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Old 12-14-11, 08:13 AM   #1
Wiswell
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Tour De UP - July 2012

I try to do one tour per year, this year I picked the Tour Da UP hosted by the League of Michigan Bicyclists. I'm an experienced tourer (supported tours only). Anyone done this route and what can you tell about it (terrain, support, fellow cyclists, etc, typical weather). Reasons why I chose it include the fact it's a loop tour, which is far more convenient, group size limited to 150, and the daily mileage is reasonable. I was looking at the DALMAC tours, but some of those days were just too long.

Last edited by Wiswell; 01-08-12 at 08:18 AM. Reason: corrected tour name
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Old 12-16-11, 10:50 AM   #2
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Is this the Shoreline MUP, run by League of Michigan Bicyclists? I did some of it in Summer 2010. Let me check if it's the same one, then we can talk.
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Old 12-16-11, 11:04 AM   #3
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It's the same one; it's called Shoreline Michigan Upper Peninsula (MUP). I rode the first two sections, to Sioux Ste Marie, summer of 2010. I quit it early because my new job offer came through while I was riding, and had to get back home to prepare. Ask me anything - highly recommended! Mrs. Road Fan and I may do that one this summer.
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Old 12-16-11, 11:58 AM   #4
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Let's see - what is the average age of the group? Where do they usually stay (parks, schools, etc) and is there access to the indoors if it rains? Are the towns interesting? How is the food?
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Old 12-16-11, 09:22 PM   #5
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Average age is from 70 (my cousin's friend) down to 20's. Heaviest in the middles, 40 to 55, more my speed. The tour sleeps mostly in tents pitched at schools, and uses the food and shower services at the colleges and high schools. I only did two out of 5 days, and the food ranged from good to awesome. The towns vary. The UP is not densely populated, it won't be like Milwaukee or Chicago. But towns have restaurants, ice cream, bars, and in Sioux Ste Marie, lot's of Great Lakes history to see, and really quite a good selection of restaurants. I'd expect Paradise to be a bit sparse, but (and I missed this, too) I heard Newberry had some decent places for a getaway. One crew of 30ish women were very talented at finding night spots and sometimes drinks for lunch, but I didn't get to go with them. Amazed at how fast they were after lunch!!

Being a big city kid, I would not say the towns are interesting; not like Chicago or Toronto. But it was a fantastic travel experience, to see the cultures of the area and how each town is affected by the times, given its history. It is the rural upper Midwest, but uniquely UP. The scenery is great - Great Lakes, ships, forests, unique wildflowers, surprising architecture, surprising hills, wildlife.

Rain while camping: tents were the mainstay, but shelter in the Student Union was possible at Sault Ste Marie. But just to be sure, make sure your tent is in good shape and you know how to anchor it properly. (A few people stayed in B and Bs. Can't say anything about how good those were.) We didn't have any real Midwest storms. Much worse were possible.

LMB makes a strong point to carry raingear while riding. SAGs are available, but they don't have capacity to carry 50% (75 riders) of the Tour.

Ask me anything else you'd like.

Most bikes were modern road bikes. A few pure tourers, a few all=rounders like a Rawland, and some vintage steel road/sport/audax bikes like my fendered Woodrup with generator lights. Some top-notch steel, a lot of good carbon, no tubulars, some people on hybrids with knobbies - for 5 days at 65 miles/day!!! One rider was a fellow BFer, as far as I could tell.

Quality of the road surfaces was really good, at least to the Soo.

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Old 01-03-12, 08:31 AM   #6
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This sounds like the typical experience I've had in other tours, in terms of geography and other accomodations, although other tours have had a indoor/gym option. In those tours I've taken the layover day to stay in a hotel as a nice break - may do that here. I'm used to being at the younger end of the range of tourers (but not the youngest) so your average age estimate is also on par with what I have experienced.

I realized last tour that my tent's waterproofing abilities had waned since I bought it in 1994 (and it's a bit big for one person), so I was in the market for a new tent anyway and had eyed one up at REI last year.

