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Old 05-20-13, 09:04 AM   #1
Steve Sawyer 
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2013 Zoo-de-Mackinaw

Longest ride for me yet this year. In fact, longest ride I've ever done. Started out cold and raining, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Felt really good at the end. Butt was only grumbling a tiny bit, hands were a bit sore - not too much. I was surprised at how many folks I saw stopped at the top of some of the climbs, draped over their handlebars, gasping for breath. I think that there are a lot that do this ride as their first of the season, completely unprepared but they soldier on.

Very well organized event, but the organizers have been doing it for 20 years, so they probably have it down to a science by now.

My brother, sister and I rode together until the halfway lunch stop where my brother was joined by my sister-in-law and I was joined by my wife. Marcy's only done maybe 25 miles total this season, so 25 miles was a pretty good accomplishment. I would have let her make her way on her own, but there were a LOT of folks getting flats, and didn't want to leave her at the mercy of a good Samaritan or a SAG wagon (she had all the tools and materials, just not the skill), so I did "loops" darting ahead a mile or so, then coming back and riding along with her for awhile. I did have to ask her to try to pick up the pace at one point - it's hard to keep a road bike going in a straight line at 3mph!!

We had enough fun that we're already talking about doing it again next year.

More photos and descriptions here
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Old 05-20-13, 09:25 AM   #2
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Looks like fun. Around 1978 (?) I rode over the big bridge in an organized multi-day ride that went from Ann Arbor (or maybe Lansing?) to the UP.

But remind me, it's spelled "Mackinac" but pronounced "Machinaw," right?
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Old 05-20-13, 09:34 AM   #3
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Your photo's sure do show people having a good time. Looks like a good event to do next year, yes? You might want to help your wife gain the skills necessary to keep from being "at the mercy...".
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Old 05-20-13, 10:31 AM   #4
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You might want to help your wife gain the skills necessary to keep from being "at the mercy...".
Heh, heh - along with the skills to send/receive texts on her cell phone, to view pictures attached to emails, to differentiate between "serving" utensils and "cooking" utensils etc. etc. Marcy's one of the most intelligent people I've ever known, but if she's not really engaged with the subject, forget about getting her to focus enough to learn how to do it!

I'm a data analyst, and she's a medical social worker. For her, the plane of physical existence is only important within the context of psycho-social interactions. She's not techno-phobic either. She could teach me things about how to write Excel macros, but only because she needed to master that skill to implement some longitudinal study she was doing with her patients, and she figured out how to create PDFs with embedded hyperlinks without using Adobe Acrobat. But learning the skill of repairing punctured bicycle tubes is down somewhere on her list of to-do's along with bungee jumping and septic tank cleaning!

She also has pretty serious osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis and a bicycle tube repair would probably be difficult for her.
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Old 05-20-13, 10:45 AM   #5
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But remind me, it's spelled "Mackinac" but pronounced "Machinaw," right?
Uhhh....yes, but even life-long Michiganders like me confuse which of the entities in the area use which spelling. There's a bridge, two forts, a city, a county, the straits themselves, an ice breaker and an island. Some are spelled "aw" some are spelled "ac" and I've always stumbled over which is which. I think the straits, the island, the bridge are "ac", the city, the ice breaker are "aw", the fort on the island is "ac" but the one on the mainland south of the strait is actually "Michilimackinac"

The organizers of the event themselves can't seem to make up their minds, as you'll see it as both "Zoo-de-Mackinaw" and "Zoo-de-Mackinac". Depending on whether you consider the end-point of the ride to be Mackinaw City (which it is), or Mackinac Island (where the last events of the ride occur - the drinking, dancing, eating and partying), either could be correct, but most just avoid the whole issue and call it the "Zoo-de-Mack"
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Old 05-20-13, 11:02 AM   #6
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Uhhh....yes, but even life-long Michiganders like me confuse which of the entities in the area use which spelling. There's a bridge, two forts, a city, a county, the straits themselves, an ice breaker and an island. Some are spelled "aw" some are spelled "ac" and I've always stumbled over which is which. I think the straits, the island, the bridge are "ac", the city, the ice breaker are "aw", the fort on the island is "ac" but the one on the mainland south of the strait is actually "Michilimackinac"

