CannonTrek II - 4 Days, 20 Riders, 1000 Miles, and a Ton of Good Times

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    A group of us just knocked off 1000 miles of sporty dual sport in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Great riding, great adventure, and great times.

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    Pictures and stories on the way . . .
    #1
  2. R.Markus

    R.Markus Damage Addict

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    I just got home. What a phenomenal time! :clap


    ...I think I'm going to go pass out now. :lol3
    #2
  3. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    I have been fortunate enough to enjoy some outstanding riding in Michigan. Last year I thought it would be a good idea to set up a trip to share some of that great riding with a few other folks. A few of us got together and rode some excellent dual sport in the lower peninsula (CannonTrek I).

    This year, we raised the bar a little and put together a thousand mile dual sport trip in the upper peninsula that involved hauling camping gear on the bike. I put out a call in Central in March and we essentially filled the trip with riders from five states in less than five days (although some riders have come and gone in the interim). CT II Planning

    In the end we rode a little over 1000 miles over four days covering most of the upper peninsula. The focus of the trip was not just to enjoy some great trails, dirt, and gravel. We also worked in a bunch of "tourist stops" as part of the route.

    We worked it out so that we had two motel nights and two camping nights. In the end, I think it cost each rider about $50 for all of their lodging expenses for the trip.

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    #3
  4. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    #4
  5. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Previously I had ridden the 1200 mile Upper Peninsula Dual Sport Safari that was developed by the Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan. I really enjoyed the UPDSS but thought that some tailoring of that route would make a better trip for our group. Don't get me wrong, the UPDSS route is fantastic! What I set out to do was tailor something that allowed us to operate out of a central location, trim off some of the less productive miles, add in some great tourist stops, and add in some sporty sections of trail that I have enjoyed on other rides. This allowed us to make the trip work with four long days of riding. Since there was so much of the route from the original UPDSS, we asked all riders to join the CCC and sign up for the safari. After all, there would be no safari to work from without the CCC.

    A friend, 2TrakR of the Great Lakes Dual Sporters generously offered to prepare a set of excellent .PDF mapsheets from the custom track. Many thanks! Our intent was to ride the 1000 miles by following a GPS trackline. It worked out well.

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    #5
  6. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    As riders arrived at the motel, they went to work getting their bikes ready.

    Critic
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    R.Markus
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    GeoDirt went out for a little practice ride and had a mishap that broke his rear brake mounting bracket. Folks frantically tried to rig a repair, but no one was sure it would hold. As it turned out, Geo injured himself worse than he thought and had to drop out of the ride the next morning. With one "injured in practice", now we were down to 19.
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    A few of us were a little anxious to ride, so we took a little tour around the neighborhood. We ended up crossing some railroad tracks. It turned out that Skeeter and R.Markus had a little trouble bumping over the tracks due to loose ballast. Skeeter had his front wheel over the tracks and R.Markus had his up to the rail with his rear wheel digging a trench in the ballast. With the angles and ballast and what not, both were sort of stuck for the moment and having difficulty getting across. With engines running, no one heard the ore train that suddenly popped around a sharp curve until the engineer hit the horn. That train was damn close and was moving fast. For as much trouble as these guys were having getting across the tracks, they had absolutely no trouble getting their bikes out of the way in a big damn hurry. Apparently adrenaline works fast.
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    After a hard day of bike prepping (and an encounter with rail transportation), it seemed appropriate for a few of the boys to tailgate . . . er, hitch rack a little in the parking lot. People were pretty excited about the trip.
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    Tomorrow, the ride begins . . .
    #6
  7. Groomez

    Groomez Been here awhile

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    :lurk:tb
    #7
  8. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

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    right here on my thermarest
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    #8
  9. McD

    McD Nothing

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    :lurk :lurk
    #9
  10. rokklym

    rokklym one man wolfpack

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    I've been waiting to see this!!
    #10
  11. cjracer

    cjracer AWD please!!

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    I had a great time. Ended up w/ a little over 1100 miles on the GPS. I guess we missed some turns here and there, they come up fast some times.

