When I started my consulting practice, I set the intention of doing work that fueled me while ALSO being able to embark on adventures that would reinvigorate my curiosity about the world. On these trips and explorations, I leave my echo chamber behind and see the stories of others playing out. Someone has put this more eloquently...take it, Walt.
430 miles. I mapped it from Traverse City to the tip of the Keewanaw Peninsula. A week of riding, then meet the homies at the ferry to Isle Royale, one of the least visited national parks in America. See the Aurora Borealis before it disappears forever, what could be better?
A week on the bike, a week on the trail...
I can’t remember when the idea struck me, but it was the way all great adventures start - it captured my brain before sleep and the question became, "What are the nuts and bolts of this plan and am I crazy?" Adventures require putting the sanity check after feasibility. Generally, if you commit to an adventure in your rational mind, you're done before you started. Just ask the guys that climbed Meru and most Ironman athletes.
The last time I did a multi-day tour was 2009, when I joined friends for the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa. A distance of 468 miles that I hopped into way undertrained but full of youth and hubris. "Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage...Youth + Hubris!" I made it through ok from what I remember (amnesia is a thing), but that was a fully supported ride with mechanics, people who set up your tent each night you rolled into town, and pasta and pancake stops every 10 miles. I remember strains of reggae floating through the Iowa heat, alerting your stomach that the "Pastafarian" station was approaching. I mean, if you can't culturally appropriate in America's heartland, where can you?
So, Step 1: Pitch the Idea to My Pit Crew -- my retired parents who I will gently persuade to be my support vehicle the whole way. Because Lorde knows I don't want to do a self-supported pannier-fest. The riding alone will be tough enough. I can't phase my Dad anymore with my adventures, so when I mentioned the idea to him, he was all for it. After all, his bucket list is looking pretty good these days ---------------------->
Step 2: Convince the homies (Mike + Joe) to meet me in the middle of nowhere Upper Peninsula and backpack
Step 3: Map the route and consult local bike shops to make sure sections are not a death trap. That's probably an average of 60-70 miles a day over a week. Safety first!
Step 5: Budget for lodging, food, parts, gear, ferry
Step 4: Take bike maintenance courses because something is bound to happen on that Seney Highway stretch where there’s not a bike shop for miles.
Summer 2020...what's good?