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Old 07-06-2010, 04:57 PM   #1
Esser OP
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Location: Sarnia, ON
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Swimming in all the great lakes in 36 hours

Tomorrow morning me and my brother are leaving on an XL600 and an X650 from Ontario to swim in all the great lakes in 36 hours. The trip is jsut shy of 2000km and our first lake is Lake Michigan followed by Superior, Ontario, Erie, and lastly the Lake our home town is on, Huron.

Pics and report to come!
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Old 07-06-2010, 07:01 PM   #2
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From 5 Great Lakes

Night before we leave!

From 5 Great Lakes

Let the swimming and riding adventures begin!

wakes screwed with this post 07-06-2010 at 07:26 PM
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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We made it alive and the trip was a great success. Ride report to follow after I wake up from my coma
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Old 07-09-2010, 04:44 AM   #4
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Looking forward to this one.
A little armageddon is good for you.
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:17 AM   #5
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OK, So here is the ride report.

We woke up Wednesday morning at 7 hoping to be on the road at 8. After eating a big breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns we left for the border. It was a beautiful sunny day and about 35 degree celcius and 90% humidity at 8:30 so we knew we were gonna have a cooker. First thing we did was cross the Bluewater Bridge into the US of A.


The customs guard was a little bewildered when I told him why I was coming into the USA but let me through anyhow. Next Stop: Lake Michigan. Not quite. Kevin only has a stock XR650L tank Which gets about 85 miles to a tank. So our first stop was a gas station in Port Huron. We were 20 minutes into our trip and decided out shirts had to go since it was getting hotter by the second.

Because of Kevins gas tank for the rest of the trip we stopped every hour and half alternating our stops from a 2 minute through fuel in the tank and go to a 10 minute eat a granola bar and go.

We started off going up Lake Huron and had a good time but for the most part uneventful. After we crossed the I75 we hit rain. Being the kind of guys that decided the night before, you can say we werent exactly prepared besides a couple garbage bags and good rain coats. We drove in rain for about an hour and a half when it turned to sun for an hour. The back to rain. We decided at this point to grab some food. Which was good call because the rain was gone by the time we hit the road again.

At 5PM we hit Lake Michigan

1Min Video

Lake Michigan was a really nice swim at a place called Deep Water Port.

After we dried off it was North to Sault Ste Marie. The ride was really nice especially the Mackinaw Bridge. This was the second time I had ever gone over it and the first time was 7 years ago on a motorcycle and the outside lanes were closes for construction and I had to ride on the metal grate that is espesially bad due to the high ridges. If you have ever been on this bridge you know what I am talking about. Well fastforward to today and guess what. Construction again. Haha it is cool to look down and see the water a couple hundred feet down.

We decided to hit the I75 at this point since we wanted to get to Superior while it was still light out. This is one seriously lonely piece of freeway. I think we saw two cars going our way in that hour.

Next up was crossing back into Canada at this point its about 830PM. There was no line for customs. I have never had such an easy customs guard to deal with.

'Where are you from?'
'What did you buy?'
'Go ahead'

Now we were on our way to Superior. We had about 40 minutes of riding on nice curvy road to get there. We find a beach but see a sign for a boat launch. We decided to try to make it to the boat launch so we can put our bikes in the water like we did at Lake Michigan. I wish we hadn't. We are driving along the road looking right trying to find the boat launch. I see it so I brake quick. Too quick because I guess Kevin was looking to the right at the lake too and didn't see me stopping. BOOM. Kevin's bike hits mine and does a full 270 and lands on its tail. Kevin went flying about 10' in the air and landed on his side and back. Me and my bike are some how miraculously fine. But I am scared for Kevin. But before I can even get off my bike Kevin jumps up and picks his bike up. He is in a but of shock and is worried about his bike. I am amazed he is even walking. After asking him for about the 10th time if he is ok. He finally answers he hurt his foot a bit.

We are so lucky. We both estimate the impact speed to be between 50KM/h and 60KM/h. Luckily Kevin had his amoured jacket and helmet on which really saved him. If he was weating his boots he would be completely fine.

His bike took some damage. His left fork hit the back right of my swing arm and twisted and gouged his forks with a minor fork oil leak. He had a small dent in his tank and a broke air shroud as well as a broken tail light.

After deliberating what we are going to do, wait in Sault Ste Marie see the dealer, order parts etc. We decide we better take a swim before it gets too dark.

Kev looking dejected after the accident.

After the swim Kevin took his bike down the road and discovered it was quit rideable. We had 40 min of driving to get back to town so I took an oranage shirt I had and wrapped it around his tail light. It worked quite good and looked like a dim tail light. We could get back to town. After 60 min of riding we got to a Husky Diner at around 11:30. Kevin decided he could drive to Sudbury and see how the bike felt but he was pretty confident it would make it.

