Man on BikeMichigan Cycling Trip 1991Man on Bike

The trip began the morning of Saturday, July 6, 1991. Participants of this adventure include Jeff Brining, Keith Brining, John Combs, Chris DeLaet, Joe DeLaet, Rick Eppley, Mike Hennie, and Rob Schmidt. The equipment and bikes were packed into the trailer. Packing the bikes in is quite an ordeal. The group piled into Joe's van and we hit the road at 8:23 a.m. A short time later at 8:52 a.m. we arrived at the south edge of Greenville to pick up Matt Barnes. Matt and his parents were there waiting on us. Matt's bike and equipment were quickly packed into the trailer. We resumed our trip heading north on US 127 to Ohio 36 and then east to I-75. Northward to Michigan !

Our route took us off of I-75 onto US-23 near Toledo. This would shorten the trip to the Upper Peninsula (UP) by avoiding Toledo and Detroit. We stopped at the Michigan state line for a picture. We also had to get a picture of mile marker 325 many hours later. Arriving in Mackinaw City about 6:00 p.m. we headed for a gas station. Rick rode his bike to the campground (this was strange that no one else wanted to since this is a bike trip) while the others drove ahead to find the campsite at Wilderness State Park. Camp was set up and supper quickly followed. Chili, bread, and cookies with Kool-aid to wash it down. An excellent meal was enjoyed by all. Supper was cleaned up and off to the beach. We stayed at the beach well past 9:30 p.m. It was still pretty light at 10:00 p.m.

Sunday morning saw us up early. After breakfast was cleaned up we hit the road to Mackinaw City at 8:28 a.m. We stopped at the Wilderness State Park sign for a picture. 10.3 miles later we found ourselves at the ferry to take us to Mackinac Island. The bikes and ourselves were loaded on the ferry for a 16 minute ride to the island.

Arriving at Mackinac Island, we (all nine of us, sag wagon drivers included) started riding the bike path surrounding the island. We were almost all the way around when John noticed his rear wheel was rubbing the frame. He tried to push it straight with his foot but only succeeded in bending the wheel. We did not have a wrench with us (it was back on the mainland in the van) to fix it. A big stick was used to pound on the axle, moving the wheel enough for John to ride. Completing the circle of the island we decided to venture up to the center of the island. This was John's undoing. The axle was not tight enough for him to ride up hill and the bike shop was closed for at least another hour. John decided he would stay behind. The rest of us headed up the hill to the center of the island. We passed the Grand Hotel. Joe was a little slow going up the hill but he did pretty good. The boys stopped at Skull Cave. We passed by Fort Henry but did not stop (many steps to climb and not much of a fort left). We stopped at Fort Mackinac and looked at the outside but did not go in. From up here you can see a long way. Nice view of the boat dock, lighthouse and even Mackinac Bridge. On our way down to John we came to a hill we had to walk down. Riding down was prohibited (subject to a fine if caught).

We found John where we had left him. It was decided we would stay until the bike shop opened. The boys went looking through the shops. When the bike shop finally opened, it was a disappointment. They did not have any cycling caps or anything else we wanted. We returned to the mainland on the 1:30 p.m. ferry.

Lunch finally happened in the ferry parking lot about 2:00 p.m. Lunch completed saw us north bound across the Mackinac Bridge heading for Sault Ste. Marie. The Soo Locks were our next goal.

Luck was with us as we saw the last known ship of the day pass through the locks. We walked through the information center and then headed for the campground. Camp was set up and supper started. Rain ? RAIN! No more riding today. Rick fixed John's rear wheel and worked on Chris' front wheel. After supper several of the group took showers, played video games and pool. Jeff, Mike and Rick started to walk to town. The restaurant was open and was advertising pasties on the sign outside. The rain proved to be too much and they turned around. The restaurant was closed on the way back. Mike was disappointed when he did not find out what a pastie was.

