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View Full Version : So What's Riding Michigan Like?


thumper
06-06-2007, 02:38 PM
Fantastic!! It was hard to believe I wasn't breaking any laws while riding in such primo terrain.

This trip was an unexpected visit to Brenda's [my wife] mother. Mom was supposed to fly down to us for her birthday but her doc cancelled that at the last minute. So what better way to go than load up the bike and see MI. for a few days.

We arrived [a day late] at their get-away in Clare.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan011.jpg

Burnt out from the drive and needing to visit with the family, I left the DRZ parked in the shade for most of the day.

That night I loaded my route to the Evart Trails [30 miles west]. I also downloaded my mapset of the trails which I purchased from the Cycle Conservation Club and a few other routes provided by 2TrakR [Mi. Trailriders].

I constructed a long way route that eventually brought me to the trails.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan025.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan035.jpg

The roads were great and as I got further out they became more entertaining. I never saw another bike or atv and rarely passed another vehicle.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan028.jpg

This was the last road going in. It was actually shown on City-Select as ''Ford Rd."
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan039.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan042.jpg

A few miles deeper and it became just "Road". This was a blast through here.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan044.jpg

Finally, I was on Evart Trails. I learned quickly to only pick the 30''wide trails for good riding. The normal atv trails were okay but just not what I came for. I stuck with the Class3/4 MC only systems and had a whole lot more fun.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan049.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan055.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan054.jpg

The scenery was great. I saw alot of wildlife and had the whole place to myself.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan057.jpg

I took a little detour to this meadow for a break. There were lots of jeep roads that crossed the trails and led to spots like this.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan045.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan059.jpg

Back on the trail, things started getting more interesting.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan050.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan060.jpg

Self Portrait wrecked by a bead of sweat.:lol2:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan062.jpg

After about 20 miles of Evart, my camelpak was almost emty.

Heading back out.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan058.jpg

A road with a store and a cool drink!

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan029.jpg

Freshly graded route going back home.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan031.jpg

The next day to follow.

Krabill
06-06-2007, 03:42 PM
Glad to hear you had a good time! :clap:

I really hate seeing trails like this. You have no idea how many hundreds upon hundreds of miles of trials up there have grown over due to lack of use. I propose a plan . . . 30 or 40 riders from here head up North twice a year to run every trail we can find to keep them from growing over. Who's in? :rider:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/michigan059.jpg

thumper
06-06-2007, 03:52 PM
I propose a plan . . . 30 or 40 riders from here head up North twice a year to run every trail we can find to keep them from growing over. Who's in? :rider:


Sounds like a plan!!:rider: I was truely astonished at the amount of riding. Especially with a DSer. You weren't kidding!!:trust:

I just had a hard time not looking over my shoulder for TPWD!!:lol2:

bullfrog
06-06-2007, 04:13 PM
That is sooooo cool....

Krabill
06-06-2007, 05:01 PM
So I take it the sand didn't give you too many fits? Some people hate it, but once you're used to it, it's not so bad.

dbdolan
06-06-2007, 05:57 PM
Man that sure is some nice area, I wouldn't mind getting up there myself.

thumper
06-06-2007, 06:15 PM
So I take it the sand didn't give you too many fits? Some people hate it, but once you're used to it, it's not so bad.

It wasn't really that bad. I tucked the front a few times but that was mostly from being just plain lazy. One thing I noticed was all the hill climbs were pretty much washed free[or roosted] of the sand. So where'd the sand go? Each and every bottom was a super-soft pile of silt!:eek2: Once I got used to it, it was just a matter of busting through the silt and staying with it all the way up!:rider: That was far easier than some of the twisting sandy switchbacks going down. Sometimes I really wished I was on a lighter bike, but all in all it was a blast especially the MC only sections. That was some great singletrack.:rider:

I'll post the rest tonite!

Tourmeister
06-06-2007, 11:12 PM
Great pics! Beautiful country!!

thumper
06-07-2007, 12:52 AM
After a great day of some awesome riding, it was the three of us off to Traverse City. We arrived in late afternoon and found it to be a little too much of a zoo. So we stayed overnight and move to Cadillac. This was a great little town on two lakes [Micthell and Cadillac]. I spent the rest of that day getting getting us moved in and mapping my next route.

