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Discussion Starter #1
We are planning a 4-day ride "around the mitten" (Michigan's lower peninsula) at the end of June. We will start at the thumb, riding around the thumb then up and around the fingers.

One of the few musts for the ride is a round trip across the Mackinac bridge between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. There are 2 lanes in each direction. The outside lane is paved, and the inside lane is grate. The pavement is preferable, but traffic or road repairs might put us on the grate. Oh, and it will be very windy.

Any suggestions for riding the bridge, especially if we ride the grate?

Any suggestions for things we must do on this ride?

Thanks.
 

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wocka, wocka, wocka
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One of the few musts for the ride is a round trip across the Mackinac bridge between Michigan's upper and lower peninsulas. There are 2 lanes in each direction. The outside lane is paved, and the inside lane is grate. The pavement is preferable, but traffic or road repairs might put us on the grate. Oh, and it will be very windy.

Any suggestions for riding the bridge, especially if we ride the grate? Any suggestions for things we must do on this ride? Thanks.
og, have done that perimeter run many times back in the early 70's.. don't neglect the YooPee, run around lake Gitchee Goomie and Huron..
did X Mitey Mack last Sept run up to Copper Harbor. Go reasonable speed limit 30? wind should be no problem, its not like yor riding December Ice (have done that too).. have yor cam'ra ready (wrist strap). I shoot with my left hand, ride with my rite. poncho
 

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Don't forget Tunnel of trees and Mackinaw. You'll be going the wrong way for the trees, but stop at the polish restaurant before. I'm doing the lake Michigan circle tour then and will be coming down from the U.P. As already stated, take it slow in the grate. Feels like your on pebbles. Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the tips on the bridge, guys. My apprehension is almost down to the "just enjoy the ride" level and is getting better by the minute. A local who has done the bridge a few times said "don't fight the grate". He struggled on his first crossing, was enlightened by a fellow rider that the bike will keep itself upright and straight despite the jostling, and relaxed for an enjoyable return ride.

Birdhunter02 - what do you mean by "going the wrong way for the trees"? Other than passing the Legs Inn before it opens (if we get out early), is there something about the ride through the tunnel of trees which makes north-south less enjoyable than south-north?

Thanks again.
 

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Just meant most drive north then end at Leggs. No difference in scenery. As the bridge is 5 miles long, they are always painting it. They used to say as soon as they finished painting, they had to start again since it had taken so long. Enjoy and be safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Mission accomplished! Returned last night from our Mitten ride. 4 days and 1120 miles. A good time with good friends. Breakfast in Chesterfield (~35 mi S of Port Huron), then kickstands up at 9:45. Rte 25 around the thumb then 23 up the coast to Alpena for the first night.

A free motel breakfast, then started day 2 on the road to Mackinac. Crossed the bridge around lunchtime then scooted up to the soo, riding Mackinac Trail instead of the slab. Watched a freighter go thru the locks, then rode back down to the lower peninsula. Headed west around the Tunnel of Trees, stopped a while on the beach in Traverse City, then spent night 2 in Petosky.

Another motel breakfast and on the road again. Day 3 was more riding the coast southward, past Manistee to our cabin west of Fountain. Dropped off our stuff, got a campfire ready to light, then rode into Ludington. Had dinner at a nice micro-brewery/restaurant, then hit the beach to watch the sun set over Lake Michigan. Returned to the cabin, lit the campfire, and spent a couple hours under the stars telling riding stories.

Day 4 started with a trip into town to find a bolt to replace one that fell out of my shifter bracket. 2 hours later we had the bolt and the bike was repaired. Most of the group headed east on US-10, hoping that the rain to the south would die out before they had to go that way (it did). I headed south down old-31 to see my (92 yr old) mother, so I got to enjoy the rain. 90 minutes under the roof at a gas station, then off to see Mom. An hour later the sky was clearing and I headed east an home.

The only interstate we rode was the bridge itself and a few miles north of it. The remainder of the trip was state roads, usually posted between 45 and 55 mph. 3 days of spectacular weather, one day a mixed bag, and a lot of great riding.

Thanks again for the tips on the bridge. 'Twarnt nuthin.
 
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