and buzz us. The shoulders that are there, have rumble strips along the edge, making them unusable. When there is a suitable shoulder, we happily use it! The problem is, drivers do not think of us as another car. They will pass us going uphill, going downhill, around a curve, beyond a bend. It doesn’t matter if a car is coming in the other direction, they speed up to get around us before the other car arrives. There have been times when the other car has arrived, and they will be the ones forced to stop and let the passing car go by. It is extremely rare when a car will actually slow down and wait until it is safe to pass. And, we just won’t talk about the logging trucks! Somehow, I think, they think, we are small and insignificant to pass. But, with our panniers, we are as big as a motorcycle. Cyclists must follow the same rules as a car. Cars should treat cyclists the same as another car. The thing they don’t understand is, the air rush from their cars affects our bikes, making us unstable. We could fall at any time anyway, due to debris, a pothole, an animal, or any distraction that could cause us to fall or swerve, that a driver can’t see themselves. Cycling uphill really makes us wobbly, as we struggle to watch the road, and keep the bike moving. Cycling downhill we are holding the bike against natural forces, such as, wind and gravity. All the drivers need to do is wait, check to see if it is clear, then pass. As with any vehicle, you do not pass going around a corner or going up a hill. It is worth the few seconds it takes to wait to avoid an accident. I have said my peace…
Brad and Betty