Day 24 – DZ Nuts is Butternuts – Kalamazoo to Grand Haven

Miles ridden:
Caroline, Sara and Tracy – 81 Anders – 98

9/23/09  Heading out of the Scholl-Anderson home for day 24, the crew prepared for was we expected to be a 70-something mile day- by bike and brew standards, an relatively easy ride)  The plan: 47 miles and then lunch at an apple orchard with Anders’ aunt and 91 year old grandfather and then another 30 or so miles to his grandfather’s house in Grand Haven.   Unlike Ann Arbor to Kalamazoo, where we followed fairly closely to the 94 highway, this ride was very scenic.  We spent a good part of the ride on paved bike paths going through woods that made our journey feel more like a day trip than a cross-continent adventure.   Sara was fighting a little bit of a cold and Tracy had a bit of a cleat issue (she lost a screw and took a few very small slow-mo diggers trying to get out of her pedals) but overall it was a smooth day.  We made it to lunch at Crane’s with plenty of time for sloppy joes and some of the most delicious pie ever (despite it being an apple orchard, we had rhubarb and raspberry, also local).  Even though we didn’t have time to wander the corn maze, Anders family was a pleasure to dine with and we left feeling ready to wrap up the day with a quick stop in at New Holland Brewing company shortly before we arrived in Grand Haven.

Well, quick stops at breweries on kind of a myth.  Since we HAD to get a sampler and try a few different brews and then we couldn’t get right back on our bikes, that would be unsafe.  Luckily, Jeff, the brewer at New Holland, was available to give us the grand tour of the operation.  Turns out, they produce quite a bit of beer, distributing to 12 different states but mostly outside of the pub at a large production location.  There at the pub he made his own recipes, speciality brews only available there.  Sounded like a brewers dream job, free reign to make whatever he wanted with constant feedback from the local crowd.  Unfortunately, we found this out AFTER finishing our sampler and didn’t get a chance to try the special recipes.  The beers we did have were delicious though and we picked up a few bottles to take with us to have with dinner later.  That was at 6pm.  With another 22 miles to go.

We hit the road running (well… pedaling… sorry Caroline) and got going at a pretty good pace (maybe 15-16 miles an hour).  The terrain was ideal, a paved bike path, mostly flat with a few rollers, and gorgeous scenery.  We were right along Lake Michigan, and there were some huge fir trees lining the path.  We were feeling pretty good until about 7:40pm when we had what we thought was 4 more miles.  And then Tracy asked “shouldn’t the lake be on the other side?”

Ouch.

We had taken a wrong turn and we were looping our way back to Holland.  We had about 20 minutes of daylight left and 17 more miles to go.

Standing on the side of the trail, we stood there for a second, pondering what to do, when a gentleman walking his dog asked “do you need anything?”  We explained the situation, he looked at us and said “well, my Tahoe will fit at least 3 of you, I can drive you to Grand Haven”.  So we decided to take the opportunity while it was there.  Anders decided he would be fine riding back, even as it got dark (since it was a path and not the street), and besides, “it was an adventure”.  The girls walked a few houses down and loaded into the Tahoe.  On the ride to Grand Haven (its amazing how short a 17 mile bike ride is in a truck) we found out that the man’s son was prone to just this kind of adventure, and had gotten himself and his bike stuck all kinds of places.  He must have figured it was good karma to help stranded pedalers like his son.  Whatever the reason, the ride was a godsent because we were tired and ready to take a shower and eat some din din.

About an hour later, after we’d washed our bikes, ourselves and ordered Dominoes, Anders arrived, in great spirits because we hadn’t drank the Saison from New Holland yet.  We all sat down to an episode of Glee (a pretty good show if you haven’t seen it!) and decided it was a good day.

Kalamazoo to Grand Haven

Kalamazoo to Grand Haven

New Holland Brewing Co

New Holland Brewing Co


 
 
 

2 Responses to “Day 24 – DZ Nuts is Butternuts – Kalamazoo to Grand Haven”

  1. cassidy
    1. October 2009 at 13:58

    miss you sara! just wanted to say hello :)

  2. bikeandbrewtour.com » Day 65 – Harris Beach State Park, OR to Floras Lake, OR
    17. November 2009 at 15:32

    [...] is the son of John Bolt, who, back in Michigan, had given us a lift when we biked 18 miles in the wrong direction. In a true example of everything [...]

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