It rained off and on for most of the night. Rob's tent fell during the night and he was very upset about it. Morning brought sunshine but it clouded over quickly. We packed the bikes in the trailer before breakfast. Breakfast of French toast, sausage and orange juice tasted good in the cool morning air.

The sun returned as we drove across the bridge to Sault Ste. Marie, Canada. No problem getting into Canada, but the guard did ask us if we had permission to bring the boys in. We met our contact at the railroad station. She told us how to get to camp and gave us a map to get us out of the city. We started riding about 11:00 a.m. About eight miles later we met up with Joe and John. About the same time we met a father/son pair of cyclist riding mountain bikes. They told us some good places to ride without too many hills (there were still a lot of hills).

We rode a couple of miles and met Joe and John again. It was decided that lunch would be at the top of the hill in front of a KOA campground to avoid all the garbage trucks going by. Rick started up the hill but realized something was wrong with the bike. The right pedal somehow had worked itself out and was crooked. The pedal was removed and replaced in the crank arm after much time and effort. Lunch was almost done when a lady came by and said "You can not picnic here!" We packed up and left, agreeing to meet at 3:00 p.m. at the intersection of Goulais and Fourth line Road. Joe and John were going to try and find a new crank for Rick. Rick told John to get Schimano 105 or a cheap Bio-pace. The guy at the bike shop said cheap Bio-pace was redundant. No cranks were to be had and would take a week to order. Rick would have to keep an eye on the crank until a replacement could be found. The riders met Joe and John about 3:10 p.m. It was hilly and windy and we only had 36 miles. We decided to ride around the block then head for camp. Mike, Jeff, and Rick decided to ride to the top of the hill and then down while the others went on ahead. It was a long, steep hill and the main group was caught fairly quickly.

The ride to camp put our mileage at 41.3. Camp was setup and supper followed shortly. Joe said he had seen some beavers at the pond. After cleanup we all rode to the park where Joe and John had explored this afternoon. We did some sightseeing and then played one-pitch. It was adults vs. boys and the adults won 16-6 even though the adults were outnumbered 5 to 4. Six more miles were needed so we rode two miles farther out and then rode back to camp arriving about 10:00 p.m. We ended the day with 50.1 miles. Everybody went to their tents. The mosquitoes are very bad here and the boys are tired after a hilly and windy day. It is very quiet as this is being written in the journal. HELMET.

Tuesday we packed the trailer after breakfast and headed back to the U.S. We had no problem getting back in. They did not even ask for any IDs. They just would not let us leave anybody behind. Off to Brimley to start riding.

The bikes were unloaded in Brimley and we started looking for water. Water was found at Stan's, a little store a couple of miles down the road. Almost everybody got candy bars and we said thank you for the water. This road was along the shore of Lake Superior. We stopped at a park to look at a ship and the boys walked out on the breakwater. Lunch took place at Iroquois Point Lighthouse. Jeff had a self-induced accident after lunch and was not hurt. Joe joined us at 25.5 miles and rode with us for 11 miles. Most of the road has been smooth and with little wind today. We reached Paradise and took a picture at the sign. Mike found out what a pastie was at a little shop. Two riders got in the sag wagon at 52.2 miles. Mike, Chris, Keith, Jeff and Rick rode the remainder to Whitefish Point ending the day with 55.3 miles. John wanted a picture on the beach of those who rode all the way. The lighthouse here was built in 1849. The bikes were packed into the trailer and off to the Lower Tahqushamon Falls. After seeing the Lower Falls we drove to the Upper Falls. It was looking like rain and we could hear thunder. We arrived at camp (south of Paradise) about 8:30 p.m. and had an excellent supper around 9:00 p.m. of Spaghetti and salad. A fire was built and many took showers. Went to bed clean tonight.