The organizers of the event themselves can't seem to make up their minds, as you'll see it as both "Zoo-de-Mackinaw" and "Zoo-de-Mackinac". Depending on whether you consider the end-point of the ride to be Mackinaw City (which it is), or Mackinac Island (where the last events of the ride occur - the drinking, dancing, eating and partying), either could be correct, but most just avoid the whole issue and call it the "Zoo-de-Mack"
This is in my backyard (I live in Boyne), even worked at the Highlands cafeteria on the front side of the Zoo Bar. You folks had a rainy ride
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Old 05-20-13, 11:10 AM   #7
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You folks had a rainy ride
More damp than rainy. We had a steady drizzle from about 8:30 to 10:00, then it was just overcast. Never rained hard enough that I even bothered putting my helmet cover on. Then again, with a bike under my butt it seems that not much bothers me as long as it isn't too cold.
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Old 05-20-13, 11:48 AM   #8
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In 1978, the ride would have been DALMAC, which started in 1972 and is still going, every Labor Day weekend -- actually for 4/5 days ending the day before Labor Day. I'm doing my 25th/26th DALMAC this year -- I lost count over the years.
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Old 05-20-13, 01:28 PM   #9
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Longest ride for me yet this year. In fact, longest ride I've ever done. Started out cold and raining, but I really enjoyed it nonetheless. Felt really good at the end. Butt was only grumbling a tiny bit, hands were a bit sore - not too much. I was surprised at how many folks I saw stopped at the top of some of the climbs, draped over their handlebars, gasping for breath. I think that there are a lot that do this ride as their first of the season, completely unprepared but they soldier on.
So longest ride of the year on a new bike and only minor problems encountered. With your limited road bike riding you have achieved a heck of a lot with that ride. Either you are fitter than you are letting on or that bike is suiting you perfectly. Think it is a bit of both so well done.

You now have a problem though. Don't want to see you over the bars at the top of the hills gasping for breath but possibly a bit more effort on the slopes- find steeper slopes on a few rides- and look for that metric century as your next ride. Get yourself into the full 50+ mode on these rides but don't let us down by walking

Well done on the ride and on the pics of the ride.
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Old 05-20-13, 01:55 PM   #10
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In 1978, the ride would have been DALMAC, which started in 1972 and is still going, every Labor Day weekend -- actually for 4/5 days ending the day before Labor Day. I'm doing my 25th/26th DALMAC this year -- I lost count over the years.
Yeah, that was it. Thanks for the info.
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Old 05-20-13, 01:56 PM   #11
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So longest ride of the year on a new bike and only minor problems encountered. With your limited road bike riding you have achieved a heck of a lot with that ride. Either you are fitter than you are letting on or that bike is suiting you perfectly. Think it is a bit of both so well done.

You now have a problem though. Don't want to see you over the bars at the top of the hills gasping for breath but possibly a bit more effort on the slopes- find steeper slopes on a few rides- and look for that metric century as your next ride. Get yourself into the full 50+ mode on these rides but don't let us down by walking

Well done on the ride and on the pics of the ride.
Thanks, Doug, but nope - I REFUSE to walk up a hill. At least the hills I've encountered thus far. I was planning to do a metric at a local ride (One Helluva Ride run by the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society) on July 13th, but that's almost two months away. Considering how easy this ride was in less than ideal conditions, I'm thinking I can probably work in a solo metric between now and then, and do their 75-miler instead. I understand there are some decent hills on that route.

My brother just sent me a few more pics, so I'll post 'em here until I can add 'em to the gallery on my site.

Shivering while waiting for the shuttle on Saturday morning


A shot of my sis and I at the crest of one of the hills.


Me (carb-loading and renewing electrolytes with potato chips), my sister-in-law Nancy and wife Marcy at the mid-point lunch stop. As you can see things had dried out pretty well by this point. By the way, that was a really nice vintage bike just behind us there. Some kind of Japanese brand that I didn't recognize, but a beautiful lugged frame with downtube shifters.

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Old 05-20-13, 05:23 PM   #12
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There's no shortage of organized rides in mid-Michigan. You could probably find one every weekend between now and Helluva. It's 'just' a club ride, but my club is going from Dewitt to Alma and back this Saturday. It's not supported, but it's free and anyone is invited.
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Old 05-21-13, 07:29 AM   #13
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In 1978, the ride would have been DALMAC, which started in 1972 and is still going, every Labor Day weekend -- actually for 4/5 days ending the day before Labor Day. I'm doing my 25th/26th DALMAC this year -- I lost count over the years.
They come through our area...or most of them do.
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Old 05-21-13, 07:35 AM   #14
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There's no shortage of organized rides in mid-Michigan. You could probably find one every weekend between now and Helluva. It's 'just' a club ride, but my club is going from Dewitt to Alma and back this Saturday. It's not supported, but it's free and anyone is invited.
Another member just alerted me to the Assenmacher 100 in late August which looks good.