The canal connecting the two lakes.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0829.jpg

Brenda and her 81 year old mom going out for a spin!:eek2:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/cadillac007.jpg

I hollered at her mom saying this might not be such a wise idea! Especially with ''Brenda'' at the helm!:giveup: Mom being the ''salt of the earth'' type said ''Nah..what do you know anyways!''

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/cadillac011.jpg

Actually they did great and had a blast touring all the lakefront homes.

A good night's rest and my new routes loaded, I was off to Muskogee and Long Lake trails.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0799.jpg

I stopped to top off near my first turn off and thought for a moment about this sign.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/08240832.jpg
A local guy pulled up to the pumps with an atv in the back of his truck. So I asked him what the chances were and as I thought it was slim to none. But he did say if I ran up on one, I'd never forget it! I just laughed and rode off.:flip:

This road was fast and alot of fun. Although it was hard to see the soft spots with the shadows.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0805.jpg

Once I got in I realized how different the terrain was and why there would be bears.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0804.jpg

Although I wasn't worried, I adjusted my strategy to only taking breaks on top of the hills.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0801.jpg

My first sucessful self-portrait!
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0803.jpg

I rode several miles of this system and decided to bail out and head to Long Lake.

My shortcut of roads started out great. Fast, easy, and a good cooling off.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0821.jpg

Not for long. After a few miles, I ran into lots of silty bottoms that got rid of my cool down ride!:lol2:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0823.jpg

I made it out okay, cooled down on the highway, and topped off my drink.I headed for the Long Lake system and had a good feeling from the description.

I decided to enter through the trailhead and see if I'd run into any local riders. Not a chance. There wasn't a sign of anyone being there or on the trails.

Things got off to a good start with this very soft climb up to the trails!:trust:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0809.jpg

I knew the trail was gonna go both left and right. So I let this little stick give me an oppurtunity to stop and check out which way I should go!:rider:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0807.jpg

It was actually much softer than it looks.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0808.jpg

Uphill to the right was the longer loop. So I went over and kicked the stick which then made my bike fall over.:rofl: Gheez!! That was swift!!:doh:

Once I got out of the D.A. mode it was off to a great ride!:clap:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0813.jpg

As always pictures never do true justice. This was a fantastic trail!

Another self-portrait.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0812.jpg

I rode this for several long miles and again resorted to meadows for my breaks. Even though the breeze was slight, it felt great.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0811.jpg

Finally, I popped out here! Long Lake...great place, isolated and peaceful.:sun:
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0814.jpg

Another somewhat sucessful self-portrait.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0817.jpg

Would I do this again? In a New York second!
My biggest regret? Forfeiting my overnight ride!
Something else I wished for but never happend? A real good frog-strangler!

So now I'll stomp on my own thread! We actually left a day early and I had an extra just in case. The drive was tough and Brenda suggested I should break it up. I was game for this and really in when we decided on Lake Ouachita State Park.

A vacation from the vacation. Our arrival near sunset.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0840.jpg

Piro at work!
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0836.jpg

Cooling off the next day!
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0875.jpg

A different kind of long ride.
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0899.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0893.jpg

And seeings how Brenda didn't get to go 2up in Mi. I just knew she wasn't gonna leave Ark. without a ride!:rider:

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0846.jpg

Trying her hand at road shots.

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0856.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0867.jpg

Checking out some different "Roads".

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0870.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0852.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/Hpim0849.jpg

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/08570891.jpg

And finally getting snookered into the rock shop!;-)

http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c151/tmshw/08720881.jpg


All in all it was ''a good one"!:sun:

Tourmeister
06-07-2007, 01:38 AM
Dang... now I have another bad itch in need of some serious scratching :doh:

Great shots man!

thumper
06-07-2007, 02:00 AM
Thanks Scott and thanks for the forum that keeps me in touch with these oppurtunities. Looking forward to riding together soon!:rider:

Krabill
06-07-2007, 09:03 AM
Great pictures! They're really making me home sick.

As for the bears . . . ummm . . . they're black bears and basically harmless. They only thing you have to worry about is getting between a mother and her cubs, but other than that they'll leave you alone.

About the only time you'll run across anybody else on the trails is over the "big" holiday weekends. Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. Other than that you can pretty much count on riding all day every day and hardly, if ever, seeing anybody else on the trails.