Last updated on March 19, 2013
I can now say that I’ve fallen into Lake Huron, on a bicycle, in January. And it wasn’t a big deal.
Taking advantage of this weekend’s unseasonably warm weather (almost 60°F in mid-January along the lake!), James and I headed out to Lakeport State Park to ride on the beach and generally explore whatever we could find in the area. This was a good time, netting 2:12:16 of moving time poking around on beaches, exploring random trails in the park, and poking around some roads necessary to get around sea walls that people had built straight out to the water line. While we were able to ride around a few of them, many (as seen in this photo) simply extend out across the beach to the water line.
Due to Lakeport being a good ways north, there was also quite a bit of snow to be found both in the woods and along the beach. While poking along the beach we happened across a snow and ice-topped sand bar and decided to ride on it. This generally went well, but at one point my front wheel slipped slightly, and the place where I chose to put my foot was undercut ice, which I immediately broke through. I then tried to put my foot down on the sand below it, but being waterlogged and quicksand-ish I sank in it and toppled over into the lake, submerging most of the left half of my body and soaking my shorts, jersey, shoe, glove, and part of my bag.
The photo of me at the top of the page was taken by James just a few moments before I toppled gracefully into the water.
This was nowhear near as bad as it could have been, as I didn’t really feel cold so we just continued riding. I slowly dried off, and the rest of the ride (roughly another 1.5 hours) was great. The worst part was my left foot which had become completely waterlogged, coupled with my lack of socks due to forgetting them at home. No blisters were formed, and my foot was just starting to wrinkle by the time we were done, so everything was good.
We even found a bit of beach treasure (a Made in the USA stainless steel spoon for James and three quarters, two pennies, and one nickel all in a single pile for me) while riding along! Despite this, I think I’ll seek out a different destination for the next beach ride. This was a lot of fun, but I’d rather find a place where the beach can be ridden much further in a given direction.
The route ridden today can be seen here on Strava, and here’s some photos:
- Heading down a trail towards the beach at Lakeport State Park on an unseasonably warm January day.
- As far north as we could go, blocked by a series of sea walls.
- Looking south at the second to last seawall we were able to ride around heading north.
- James riding south along Lake Huron in some loose gravel.
- Looking down at the bar, front wheels, and sandy tire tracks.
- My Mukluk and James’ Pugs.
- Looking at the Mukluk’s rear wheel with the beach along Lakeport State Park and Lake Huron in the background.
- James walking a very sketchy snowy / icy gap in a sand/ice bar.
- James taking a photo of some sand-covered ice that looked like rocks from a distance.
- Textured, sand-covered snow and ice that looked like silt-covered rocks from a distance.
- Me / Steve standing on an ice/snow-covered sand bar just before falling into Lake Huron. Photo by James R. Zimmerman.