We met through a Google search using two terms, “Lake Superior” and “ferries.” The second result yielded my story in Bicycle Times about our Lake Superior Half-Tour using the Isle Royale ferries to cross the lake. From there it was an easy leap for Tony to find us on Warm Showers.
If that all sounds a bit like gibberish, you are probably not a touring cyclist. But to those of us of that cult, it all makes perfect sense. In fact, it’s the epitome of traveling by bicycle – meeting great people in the most unexpected ways.
Tony is in midst of a cycling trip across the US. In the spirit of his easy going nature, he makes up his route as he goes, taking advantage of opportunities as they arise and dealing with what nature delivers. By the time he reached northern Minnesota, he had heard enough about the dangerous section of the Trans-Canada Highway above Lake Superior to know he wanted to avoid it. Hence his Google search. And my story.
A quick check on the Warm Showers app confirmed his suspicion that we were indeed members – part of the cyclists who hosts cyclists network that exists world-wide. A few keystrokes later, it was all arranged. Tony would cycle 90 miles and stay with us the next night.
Living in Duluth, we are not on a heavily traveled cycle route, so we have cycling guests only a few times each summer. But the routine is always the same: Provide a bedroom, offer up shower and laundry facilities, serve a bountiful dinner to replenish their depleted calories, and engage in lively conversation about where our respective cycle tours have taken us. It never fails to be an entertaining evening.
That night, Duluth provided a perfect summer twilight. Not only was it still warm, but the lake was unusually calm. Best of all, a boat was headed for the Aerial Bridge. We were able to give Tony the ultimate local experience.
We sent Tony off with a big cyclist’s breakfast in the morning. But he didn’t get far. A broken spoke turned out to be evidence of more serious wheel damage, and replacement parts would not arrive until morning. Tony took it in stride, and we took Tony back in. Another evening of sharing, a walk along Amity Creek and good vibes of friendship ensued.It’s always a pleasure to welcome cyclists to our home. Countless others have done the same for us. No matter how we find each other.