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Old 07-19-2008, 07:58 PM   #1
Cannonshot OP
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3500 Miles of Mapped/GPSed Dual Sport Routes - 1200 Mile Sampler

Just spent five days with two other riders (GasMich, R.Markus) doing a 1200 mile test ride of some dual sport routes that are about to be made available to DS riders to download for free. Had a blast! Pictures and story on the way . . .









(Action shot - note foot up in the air as he goes down.)


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Old 07-19-2008, 08:01 PM   #2
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From the pics posted so far, it looks interesting...
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:05 PM   #3
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Those look awesome, can't wait for more.
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:31 PM   #4
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Background

I have enjoyed some great long dirt/gravel/trail rides in Michigan over the past few years. Some of the long dual sport rides I have taken there include:

Upper Peninsual Dual Sport Safari (1200 miles)
Lower Peninsula Dual Sport Safari (1200 miles)
Michigan Cross Country Cycle Trail (600 miles)
Two CannonTreks (1100 miles each) in the Upper Peninsula
In addition, I have enjoyed some other rides and events there on my own or with various groups (UP rides, several Six Days of Michigan, CannonTrek I).

I mention these experiences as background for the opinions and comments I express about this Michigan ride. (More about that in the ride report.)

Though I live in SE Wisconsin, I am a big fan of some of the dual sport riding opportunities in Michigan.

The other day, I called 2TrakR, a member of this forum, to ask about any new motor vehicle use restrictions in the Manistee National Forest. I explained that I wanted to make a long dual sport and was heading for the lower peninsula. 2TrakR reminded me that the Great Lakes Dual Sporters had a project in the works to publish some dual sport routes in Michigan for people to enjoy. (2TrakR is President of GLDS.) He told me that he would use this as a reason to finish up the project. In return, I told him I would give him a test ride of the main loop route in the lower peninsula to proof it before he put it out.

In the mean time I met up with 2TrakR at a ride in the UP of MI and he handed me this professionally prepared 60 page map book of about 3500 miles of dual sport routes.


Here is an overview of the routes. The yellow colored lines are main route loops. The magenta lines are alternate or more local loop routes. The program is designed so that you can either ride main long distance trip routes or you can set up in an area for a weekend and ride shorter loops that stay in one region. (Some of the CannonTrekkers might recognize the CT III route as part of the mix. I kicked in some tracks to the project as well.)


Here is a sample map page from the book. These routes are GPSed as tracklines. After the test ride, I have to say that this is a GPS ride. The maps are good for planning and overview, but the trackline makes the ride fast and the navigation easy.


By the way, many of the routes included in this product are taken from event routes that the club has developed in the past. This means that the routes are very well explored and well developed to maximize entertainment value. There are more frequent demands for technical riding skills than one might find on some other DS tracks. More about that in the report and pictures.

2TrakR will be along to give more details about how to get the maps and tracks (downloads) for free from the GLDS website. I need to give him a couple of edits (land use changes) before he puts out the final product though.

The web site for the Great Lakes Dual Sporters is at http://www.gldsmc.org/. (Membership is not required to be able to download the maps and tracks from the club web site. Dues are only $10 though . . . who wouldn't support an organization that puts out a product like this. . . plus members get access to an extensive collection of other archived DS routes.)

I have been to a number of other states to enjoy dual sport riding. After testing this product, I can see Michigan as a destination for people to travel to for a very high quality and extensive dual sport experience. Take a look at the pix and the story and see for yourself.

Many thanks to 2TrakR and the Great Lakes Dual Sporters for putting this all together and offering it to the public at no cost!!!!!!

This report deals with the long loop we rode in the lower peninsula. If you want information about the loop in the UP, check out this report:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352617

Cannonshot screwed with this post 07-19-2008 at 10:42 PM
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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That's one tough way to get there... and looks like fun too
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Old 07-19-2008, 08:51 PM   #6
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The Riders

I sometimes make these long rides solo. Makes for quick travel, but it is not nearly as much fun as it is with a group of good riders. As soon as 2TrakR assured me he would furnish a route, I contacted a couple of other riders that rode with me on CannonTrek II to see if they wanted in. Based on the 1100 mile CT II ride in the UP, I knew these guys would enjoy (and could hang in for) a similar long trip while camping off the bikes and riding in all weathers. Plus they are good riders with good attitudes - a real pleasure to share a ride with. Even without any details or route information, both of these guys immediately said they wanted in.

Cannonshot (Bryan) DRZ-400S


GasMich (Greg) DRZ-400S


R.Markus (Mark) KTM 640


The DRZs fit the ride pretty well and other bikes of similar size and configuration would be a good fit. There is some tight single track as part of the route and some other terrain that is best tackled with medium sized dual sports. Bikes need to be pretty trail worthy. The 640 seemed like it might be too big of a bike for this run. Mark did some amazing stuff with it on the single track and in the sand though. I don't see this as a good ride for a KLR type bike.

More later. Tomorrow - day 1 of 5.

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Old 07-20-2008, 05:01 AM   #7
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Having been born and raised in MI, these routes have a special interest to me though I am not experienced enough to handle (nor is my bike) what I see in these photos''... looks great though!

I am impressed at the map book project and that they are releasing it to the public... That is one of the things I find tough out my way, finding good listings of similar routes here..

Pat in NH
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Old 07-20-2008, 05:24 AM   #8
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It's almost like you are trying to convince me not to move out of Michigan.
It won't work I tell you!

Great gads man, that looks like fun, and an extremely long trip if one were to attempt it.


And why not on a KLR type bike?
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Old 07-20-2008, 06:20 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dentedvw
And why not on a KLR type bike?
Mostly it's due to sand. As these routes are right from our events over the last 10-15 years, we have a decent handle on what works and what doesn't work as well. We do have big bikes on our routes and routinely have bikes like the 650L with experienced riders who have an absolute blast.
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:34 PM   #10
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Day 1 - Higgins Lake to White Cloud

This is a map of the 1100 mile lower peninsula loop were are riding over the next five days.


Here is the segment we rode on day 1. It is about 275 miles. We had about 11 hours of travel - of which about 9 hrs 50 min was moving time. Even though we rode pretty aggressively, we still only managed about 28 mph moving average on this segment.


Greg and I were riding this segment together. We were scheduled to meet up with R.Markus at the White Cloud City Campground later that night. After breakfast, we hit the trail.


(Smugmug is still having problems. More later.)
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:32 AM   #11
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NICE!! Keep it coming Bryan!!
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot





I recognize the bike in these 2 pics. I can't remember ever seeing Bryans bike napping like this before. There must have been some tough areas.
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Old 07-21-2008, 07:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter
I recognize the bike in these 2 pics. I can't remember ever seeing Bryans bike napping like this before. There must have been some tough areas.
I was thinking the same thing!
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Old 07-21-2008, 08:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skeeter
I recognize the bike in these 2 pics. I can't remember ever seeing Bryans bike napping like this before. There must have been some tough areas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jzee
I was thinking the same thing!
I figured you guys might be amused.
(One tip and two tumbles on this one.)
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Old 07-21-2008, 09:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cannonshot
(One tip and two tumbles on this one.)
That's better than my 85 tips and two tumbles.
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