First Long Trip

by Jeanne

This week my husband and I set out to ride our motorcycles around Lake Michigan and then to a motorcycle resort in Hillsboro, WI. We live outside of Chicago and took off to the east, which meant a whole lot of traffic and interstate driving on day one. This is my first full riding season and I had about 2200 miles on my bike prior to this trip. The interstates have always made me nervous, too fast, too many cars, construction debris on the road all bother me. Illinois is not a helmet law state, so I usually do not wear one, but Michigan is a helmet law state, since we were going to Michigan and I ride a HD Sporty 883, my luggage space is limited and I carried the helmet on my head. I was surprised how the helmet reduced the noise and actually made it much easier to ride on the interstate. In Michigan we rode the Tunnel of Trees, which was beautiful and my first real experience with twisties, I enjoyed my self, but did hit some sand a couple of times and fish tail a little bit. It actually made me more confident because I corrected it and did not wipe out. Then I had to cross the bridge in Mackinac City, yikes! I had to ride on the grating because there was construction going on. I could have done without that part of the trip, the grate pulled my bike every which direction, but I did it. When we finally got to our destination in Wisconsin, I was surprise by how hilly it was. We went on a few rides on really hilly, twisty country roads, it was amazing. The day we left we hit our first weather problem, storms. I had never really ridden in a driving rain and it was not really too much fun. My glasses were all spotted with water and fogging up and I felt like I could not see, but again, I did it (I backed up traffic a bit going only 50 on country roads, but I did it). We got home yesterday, I am sunburned, my wrists are killing me and I added 1682 miles to my bike. I was an amazing experience and hopefully the first of many to come.

Comments for First Long Trip

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Jul 30, 2011
Congrats on your trip!
by: Robin C - Michigan

You chose a great ride to go on, and congratulations on the bridge! I know several people here in Michigan that are traumatized by the thought of crossing that on a bike! My husband and I just returned from a similar trip; Michigan to Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota and back to Michigan again. The UP has some of the most beautiful roads in Michigan. We did the tunnel of trees on this trip also, what a gorgeous ride! Congrats on your trip and glad you had such an awesome experience!!

Jul 21, 2011
More Great Roads
by: JamieC

If you need some help finding great places to ride, I work with Competition Accessories and we actually did a blog post recently that might help.

The Top 20 roads in the Midwest:


Jul 18, 2011
Braver Than I Was
by: Sunny

I was in the UP too last week. Friends in Manistique, MI, so we trailer-ed the bikes to there then went all over the UP. I'll have to try the tunnel of trees next time. Our best part was the road from Munising to Grand Marais. Gorgeous, shady trees, twisties, minimal traffic. Beautiful views of Lake Superior.

However, I was the wet blanket on the over the bridge part. Just couldn't make myself do it. I ended up staying in town and visiting instead riding that day, because I couldn't face the thought of riding over the bridge twice in one day. I have a hard enough time in a car.

Congratulations on your first big trip. I'm hoping by next summer I can feel confident enough to actually do a ride from Minneapolis to Michigan on the bikes rather than having to trailer them there.

Jul 14, 2011
Great Experience
by: Lynn - Florida

Wow what a great experience! A nice long expedition with no mishaps. Isn't it a proud feeling when you complete all those challenging roads!

Jul 13, 2011
by: Anonymous

I drive down 88 often and I don't think I would enjoy riding my motorcycle on it daily! I see people doing it and I always think, "geez, they have way more guts than me!" I ride to work when the weather cooperates, but it is a short jaunt down route 34 to Yorkville.

We did not head to Paradise, so I don't think we spoke with out. Michigan was absolutely beautiful and the weather was great. I wasn't really expecting the temperature drop when we got close to Lake Michigan, but I sure appreciated it!

Jul 12, 2011
The U.P. is a Great Ride!
by: Diane

Sounds like a wonderful trip. I live in Brimley, Michigan and just started riding last year. I also experienced the Mighty Mac Bridge and rode the grates for the first time last month. It was so scary!

I didn't happen to talk to you and your husband on your way to Paradise, Michigan did I? Red and Blue Harley Baggers? Wouldn't that be a coincidence? :)

Jul 12, 2011
Sounds like a GREAT trip!
by: Sandra

Good for you, Jeanne! Sounds like you gained a couple years' experience in just one ride! I, too, live near Chicago, and would drive to work down 88 every morning and night, weather permitting, if my husband could only relax his protection muscle a bit. ;-) He may be correct that the risk is not worth the pleasure, but after driving this route daily for ten years, I'm just not seeing the reason for hesitation...maybe exactly why I need to hesitate? LOL

My riding instructor and her husband made a similar trip this weekend; she's been posting great photos from Mackinak City (sp?) and said it was a great trip except for some harrowing weather. Glad you had a safe and happy return!

Jul 12, 2011
by: Anonymous

Your sarcasm over my personal choice is not appreciated. Why don't you just not say anything at all rather than be condescending in a public board where you are protected by the cover of being anonymous.

Jul 11, 2011
Wow, no helmet?!
by: Anonymous

You rate right up with the best riders I have ever met!! I wish I could ride my bike and KNOW I'm not going to crash! Then I too could ride around without a helmet, that's got to be the only way to go!! :-)

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