Sunrise Tour 2015

Written by Chuck Bash

I have been asked to write about my summer vacation; no really about the multiple day bike rides I did this summer. Marilyn Bash and I did three multiple day bike rides of the League of Michigan Bicyclists this summer.

The first, the Sunrise Tour was hosted in Alpena, Michigan. We arrived the evening of Thursday, June 18, for a Rider meeting and cheese and wine reception. All of the rides were in the Alpena area, so we, and the other two couples from this area, got rooms at the Sanctuary Inn in advance. This was our first Sunrise Tour, and our first in a long time that was not camping, it seemed pretty luxurious. There were about 150 riders on the tour.

The Inn was only ¾ miles from the college where the League hosted the tour, so we just rode from the Inn Friday and Sunday. Since the Inn provided guests a limited breakfast menu in their restaurant at no cost, which was quite adequate, we never went to the breakfast provided by the League as part of the Sunrise Tour.

Friday the three routes were south from Alpena; I did the medium route, 50 miles; Marilyn and the two other guys from here did the short route, 36 miles; I considered the long route of 69 miles, but I am quite weak anymore and did not want to hold up the others. The wives of the other two guys hit the museums and shops in Alpena, they are not riders. After the ride, and showers, we went to the college for the League provided dinner; the two spouse non-riders had not registered, not even at the reduced price for non-riders, but we thought we could buy them dinners; but the group providing the food said they had so much food our two non-riders could eat free, which they did again the next night, and were amazed at how well the League feed us bicyclists.

Saturday all three routes went to Presque Isle, for the annual Wooden Boat Show, and the lighthouses. The long route of 59 miles started at the college in Alpena, the medium route of 39 miles had a remote start at the Maplewood Tavern, where Clarise Kramer Cadarette Grszenkowicz, 95, works; she is featured in the Guiness Book of World Records as the longest career as a bartender, 74 years and counting. That means she began tending bar there at age 21, and is still there. A friend from Ohio, who likes his beer during bike tours, said she was wearing a T-shirt that said “This aint my first Rodeo”.

The short route of 21 miles began at the Presque Township Hall. Marilyn and the other two couples took a boat cruise, in a glass bottom boat, to see the ship wrecks in the harbor Sanctuary. The wind was wrong, the water was too cloudy, little was visible, so they were refunded their money by the cruise owner, which they promptly spent in his gift shop. While they did that I started the long route. When they finished Marilyn & the guys drove my car to the short route start point, and the spouses hit the stores and museums again. I went to the lighthouses, but did not pay to go inside; I returned to the Wooden Boat Show, looked at them some; looked at the dozen Corvettes, some classic, on show; looked at the display booths. The temperature dropped over 15 degrees as I was waiting for the others in our group. I walked over to a display booth, the attendant immediately said “I know what you want”, and she helped me pick out a warm, hoodie, sweatshirt to buy. When the other three finally arrived, nearly all of the bicyclists had left by then, Marilyn and I rode back to get my car, and returned to pick up the two guys. So I did the long route out and the short route back; Marilyn did the short route; and Don & Ross did half of the short route.

Sunday, the last day of the tour, all of the rides began at the college. I did the medium route, 34 miles, not the long of 50 miles; Marilyn did the short route of 27 miles with Don & Ross. I got to the final SAG stopped and fortunately decided to rest a bit before chasing Marilyn; about 10 minutes later, as I was about to leave, I saw Marilyn, Don & Ross arriving. So I told Elvis, who had made a special appearance for the last SAG stop of the Tour, that my wife was the one in pink riding into the parking lot; he greeted her with a big kiss.