At any rate, I signed up yesterday and am looking forward to it. The very late sundown will be weird, since it is so far west in the EDT time zone, but it explains the later starting out to ride times than I have experienced in other tours.
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Old 01-03-12, 09:43 AM   #7
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This sounds pretty interesting. Never did any touring but I'm moving to the Escanaba area this Spring and looking for cycling events offered in the U.P.
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Old 01-03-12, 11:17 AM   #8
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I recommend it!
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Old 01-04-12, 06:32 AM   #9
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I just signed up for me and Mrs. Road Fan.
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Old 01-04-12, 08:53 AM   #10
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Henry,
Give it shot. Once you do a tour (especially with someone carrying your luggage!) you'll be hooked.
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Old 01-06-12, 08:19 AM   #11
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hmm I may join in on this, I was doing that route about that time anyway as part of my July tour. Would be nice to ride with a group for a few days. I might ride up, do the tour then continue on my merry way afterwards. I'm trying to plan for the whole month of July touring this year.
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Old 01-06-12, 04:15 PM   #12
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Its Tour Da UP. Da not de. Yoopers rule. This years route is the Porcupine Mountains. Buy a skateboard to rest your lower jaw on as you cruise through the best scenery in the midwest. Eat pasties and enjoy sauna every chance you get. Rent the movie Fargo so you know how to talk when you get there. Teaching Family Homes is a great charity and deserves your support.
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Old 01-07-12, 07:30 AM   #13
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Its Tour Da UP. Da not de. Yoopers rule. This years route is the Porcupine Mountains. Buy a skateboard to rest your lower jaw on as you cruise through the best scenery in the midwest. Eat pasties and enjoy sauna every chance you get. Rent the movie Fargo so you know how to talk when you get there. Teaching Family Homes is a great charity and deserves your support.
Yah, we gotta get da dialect right, ya know?
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Old 01-08-12, 08:17 AM   #14
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Uf dah, my mistake about da de! (although there are a lot of French influences up there). I love pasties, and forgot the UP was the second home of them (I believe northeast PA to be the first - although Wisconsin has them too). Haven't had them in a while, as they are an old time tradition, and well, the old timers are gone (although Teddywedgers here in Madison is still going strong).

I'm actually going to Fargo a few weeks earlier so I'll have the ear.
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Old 01-08-12, 01:53 PM   #15
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you betcha! Arguement is weather the Finn or the Welsh miners brought the pastie to da yoop. I tink da welsh ones have rutabegga.
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Old 01-09-12, 10:21 AM   #16
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Welsh ones have only potato, onion, beef. As a person of welsh descent who has eaten them prepared by sons and daughters of Welsh miners, I can tell you that one. I don't know about the ones in da UP, but down in SW Wisconsin the Cornish lead miners made them, and they might have things like turnips.
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Old 01-09-12, 09:30 PM   #17
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I tried meat pies at Covent Garden in London, and I guess a pasty is something like that?
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Old 01-09-12, 09:40 PM   #18
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Yes and no. More like a calzone, but an even sturdier crust. The thinking was the miners would have this hot meal they wrapped in newspapers and it would be hearty and give them energy in the middle of the day (not that they knew it was day) and could be eaten with one hand (not that it was a very clean hand). Here's a good wiki description. The ones in Wisconsin are called teddy wedgers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pasty

I suppose if you are solo touring you could pack them in your panniers and get one out when you're ready, and not have to stop to eat it!

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Old 01-10-12, 04:10 PM   #19
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I would want a portable microwave powered by the hub generator, and the oven small enough to be carried on the front rack!
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Old 01-21-12, 11:09 AM   #20
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Spelling correction: Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
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Old 01-30-12, 06:59 AM   #21
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Spelling correction: Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan
Sorry about that! It's named after the rapids, right?
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Old 01-30-12, 07:02 AM   #22
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But we actually have the tour wrong, too. It's the Shoreline Michigan Upper Peninsula tour, for those looking to hook into it. Find on the League of Michigan Bicyclists site, www.lmb.org.
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Old 01-30-12, 07:43 AM   #23
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Here is the other one that starts in August http://www.teachingfamilyhomes.com/tourdaup.htm now we can ride both!
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Old 02-04-12, 02:23 PM   #24
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Thanks, I had no clue there was another one!!!
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