Bicycle Around Lake Superior!
Day 1: Michigan; Chassell to Ishpeming August 27; 82 miles
We started from Julie's home on Portage Lake in Chassell, headed South and followed Lake Superior for about 16 miles into Baraga and L'Anse, past the Da Yoopers Tourist Trap & Museum (famous for the song "Da 2nd week of deer camp"). This first ride along Lake Superior was one of the prettiest rides we had!
The bike path on the shoulder of US41 was nice and wide most of the way, but even on that first leg, we each experienced a few of the startles we would encounter on our trip. For example, one of us caught a wheel in one of those grinders recently dug into the road by the Michigan Department of Transportation, throwing her into some serious wobbling before regaining control of the bike.
Then one of us was cut off by a delivery truck with no where to go as the truck went from highway speed to turning immediately in front of the bike. The paths other than sliding under the truck? Turn left or right: Turning left would have meant trying to cross the grinders which had already been dangerously encountered by our other rider and also would have lead right into more traffic flying by, but turning right led to a drop off the shoulder to gravel on these skinny little tires that easily burst on a sharp rock and lead right into the turning truck. Some quick braking and feet down and your prayers helped me out of that!
Maybe someone more experienced on a skinny, hard tired road bike would know how to react quicker but all my experience riding had been on a mountain bike with fat knobby soft tires that can jump off from one kind of surface to another with no problem. So switching from mountain bike to road bike for this trip was a whole new experience for Connie.
After this first day, Connie decided that the next day, she better go to one of the sports shops in Marquette to purchase a small rear view mirror for her helmet and a high visibility vest or jersey in hopes that she could see back-traffic and they could see her! (The next day, we got the mirror at Downwind Sports and when they didn't have a high visibility top, we stopped by the Safety Store on Main Street in Marquette and purchase a bright yellow t-shirt with reflective stripes on the back. Later in the trip, two of us attached a red flashing light onto the back of our bikes hoping traffic would see us!)
We rode 82 miles this first day out and stayed our first night of the trip at the Best Western Motel in Ishpeming, Michigan, home of the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame.