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Old 05-15-07, 07:13 AM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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It's "Colder than Hell in Paradise", Mi!

Well, the UP of Mi tour with the wife was not a resounding success......she got sick, complained about the cold and generally had a terrible time. She also made sure I had one as well. Granted, the only time we were warm enough was when we were in the sleeping bags, but it started out fun! I'm going back up in 2 weeks, solo, to complete the ride. We did make Whitefish Point though.

I have some of the pics up here
UP Pics (56K Warning!)

Some critiques of my trailer and load
Load:
It was HEAVY, but once I got it moving, it was like it wasn't there, at least til the terrain turned uphill. Soloing, I'll be riding a lot lighter, as I won't have to pull the wifes gear as well (Mental note: She needs her own trailer!). The load weighed out at 79 pounds, trailer and all.

The Trailer

A Schwinn Kid Trailer was what I pulled. It actually worked out fairly well. It was a tad wider, but was very stable. No wobble, even downhill, but man it pushed! On the uphills, I felt like a 230 Cummins without a turbo, just gearing down and down and down!

Camping:

The UP is a great place for camping, by the way! Either tent or hammock/tarp. Lots of campgrounds, or lots of public land with trees conveniently spaced!Most of the State Campgrounds were $10 or less, except for the big ones with electricity, they were $26 or so. Stealth camping is definitely an option!

The Roads

Wide shoulders were common, except for M28 out of Newberry, it was a narrow shoulder with a lot of high speed truck traffic. I have to give the drivers credit though, a lot of courtesy, and wide clearance when there was no shoulder.

I'm going back up in 2 weeks to finish the tour solo. I had to get the wife home though. She'lll do some riding with me later this Summer down here in Indiana instead. The UP was a bit ambitious for a first try though. I have to give her credit though, in spite of getting sick and having a terrible, cold ride, she's still game and wants to do the UP again, but next year!
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Old 05-15-07, 10:47 AM   #2
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sorry that it didn't turn out the way you'd hoped but it sounds like you still had an okay time in spite of the setbacks.

we're going to need some pictures though.
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Old 05-15-07, 11:17 AM   #3
Tom Stormcrowe
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They are up here, at least some of them!
UP Pics (56K Warning!)
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Old 05-15-07, 11:26 AM   #4
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Don’t give up, Tom! The weather will be better. The negative result gives experience, probably something of your gear wasn’t suitable. Check it better, correct and go again. It is good that she wants to make a tour next year. Chose the temperature conditions/season more carefully, eliminate hilly areas as possible, shorten daily distances, more days to rest on the route and it will be fine.
It is difficult to get my wife more fitted. I use a velo-trainer at home just to be fitted, not to increase the average speed on tours, this is not too important. I do it like you, just have read your website. The conditions for cycling is poor in our town, heavy traffic is everywhere. But … such working out is boring for my wife and it is nothing to do. I think the only good idea is to go to suburb on weekend bike tours, because one must be fitted for loaded touring as well as for active life in general.
I hope to read about your positive experience on future bike tours and wish you to enjoy cycling with your partner.

Alex.
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Old 05-15-07, 11:44 AM   #5
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Neither one of us has given up, believe me. I'm going back up in a couple of weeks to finish out the tour, after all. I ride long distance consistently anyway, and riding loaded isn't a worry nor are hills, I just had a HEAVY load to pull because I was carrying 2 riders gear. This was due to only having the one trailer and the wife rides a Delta Recumbent trike.

The only reason we pulled out this time was my wife got sick. She's going to tour with me again later in the season. Just a little shorter tour, rather than one verging on epic for a first time!

Spaciba, Alex, for the good words though!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex L
Don’t give up, Tom! The weather will be better. The negative result gives experience, probably something of your gear wasn’t suitable. Check it better, correct and go again. It is good that she wants to make a tour next year. Chose the temperature conditions/season more carefully, eliminate hilly areas as possible, shorten daily distances, more days to rest on the route and it will be fine.
It is difficult to get my wife more fitted. I use a velo-trainer at home just to be fitted, not to increase the average speed on tours, this is not too important. I do it like you, just have read your website. The conditions for cycling is poor in our town, heavy traffic is everywhere. But … such working out is boring for my wife and it is nothing to do. I think the only good idea is to go to suburb on weekend bike tours, because one must be fitted for loaded touring as well as for active life in general.
I hope to read about your positive experience on future bike tours and wish you to enjoy cycling with your partner.

Alex.
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Old 05-15-07, 02:25 PM   #6
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Da UP, eh?

The UP can be a great place to tour. I grew up in Iron Mtn, and went to school at MTU in Houghton. Consider the touring the Keweenaw peninsula. It's beautiful along Lake Superior and Portage Lake.

Yeah, May weather can be spotty up there, but summer is wonderful - days are not too hot, nights are cool. You get l-o-n-g daylight hours that far north, and there is enough civilization to get a good meal if you don't feel like campsite cooking again.

Bob
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Old 05-15-07, 10:29 PM   #7
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Here's a slideshow of some of the places!
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Old 05-15-07, 10:59 PM   #8
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Tom,

ride the Keenewaw Peninsula next time you head north. Circle tour out of Houghton/Hancock to Copper Harbor and back. Don't forget Brockway Mountain Drive.

Much, MUCH more senic & enjoyable than the Whitefish Point region of the U.P.
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Old 05-16-07, 12:25 AM   #9
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Tom,

ride the Keenewaw Peninsula next time you head north. Circle tour out of Houghton/Hancock to Copper Harbor and back. Don't forget Brockway Mountain Drive.

Much, MUCH more senic & enjoyable than the Whitefish Point region of the U.P.
In the plans for when I go back in June! I would have done it this time, but the wife wasn't up to snuff, what with getting sick and all!
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Old 05-16-07, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
Neither one of us has given up, believe me. I'm going back up in a couple of weeks to finish out the tour, after all. I ride long distance consistently anyway, and riding loaded isn't a worry nor are hills, I just had a HEAVY load to pull because I was carrying 2 riders gear. This was due to only having the one trailer and the wife rides a Delta Recumbent trike.

The only reason we pulled out this time was my wife got sick. She's going to tour with me again later in the season. Just a little shorter tour, rather than one verging on epic for a first time!

Spaciba, Alex, for the good words though!
Sorry to hear that your wife got sick on tour. That's no fun at all. Glad to hear both of you are game to give it another go.

L
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Old 05-16-07, 09:43 AM   #11
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Were your clothes not warm enough? Or was it just being outside all the time? Sorry it didn't go to plan.
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Old 05-16-07, 11:53 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lolly Pop
Were your clothes not warm enough? Or was it just being outside all the time? Sorry it didn't go to plan.
It was the 20+ MPH wind off Lake Superior, constantly. I was reasonably warm, but the wife was freezing all the time. I Ice ride though, and that makes a difference. As to not going to plan? Well, life is what happens while you are making other plans. We're still in the game, just a change of plans is all, and the wife is going to start off with a bit easier tour is all, later in the season.
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Old 05-16-07, 04:40 PM   #13
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That's good. Glad this trip didn't kill her desire to tour!
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