Get Bent
Coast to coast by recumbent bicycle

Big Rapids MI to Bay City MI

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Chippewa River

Expenses($ US)

A gray day with a never-ending headwind. A disappointing average speed for the day but I slept late so it wasn't as depressing as yesterday. No rain, although it looks like they could use it around here with all the brown lawns and stunted corn. Headed east on Michigan Highway 20 up to a detour that pushed me on to a local road. Can't remember the name now. Along the way this guy on a bike rides up alongside me. "I can recommend a route." Turns out he did a coast-to-coast run a few years ago. Following his advice I take local roads. East on 13 Mile Road, south briefly on Coldwater, then east on Water. The mysterious stranger made a good recommendation. Light traffic. No shoulder, but the road is decent. Pastoral scenery. Getting off the Michigan highways was an excellent idea.

Ran out of serviceable local roads at Mount Pleasant. Stopped in a megastore looking to buy juice. Thought it was just a grocery, but it was also a department store and a pizza parlor. Back on to Michigan Highway 20 riding east into the wind. Heavy traffic with a big shoulder. The idiots are restless. About a half dozen irritated horn blasts, extended middle fingers, and moronic yells out the window. Back on to local streets at Midland. The appropriately named Bay City Road ought to get me to Bay City. The truly gargantuan Dow Chemical plant consumes the road. Have to ride around it for a couple blocks. The streets are enormous like a parade route for a Communist military display. It's after 5:00 PM so the whole area is abandoned.

Still riding on Bay City Road. Only a couple farms. A continuous suburb from Midland to Bay City. On to local roads in Bay City. The asshole factor is up again. Now drivers heading in the opposite direction are honking and shouting at me. The street signs have an image of a building with a tower on them. From a distance it looks like the outline of a hand giving the finger. "Welcome to Bay City. Where abusive attitudes towards cyclists are a way of life." Whatever that building is, it's visible from the bridge into town over the Saginaw River. Bay City is not on Saginaw Bay. It's several miles from the center of town to the bay. Lot's of interesting architecture including an oversized Scottish Rite Masonic Temple. It's too dark now to take pictures of them, unfortunately.

Found a motel near to where I want to be in the morning. In the office, there's a credenza topped with a copy of the constitution under glass. Nothing weird about that. Then the owner starts talking about taxes. Says he tried to pay his taxes in the 70s with gold coins ($23,000) because it says in the constitution that taxes must be paid in gold. "US Treasury Notes are valueless. When the US went off the gold standard the Attorneys General of all fifty states should have been up in arms." Woohoo, a complete nut. I let him ramble on. Here's some more of what he said. "Politicians are either Communist Democrats or Nazi Republicans. Social Security and Income taxes are unconstitutional. Social Security violates the Scriptures. The Bible says you're required to care for your own parents, not the parents of other people. I'm one of the Davises. [He says that like it means something.] I'm a direct descendent of Jefferson Davis. I was well informed by my parents. I have a land patent from the Government of the United States that predates the State of Michigan. Deeds are unlawful creations of the states. Only a land patent entitles you land in the United States. This nation will end soon." There's more, but that's all I can remember. It's too late to spend any more time on this pale imitation of a Macintosh.

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