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Old 09-26-07, 10:09 AM   #1
DougG
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Blue Water Ramble

I just wanted to promote this popular ride in SE Michigan (and I'm not a member of the sponsoring club). It starts and ends in St. Clair, MI and offers routes of 40, 60, 80 or 100 miles that run mostly on lightly-trafficed roads on both sides of the St. Clair River. This is the river that flows between Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair, and separates Michigan from Ontario.

One of the most fun parts of the ride is that you get to use both of the small car ferries that are still operating on the river. The one from Algonac, MI to Walpole Island is particularly interesting since Walpole Island is "First Nations" territory that you ride across to get to mainland Ontario. Then there's the great lunch that's served in a park on the Canadian side where you can sit on the riverbank and watch the big lake freighters go by.

The only bit of a hassle is the recent slowdown of the border crossing back to the U.S. at Marine City, especially when the guy in front of you in line at customs realizes just then that he forgot to bring proper ID along with him (aargh!). In 2008 everyone will need a passport, which I hope they will check before the crossing to Canada.

This is a pretty big event for this area (800 - 1000 riders), and the weather has been really great the last two years that I've ridden it. It's always the first Sunday in October (Oct. 7 this year), so I encourage anyone in this area to sign up for it if you've never done it before.
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Old 09-27-07, 06:20 AM   #2
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I just wanted to promote this popular ride in SE Michigan.
+1

I was a member of the Clinton River Riders back in the 80's and early 90's. It's a great ride.
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Old 10-03-07, 02:19 PM   #3
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So I just realized that I missed the registration deadline on this — online registration was supposed to close last Friday (I was thinking this Friday for some reason...) — but the Active.com link is still working and it lets me get all the way to the checkout screen when I go there to register.

I called the hotline and it said the ride is sold out. If I register at active.com post-deadline and drive all the way up there, think they're going to shut me out?
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Old 10-03-07, 03:10 PM   #4
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I called the hotline and it said the ride is sold out. If I register at active.com post-deadline and drive all the way up there, think they're going to shut me out?
I didn't think they actually ever sold out. I know the President of the sponsoring club. I'll send him an email and see what the story is and get back with you soon. They might have had a surge in entries because the weather is so unbelievably good right now!
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Old 10-04-07, 06:10 AM   #5
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WTF? Sold out - I was just going to show up in the morning and register. Silly me. I didn't think these things ever sold out.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:19 AM   #6
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Cool Doug, I appreciate it.
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Old 10-04-07, 06:49 PM   #7
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Just heard back. They really did sell out this year and are concerned about having enough resources for all the pre-registered riders, so you might not be accepted on the day of the event. Sorry.
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Old 10-04-07, 07:12 PM   #8
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Thanks for the info Doug - better to know that now than make the hour drive on Sunday. My fault for waiting too long. Have fun - see you out there next year.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:34 PM   #9
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well, there is always the colorburst tour as a backup put on by the rapid wheelmen........... That is where I am going this weekend on sunday. excellent ride
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Old 10-14-07, 05:36 PM   #10
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Hmmmmm.....

Well yes, I guess they did 'sell out'. BUT, they did allow 200 - 300 people to register day of, even though they claim to have no day of registration. No problem, one might think..... but with the 200 (minimum) extra registrants at $25 per head, we're looking at $5,000 additional in their pockets. Not bad - too bad they didn't think to purchase additional gatorade and snacks for the rest stops. Two rest stops we hit were out of gatorade, and down to a very limited selection of snacks. Not to mention the back up at the ferry crossing coming back into the US at Sombra. Over an hour, almost an hour and a half for some folks. It got so bad at one point that the organizers got permission from the ferry operators at the Algonac crossing to allow folks to back track to that ferry to avoid the back up in Sombra.

Perhaps they should stick to the 'sell out' numbers in the future.......
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Old 10-15-07, 06:22 AM   #11
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Well yes, I guess they did 'sell out'. BUT, they did allow 200 - 300 people to register day of, even though they claim to have no day of registration.
That's really unfortunate -- I'll have to pass your comments on. I rode the 60-mile route, leaving right after 7AM, so I hit the return ferry about 11:30 when it was just getting busy with a lot of 40-milers and had about a 30-minute wait at immigration. The bikes create about 10x the number of people coming through that station, so you'd think the govt could staff it up a bit since they've known about this event for 25 years!

For what it's worth, since passports will be a requirement at the border next year, they're considering having the 40-mile route all on the U.S. side so people can ride the event without having a passport (the lunch stop would then have to be moved to that side). Might make sense, but it seems to me that most people in this area would be getting a passport anyway since visiting Canada is a pretty common thing to want to do.
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