Biking Around Lake Michigan

Time to hit the road again – this time, on bicycles!

All smiles at the beginning of our ride

All smiles at the beginning of our ride

Dave and I started to plan for a fully-loaded bike tour of Lake Michigan last summer when we decided that he would build me an Ellis Strada Fango as a wedding present.  As soon as the bike was built, its first stop was the Philly Bike Expo in November 2015.  It was then shipped off to Mountain Flyer magazine for a full bike review – Check out the June 2016 edition of Mountain Flyer magazine for the glowing review!  Five months later it landed back in Wisconsin. I rode it for the first time in April.

Although we wed in January of this year, we postponed our honeymoon until June, so we could load up our bikes and head out on the road.

Welcome to a few highlights of our honeymoon ride around Lake Michigan…

Quick Facts

  • Total Miles: 789
  • Average Daily Miles: 67
  • Fastest Speed: 40.8 mph (It was quite the hill!)
  • Average Daily Speed: 13.9 mph (Dave says I bring down his average speed.)
  • # of Days: 13
  • Layover Days: 2 ½
  • Accommodations: 5 camping, 5 motels, 2 Warmshowers.org
  • Ferries: 3
  • Ice Cream Eaten: Lots
Our bike tour followed Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Muskegon

Our bike tour followed Lake Michigan from Milwaukee to Muskegon

We forget that Wisconsin has nice beaches too!

Kohler Andrae – We forget that Wisconsin has nice beaches too!

Day 1: Milwaukee to Sheboygan, 75 miles
We traversed familiar roads from Milwaukee to Sheboygan on the first day of our journey and spoiled ourselves with an air conditioned hotel room to escape the 90 degree weather!

Day 2: Sheboygan to Suamico (Green Bay area), 81 miles
Another hot day as we traveled from Sheboygan to Suamico, WI.  Dave got his gravel fix on Devil’s State Trail and a passerby drove 20 minutes out of his way to give Dave the bike gloves he had left behind in Denmark, WI. If all you do is watch the news, it’s easy to forget that 99% of people are genuine and kind.

If all you do is watch the news, it's easy to forget that 99% of people are kind and generous

Dave’s gloves returned!

Rough terrain

Rough terrain

Dave gets his gravel fix.

Dave gets his gravel fix.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3: Suamico to O.B. Fuller County Campground (17 miles west of Escanaba), 91 miles
We pushed ourselves to the limit by biking 91 miles on a cold and rainy day – crossing into the U.P. (Upper Peninsula of Michigan), passing pasty shops, and ending our day with a pot of freeze dried Chili Mac at our lakeside campsite.

Entering Michigan!

Entering Michigan!

IMG_0911_edited-1 20160613_200244

 

 

 

Day 4: O.B. Fuller County Campground to Manistique, 70 miles  Hot tub. Our butts demanded a hot tub.

Manistique lighthouse

Manistique lighthouse

And the rain rolls in...

And the rain rolls in…

Day 5: Manistique, 0 miles
Dave’s bike had a rim failure and our order to overnight a new wheel to rural Michigan resulted in a three night stay in Manistique, population 3000. Day 5 was also a day of unrelenting rain. (I highly recommend coordinating bike repair delays with rain days.)

Day 6: Manistique, 0 miles
The skies cleared, but still no wheel. We walked every road in Manistique and idleness set in.

Day 7: Manistique to Little Brevort State Forest (20 miles west of St. Ignace), 71 miles
We were delighted to be back on bikes and made good time to our campground on Little Brevort lake, a lovely, non-motorized boat lake, but with seriously aggressive mosquitoes.  Also, Dave spotted lots of wild iris in ditches along the roads.

Wild Iris

Wild Iris

Sunrise at our mosquito-infested campsite

Sunrise at our mosquito-infested campsite

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8: Little Brevort State Forest to Mackinaw City, 34 miles
We hopped the St Ignace ferry to Mackinaw Island, toured the island, and ate lots of fudge before catching a second ferry to mainland Michigan.

U.P. portion of our trip completed!

U.P. portion of our trip completed!

St Ignace

St Ignace

Mackinaw Island

Mackinaw Island

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 9: Mackinaw City to Petoskey State Park, 53 miles
A leisurely bike tour of Wilderness State Park, the Tunnel of Trees, and the stunning vistas of northwest Michigan were highlights of our tour. We also climbed the first hill of significance outside of Harbor Springs.

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park

Wilderness State Park

Tunnel of Trees

Tunnel of Trees

Tunnel of Trees

Tunnel of Trees

Tunnel of Trees

Tunnel of Trees

Harbor Springs

Harbor Springs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 10: Petoskey State Park to Elk Rapids, 66 miles
Dave spotted a rare Showy Lady Slipper flower. Google maps also took us down a few unpaved roads today. Gravel-loving Dave was in heaven. For my part, I curse Google maps. Also noteworthy, a 30 mph headwind in the morning to Charlevoix.

Lots of rollers heading to Elk Rapids

Lots of rollers heading to Elk Rapids

Showy Lady Slipper

Showy Lady Slipper

Gravel!

More gravel…

Yep, frame builders are not exempt from flats

Yep, frame builders are not exempt from flats

 

 

 

 

 

near Elk Rapids

near Elk Rapids

 

 

 

 

 

Day 11: Elk Rapids to Platte River Campground (near Sleeping Bear Dunes), 79 miles
The day started out sunny and delightful, but ended in menacingly large raindrops as we rolled into Platte River Campground to join friends for the night. The route from Traverse City to Sleeping Bear Dunes via Suttons Bay was particularly lovely. All in all, a great day to be alive.

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sleeping Bear Dunes

near Sleeping Bear Dunes

near Sleeping Bear Dunes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 12: Platte River Campground to Ludington State Park, 84 miles
Our estimated 69 mile biking day turned into a surprise 84 miles. Once again, I curse Google maps.  Also noteworthy, hardest hills of the trip.

Overlook at the top of a nasty hill

Overlook at the top of a nasty hill

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

Time for a swim!

Time for a swim!

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 13: Ludington State Park to Muskegon…and Lake Express ferry to Milwaukee, 81 miles
Google maps recouped my confidence by guiding us onto the Hart-Montague trail for the last 20 miles of biking before taking the Lake Express ferry home to Milwaukee. A lovely way to end our journey!

Sinister skies to start our last day of riding

Sinister skies to start our last day of riding

Ludington State Park

Ludington State Park

Hart-Montague trail

Hart-Montague trail

Ferry home

Ferry home

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home,  Sweet Home

And so, we come to the end of another great journey.

Home, sweet home

Home, sweet home

Signing off from Lake Michigan,

Deborah and Dave

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This entry was posted in Crazyguyonabike, Ellis Cycles, Ellis Strada Fango, Lake Michigan, Michigan, Mountain Flyer, Strada Fango, USA, Wisconsin. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Biking Around Lake Michigan

  1. kmbrunk says:

    Kindred spirits for sure!

    >

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