Standing on The Beach

For the first time in my life, I found myself in Manistee, Michigan, for a reason other than riding my bike, even though the Lumberjack 100 was coincidentally going on just up the road at Big M at the same time. With that in my head, I struggled to hold back my desire to regale Wifey with tales of my ONE Lumberjack 100 finish in 2009 (and multiple DNFs in later years) but instead focused on our little pre-planned-spur-of-the-moment day-trip to the beach.

The weather was near perfect, and the beach was awesome. Well, except for the Summer 2022 Alewife Wave of Mutilation that is washing up on all shores of Lake Michigan. Frolicking in the water, as I am known to do, was also limited to my chubby toes due to Ma Nature throwing us a breezy 60˚ at noon in mid-June curveball. STILL, it was cool to hang out, lay on the beach, hear the waves crashing, and enjoy the sun and blue sky. 


Every time we make it to the shores of Michigan, I ask myself why we don’t go more often; most beaches in the Lower Peninsula are within an easy 2-hour drive, and even if the weather is cool, rainy, or snowy, the views continually provide a soothing a mental enema, and you can always count on there being at least one tasty brewery nearby. 

In Saturday’s case, the brewery was North Channel Brewing on Washington Street in Manistee. The IPA was cold and wonderfully bitter, and the NCB Classic burger was one of the best I’ve had since the 1/2 Pound Burger at the now defunct Rico’s Roadhouse up the road on M55. Sort of odd that two of the best burgers I’ve ever had were in Manistee. 



The best thing about our quick trip to the beach and NCB was that at no time did I need to attempt to ride 100 miles of singletrack, blow up after 70, dry heave, cramp, completely dehydrate my body, and fall into a pit of post-race despair and self-loathing for a week. Apparently, you can just go to the beach and grab a great burger in Manistee, Michigan, anytime you want, just for the hell of it! Always good to know, especially since I haven’t even been on a bike for almost 8 months.


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