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Thread: My ride to the Round UP and back

  1. #1
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    My ride to the Round UP and back

    Last Friday I headed to the Upper Peninsula for the gathering of the Rounders. At one time I was going to have a posse of 7-8 people, but they all dropped out for various reasons and I ended up going by myself. (Gee, do you think the weather report had anything to do with the cancelations...nah!)
    Here I am dressing up for the ride UP. it was a gray, windy 42 degrees at departure time.
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  2. #2
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    Best road in Michigan

    by the time i reached traverse city after 2.5 hours of back road riding, i was chilled to the bone. things began to look up right after i filled my tank with mid-grade for .09 cents. yup, nine cents. i was well near $10 the last i looked and then i started concentrating on the tank and getting every little last thimble full in there and i ended up with a .09 cent total. i went in to tell the guy my bike took more than that to fill up and he checked the computers and said that was all he was gonna charge me. yee-ha, bought some milk and hung out by the warm coffee machines.
    then the sun came out and it warmed to upper 40's by the time i hit the best damn motorcycle road in michigan. does this sign give you the idea?
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  3. #3
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    119 is a state road out of harbor springs. it goes 20 miles along the shoreline of lake michigan up to cross village.
    if you are EVER, EVER in this area of michigan - ride on this road.
    here sits the snow queen on the side of 119 with the big lake in the background.
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  4. #4
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    there are good and bad things about riding 119 in the early spring. on the plus side the traffic is just about nil. i think i encountered two 4 wheeled vehicles on my happy blast down this road. because the greenery is not green, you can see through many of the corners allowing a little more freedom with the throttle than when many of the corners are totally blind because of leaves.
    only minus was the leftover sand in some of the corners and hairpins.
    here is a shot to give you an idea of how fun this road is. it twists and turns in and out of the forest with spectacular views out over the lake and some great looking homes and cottages.
    i overshot one corner because i was rubbernecking a brand new, gorgeous "cabin". luckily, no one was there to meet me from the other way!
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    Last edited by Cliffy777; 04-26-2005 at 01:51 AM.
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  5. #5
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    the BIG bridge

    the mackinaw bridge connects the two pennisulas of michigan. the bridge is over 5 miles long. the water is 295 feet deep midspan and the cables which hold the bridge are just over 24 inches in diameter and weigh 11,840 tons.
    the whole bridge is estimated to weigh 1,024,500 tons.
    (learn more at mackinacbridge.org from whence this pic comes)
    when i crossed the bridge it was sunny and 51 degrees. the center two lanes are metal grid which gives your bike a little side to side action. many folks (who don't like heights) won't cross it, but i think it is one of the best forms of entertainment in michigan for $2.50!
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  6. #6
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    i like bridges