Wednesday after breakfast Matt wanted to know "What will we see today?" Joe said "The pavement." The day's ride started from the camp and back up through Paradise. We had to get a picture in front of the bank with the snowmen. We rode on M123 headed toward Four Mile Corner. Lunch was just off the road on a logging road after 29 miles. Arriving at Four Mile Corner we had to go in the Four Mile Corner Store for candy bars and pop. "Watch the garage door or you'll have some expense" said the man to Jeff after Jeff bumped into the door. Joe and John had pasties in Newberry this afternoon. At 50.2 miles three riders decided it was time for the sag wagon. Mike, Chris, Jeff and Rick rode to Muskellunge Park ending the day's riding with 61 miles. Joe joined in for the last six miles. A sign several miles before the end said the road was rough and it was with the last few hundred yards changing to dirt.

The road was dirt from here as we drove to the dunes. Spent a few minutes at the dunes and talked to a ranger. Drove on a lot more dirt road to Hurricane Campground. Two of our group were left in a campsite while we looked for a better site four miles away down more dirt road. Nothing was found so we returned to the first site. Those dirt roads are sure rough and dusty. Camp was setup and supper eaten. The ranger we saw at the dunes came by and said only two tents per campsite and a max of 8 people. "You can not camp here." The extra tents were taken down, but the ranger did not come back. Pictured Rocks will have to wait until tomorrow.

Thursday saw us back on the dirt road after breakfast. Many miles of dirt road later pavement reappeared. In Munising we saw Pictured Rocks, Miners Cave and then Munising Falls. Resuming our travel, we headed south on M77 to US2. Lunch was at a rest stop. We met a couple who were riding across the country from west to east. They left Spokane 26 days earlier. They play to ride to New York and Canada then south to Florida. They have plane tickets to fly home in September.

We filled our water bottles and started to ride. Ten to twelve miles into the ride we could see Lake Michigan. We saw the lake for most of the ride to St. Ignace. We stopped once to take a special picture (we will see how many understand it). We stopped and had candy bars and pop the first time we met Joe and John. The road was good and the wind was light. Everybody rode strong. We met Joe and John a couple of more times and then at the edge of St. Ignace. We rode on a side road which turned to dirt then paved again ending up close to Mackinac Bridge. John and Joe had supper ready and we were ready to eat. Mike, Chris, Jeff, and Rick rode another 5.5 miles after supper so the would have 250 miles for the week.

The bikes were packed (for the last time) and we headed out in search of t-shirts. Shirts were found in St. Ignace at a small store/restaurant. The boys had more to eat. Mike and Jeff shared a pastie. Now we were searching for UP patches and got gas for the van. Looked many places in St. Ignace but had no luck. At the bridge Mike asked the lady to turn on the bridge lights. She turned on a light at the toll booth which was the best she could do. As we crossed the bridge the lights came on and Mike was happy. Our goal was Bush Lake State Park. Bush Lake showed up about 10:30 p.m. Setup was accomplished under the lantern light of our very friendly neighbors. Some headed for the showers. It is 12:06 a.m. as this is being written in the journal.

Friday morning saw several of the group up and in the showers at 6:30 a.m. Breakfast was consumed and the trailer packed, leaving our campsite before 8:00 a.m. Lunch time had found us near Ann Arbor. A drive through town brought us full circle back to Pizza Hut. After four large pizzas and four pitchers of Pepsi and Mt. Dew we are ready to hit the road. At the first rest stop in Ohio we are ready to leave and the van will not start. The motorhome next to us gives us a jump and we arrive back in Englewood about 5:00 p.m.

Heading to Rick's house to get a key for the church, Joe turned the wrong way. He made a U-turn at Old Salem and Kinsey to go back to Rick's. The trailer was unloaded and troop equipment put away. The boys were being picked up by their parents. Joe and Rick put the trailer away in the Oren garage. Joe and Chris then headed for home. In true cyclist fashion, Rob rode his bike home. Terry came with Laura and Anne to get John. Rick packed up his stuff and rode home. Another high adventure trip comes to a close. Good ride ! 

Here are some cycling related links:

Requirements for the Cycling Merit Badge.
A bicycles newsgroup rec.bicycles.rides.
The Global Cycling Network

Special thanks to Assistant Scoutmaster Rick Eppley for writting this.

Last revised: April 4, 1999

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