That Dewitt-to-Alma looks like a nice ride, but I'm not there yet. What club are you with?
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Old 05-21-13, 09:56 AM   #15
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Another member just alerted me to the Assenmacher 100 in late August which looks good.

That Dewitt-to-Alma looks like a nice ride, but I'm not there yet. What club are you with?
Have you tried the Big Bear century that runs along the Au Sable out of Grayling? That's quite the ride. Almost entirely flat (2 hills) and runs eastward (a cyclists dream) it is designed to be fast and it is....unless you dial up some casual, and that's ok, too.
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Old 05-21-13, 08:41 PM   #16
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I'm with Tri-County Bicycle Assn, in Lansing. The Alma ride is basically an out-and-back, with potential turn-arounds for 50 and 75 miles too. In fact, most of the riders turn around at Middleton for 75 miles.

I do Assenmacher almost every year (weather permitting.) Love the hot dog cookout afterwards. Haven't decided on Black Bear this year. It will probably depend on if I get my lowracer on the road by then. If I do it, I'll be looking to get under 4:15 or so. A couple years ago I did the 'McKinley' route, which is a 2-man relay, in 3:59.
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Old 05-22-13, 08:05 AM   #17
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I'm with Tri-County Bicycle Assn, in Lansing. The Alma ride is basically an out-and-back, with potential turn-arounds for 50 and 75 miles too. In fact, most of the riders turn around at Middleton for 75 miles.

I do Assenmacher almost every year (weather permitting.) Love the hot dog cookout afterwards. Haven't decided on Black Bear this year. It will probably depend on if I get my lowracer on the road by then. If I do it, I'll be looking to get under 4:15 or so. A couple years ago I did the 'McKinley' route, which is a 2-man relay, in 3:59.
Heh, heh... I'm not even gonna think about trying to keep up with someone on a low-racer. I've run across a couple of guys at Kensington Metropark riding low-racers, and they go by me like a bullet...

I spent some time last night looking over the calendar. What I've penciled in as the plan for the rest of the season is:

A metric at Tour di Lago in Port Austin on 6/23
A 75-mile at One Helluva Ride in Ann Arbor on 7/13
A metric at Ride Around Torch in Elk Rapids on 7/21
A lazy weekend ride (probably the 14, 25 and 22-mile routes) with the wife at Amishland & Lakes in Howe IN on 8/3-8/5
A century at the Assenmacher 100 on 8/18

So far the only ones I'm signed up for are the Amishland & Lakes and One Helluva Ride. I'm a little concerned about doing the OHR and Ride Around Torch only a week apart, but hopefully by then I'll be up to it.
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Old 05-22-13, 10:35 AM   #18
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Heh, heh... I'm not even gonna think about trying to keep up with someone on a low-racer. I've run across a couple of guys at Kensington Metropark riding low-racers, and they go by me like a bullet...

I spent some time last night looking over the calendar. What I've penciled in as the plan for the rest of the season is:

A metric at Tour di Lago in Port Austin on 6/23
A 75-mile at One Helluva Ride in Ann Arbor on 7/13
A metric at Ride Around Torch in Elk Rapids on 7/21
A lazy weekend ride (probably the 14, 25 and 22-mile routes) with the wife at Amishland & Lakes in Howe IN on 8/3-8/5
A century at the Assenmacher 100 on 8/18

So far the only ones I'm signed up for are the Amishland & Lakes and One Helluva Ride. I'm a little concerned about doing the OHR and Ride Around Torch only a week apart, but hopefully by then I'll be up to it.

I doubt that OHR and RAT will be a problem. It's a whole week to recover! If you saw lowracers at Kensington, or Island Lake, one of them may have been me. Unless you saw them this year; I haven't been there yet this season.
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Old 05-22-13, 10:52 AM   #19
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I doubt that OHR and RAT will be a problem. It's a whole week to recover! If you saw lowracers at Kensington, or Island Lake, one of them may have been me. Unless you saw them this year; I haven't been there yet this season.
None this year - might've been you. Were you running with another guy also on a low-racer?

I had passing thoughts of getting a low-racer a few years ago when I was still riding a recumbent.

I got a quick glimpse of someone on a nicely-faired tadpole trike as they went by me at the start of the ZDM, but never saw 'em again.
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Old 05-22-13, 06:25 PM   #20
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None this year - might've been you. Were you running with another guy also on a low-racer?

I had passing thoughts of getting a low-racer a few years ago when I was still riding a recumbent.
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Yes, we were both on black lowracers. Except that last year he got a white velomobile and hasn't been on his lowracer much ever since then.
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