    the cut river bridge is a few miles west of the Big Mac on highway 2.
    i stopped to get a good look and take some pics. it was a real cool set-up. there was a rest area on both sides of the road and they connected them with a walkway under the bridge. (actually there are about 3-4 miles of walking trails connected to this rest area near Brevort, MI)
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    Last edited by Cliffy777; 04-26-2005 at 01:53 AM.
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  7. #7
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    compared to the mac, this bridge is doodley squat. 641 feet long and weighs in at 888 tons. it is 147 feet above the cut river which pours into lake michigan. very beautiful area, but i had to get moving in order to meet the rounders in escanaba!
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  8. #8
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    i am proud to say that two fine gentlemen from Texas joined us at the Round Up. lee (known as username on this forum) and his buddy john have now been well grounded in the art of riding in all seasons!! they had some great adventures that i am sure lee will relate when he gets home.
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  9. #9
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    the weather was great on my trip over the bridge and for most of the western journey across the UP. however about an hour from escanaba things changed. the wind picked up to 30 mph plus (where it stayed pretty much for the next 2 days!).
    i arrived at the same time as dougger from wisconsin. we both spoke loudly to the wind, but it didn't leave us alone. two blokes came in from minnesota (bluwing and his buddy) and they had clear sailing until (really, it's true) the snow began to fall in Winter, Wisconsin.
    here is milage king john ryans bike with some others stacked up behind for warmth....
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  10. #10
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    speaking of bikes. here is a picture of lorazapam counting how many bikes he has for me. mike (the blue knight) is showing me how to count to two in canadian behind loraz's head.
    mike was bummed on account of he could not ride his brand new bike from his home in canada, but he felt better after a couple of beers and a phone call to his wife to learn that snow was falling like crazy in his neck of the woods. mike brought all kinds of neat RCMP pins for all of us and even let us give away the highly coveted Rounder mugs to some lucky folks. thanks blue knight.
    todd z from plymouth has his back to the camera and a beer on the way to his tummy. behind mike you can see angelo in the doo-rag and dennis (dawgmiester) behind him. angelo got hit with a double whammy on the way to rounderville - a performance award AND a flat tyre.
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    Last edited by BradfordBenn; 04-26-2005 at 01:24 PM.
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  11. #11
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    the terrace bay is a great place to stay. this is the view of the big bay de noc from my very reasonably priced room ($65 for two, $50 for one). as you can see from the grey skies the Round UP was not blessed by the weather gods.
    a group of us went out on saturday for a run to iron mountain to tour a mine (that was not open yet). boomyr was bummed about the mine being closed because he figured we could warm up inside the mine as they are typically around 57 degrees and we were riding in 33-38 degrees with a helacious wind. i believe the BG perrson posted a pic of us outside the mine with a 40 ft tall miner.
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    Last edited by Cliffy777; 04-25-2005 at 06:16 PM.
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  12. #12
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    the weather report on sunday was enough to scare some of us into taking the long way round lake michigan to get back home. i wanted to take loraz and todd Z over the bridge and home by way of the fantastic 119, but the forecast was for snow all over the top of the lower peninsula and no one was too enthusiastic about crossing the bridge several hundred feet in the air over the lake with a 35-38 mph wind.
    we wisely decided to take the western route home. it was a c-c-cold 32 degrees when we left escanaba. by green bay it had warmed to 38 (whew!), but by the time we hit milwaukee the sun was out and it was just over 50 degrees. we pulled off into a rest area and all three of us shed our heavy (read WARM) gloves for something lighter.
    i was happy to take off my aerostich shellaclava which fits much nicer in my winter helmet (stupid me, i wore the tighter of my two helmets in the vain hope that the weather would not require my shellaclava....HA!).
    with Loraz's expert guidance we wound our way through the perils of milwaukee and chicago traffic. we separated in indiana so todd and loraz could take 80 east and i stayed on 94 into michigan.
    here we see loraz and todd taking a few layers off in the (gasp!) sun.
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    Last edited by Cliffy777; 04-26-2005 at 01:58 AM.
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  13. #13
    El Dookey loves to ride. 99007's Avatar
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    one last pic and a windy thought

    first this thought. the wind was blowing at just over 30 miles an hour all day. we rode from the UP of michigan all the way around the lake. later in the evening i found myself driving directly into the wind at 7:30 pm. the thought struck me that i might be driving directing into the same wind that pushed me around earlier that morning several hundred miles north.....izzat possible?
    i arrived home at 8:30 pm to 42 degree temps. the very same temp as the morning i left. had i really gone anywhere at all? was it all a chilly dream?

    it must be real. i have swag to prove it - including this sign which makes me an honorary Yooper. i won it for being the "most badd-ass rider" on account of i was the only one stupid enough to go to the UP on an unfaired bike with out any electrics. see, there can be rewards for stupidity!

    thanks to all my rounder buddies for making it a great week-end of motorcycling madness and great yucks.
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  14. #14
    I Used to Be Someone sheridesabeemer's Avatar
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    Cool

    Thanks for the great pics and stories. Those of us that whimped out, feel like we missed something...perhaps the feeling in our fingers?
    Gail Hatch
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  15. #15
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    great report!

    i'll be going to sleep soon, for the first time in a while, and tomorrow evening i should have my report ready.

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