We set up camp down the road and were in bed by 1.

More to come!

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Esser screwed with this post 07-09-2010 at 01:50 PM
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Old 07-09-2010, 10:31 AM   #6
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Very cool! Love this corner of the world
Living the examined life...

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Don't worry. He'll still be a putz when you wake up.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:48 PM   #7
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I rode the north shore of superior along the Trans Canada in the summer of 08 heading west....AWESOME!! And the people were great, too.
Txt msg with Dan right after he was paralyzed:
Me: Hey Dan-O. Just wanted to say howdy and Love ya!
Dan: Howdy and Love you too. Doin' good and feeling good.
Me: Give 'em hell, little Bro!
Dan: Roger that.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:49 PM   #8
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We woke up at 6 to a light drizzly rain. A solid 5 hour sleep to get us through this day. Keep in mind orginally we had wanted to make it 3 hours down the road further the night before but couldn't due to the previous days progress and circumstances.

We were on the road at 7 and we had a cold drizzly rain until we hit Sudbury. Around there it had turned to a heavy rain. We road in the heavy rain for another 3 hours. At one point Kevin and motioned to me that he was on reserve. So we looked for a gas station. And looked. And looked. We both thought he was going to run out of gas aroudn the 15th mile of his reserve when a one pump gas station popped up. They didn't have premium but we'll take it. Me and Kevin were trying to decided what to do at this point. I wanted to drive another 4:30 hours to Peterborough, stay with some of my friends, sleep in a bed, throw our clothes in a dryer and extend the trip farthur up Lake Ontario to some nices beaches. Kevin on the other hand wanted to make it home that night since his bike wasnt in ship shape. I wasn't too happy at first and we decided to ride and think about it for the next hour and a half. Going home that night would mean at least another 8 hours of driving. About an hour later the sun started to shine and I dried up a bit and decided that I'd try to go home with Kevin. Although I was seriously considering parting ways for a little bit there. But originally I wanted to swim the lakes in 2 days so I decided that is what I would do.

As the sun came out it got HOT and muggy. We pulled over in Barrie and wolfed down some subway at about 4. We didn't want to take freeways but at the same time we wanted to make good time. We realized we would be hitting Toronto at rush our and would be in 2 hours of stop and go traffic for a 50km stretch. Screw that. We took some side roads which turned out to be great and it took us 3 hours to do 160KM being slowed down int he cities outsdie of Toronto. The other option was 4:30 hours through toronto on not very scenic highway. I think we made the right choice. We got to a discusting harbor on Lake Ontario and it summed up how we felt about this Lake. Its nice the farther east you go but its a cesspool in the horseshoe around Toronto and Hamilton. It was a werid feeling rushing to get to a place you dont want to go to. But we had to swim all 5. We made it at 7PM.


The steel mills in the background just set the picture for this lake.

Before we got to lake Ontario that when I accelerated heavily at one point my chain slipped. While I was at the lake i checked it out and sure enough my chain had stretched quite a bit and was destorying my rear sporcket while it was at it. I had 350KM to go and I decided to try to make it but I was worried about this the whole way home.

We were off to Lake Erie which was 2 hours away and the sun was going down. If we were lucky we would get there at 9:30 and hoping to still have just enough light for a picture and a video. We were wrong. It was twlight by the time we found a beach: 9:30 PM


We still had an hour and half drive to go to make it home and to Lake Huron. It was an uneventful drive and we were quite tired by the time we got there at 11:30PM. The day was done and we had been in the saddles for about 16 hours that day.


All in all a great trip and I would do it again. The XL is certianly no touring machine and needs a comfier seat but it wasnt too bad. I'm proud of her for making the distance after her rebuild.
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:11 PM   #9
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Hey guys that was great, what a great resource those lakes are.
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:41 AM   #10
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Lake Ontario?

Hi guys,

Thanks for the ride report. In the picture of Lake Ontario, you see the steel mills in Hamilton. I hope that wasn't what you swam in or judged the western end of Lake Ontario by. What you see in the picture is Hamilton Harbour. Essentially, it is a cesspool that was created for the shipping vessels for the steel industry. It is too bad you didn't see the real lake that was about 500 m behind you when you were taking that photo.

When you got to Lake Erie, did you swim at Port Stanley? You were really close to my home base if you did.

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Old 07-12-2010, 05:00 PM   #11
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You are completely correct. We didn't give Lake Ontario a fighting chance on this ride. Our original plans was to go up the lake further east to some nice areas but we were behind schedule.

And we sure did go to Port Stanley
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Old 07-12-2010, 05:39 PM   #12
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There's an iron butt event that does something similar to what you did, except you did it the hard way on thumpers
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