    This was a great route, lots of nice scenery and interesting historical spots to check out. Watch out for the deer!:eek1

    The 950 worked very well for this trip. I found that 30lbs ended up being the safe number for front tire pressure after fixing my third flat on Sun afternoon. I guess running a 500lb bike at 45mph through rock strewn trails can cause some tube damage.:ricky I started at 20, then 25, then 30. Live and learn. Jeepboy and I were running the same tire setup(GBC Dirt Shark front $35 and Teraflex rear $85) and pretty close to the same pressure, but I had the heavier bike and was the gas tanker for the two of us so I had more overall weight. The front tire held up real well, I was impressed. The rear took everything we could dish out. Twisty pavement at 60, sand whoops, rock trails and forest roads. It did get chunked out a bit and looks pretty nasty, but no failures. Future travels on this route should be able to follow our path quit easily.:thumb It still worked well enough on Sun to get us through the whooped out sand trails on the way back to the hotel parking lot. It was kinda funny, I raced a Harley. I was on the ATV trails that ran parallel w/ the road and he was on the pavement. We were neck and neck until I came to a blind rise I could not see over and had to back off. His face expression was priceless. Oh well, next time.:lol3

    Last year I took my LC4 on CT1 and always felt uneasy. That was my first trip that I had done sand trails other than a little riding in Jackson County in WI.

    This year I felt much better in the sand, the 950 really performs well when standing up on the pegs, throttle twisted and rear tire digging trenches. It felt good to actually see some improvement in my riding. Trips like these are great for that. You are in a group of riders, all different skill levels and everyone is so willing to give tips.

    Jeepboy has the pics as I forgot my camera at home.:baldy

    Bryan did a great job setting this up. It was an awesome vacation. Much thanks to you and everyone that made this such a great time.:clap :clap :clap

    Good times.:freaky

    Can't wait for next year.

    cj
    #11
  12. cjracer

    cjracer AWD please!!

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    You sure missed a good one this year. Your big DR would have been great.:thumb
    #12
  13. Fireman88

    Fireman88 Adventurer

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    I had a great time as well - thanks again Bryan for setting this up. I unfortunately only made 2 days of the trip as I had a last minute appointment come up for Monday (today) morning in Indianapolis - which by the way ended up being cancelled this morning - oh well that is sales.

    Thanks to Joe Hart (Runner) for helping me fix my Cooling Fan on his old KLR.

    Thanks to R. Markus (Mark) for caring spare bolts when my fender fell off on Friday.

    I enjoyed meeting the people from Michigan and it was great seeing old friends. Pics to follow.

    Rusty
    #13
  14. GasMich

    GasMich Been here awhile

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    This ride was tooo neat. It had it all, from trail, forest roads, gravel to pavement. I had done most of my riding in the dirt and camped out, but never riding and camping together with carrying gear on the bike. This really made it a trip.

    The UP is a great place to ride. I could have used some more time, but the butt wouldn't allow it.

    It was great to be out with others enjoying the scenery and the ride. Happy birthday times to Roadrash too. He was in heaven.

    Thanks to Cannonshot for putting this all together. Great job, only one dead end out of 1,000 miles. That is pretty darn good.
    #14
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Sun up - let's go!
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    We were organized into groups of four. There is no way to string out 19 riders and keep track of them on this route or in this dust. (With a couple of last minute drops, some groups lost some members though.) Each group had a couple of GPS units, maps, and a travel guide I prepared that highlighted things to see and do along the route. The design was such that each group could ride their own ride but all riders would have the same trip.

    Before we started out, we took a moment to take "class pictures". Instead of numbering or lettering the groups, we gave them each the name of a song title (kind of like having a built in theme song).

    "Keep Pushin" - Z-8, RoadRash, OldSchool, Critic
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    "Call Me the Breeze" - Nick, Maynard, DieselTwin, GasMich
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    "One Way Out" - Zigman, cjracer, Jeepboy, Q-Dog
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    "Born to Run" - Skeeter, Runner, tedmarshall
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    "Flirtin With Disaster" - R.Markus, Fireman 88
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    Two of us were going to ride together to chase down lost groups, take ride pictures, and help solve any problems that might come up. Pictured here is Skinner and your host Cannonshot.
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    Once we got through the class pictures, we motored over to a static display of some aircraft. We lined up next to a B-52 (the only plane there big enough to handle our group size) and took a few snaps. Right after this picture was taken I told the boys "I'll see you at breakfast!". They were so pumped to ride they took off out of there like someone dropped the flag at LeMans (leaving me standing there by myself :lol3 ).
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    #15
  16. Q-dog

    Q-dog Adventurer

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    Runner, thank you for the spare tube and thanks to everybody that stopped and helped out with the rear flat on day 3 near Iron River.

    It was a great ride and well put together by Cannonshot.
    #16
  17. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

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    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    Man....I knew I should have signed up for the weekend portion. Looks like a great time.

    I get to ride 'da UP all the time (its the only place I ride), but it's usually by myself.

    Any one up for some fall riding?
    #17
  18. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Here is the route for the first day.
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    The groups and riders started to spread out due to the dust. It got much worse than this.
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    Skeeter and Skinner along the trail.
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    Every now and then we would come across one of these "Cannonshot Was Here" cards that were left there from previous rides. . .
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    Catch-up stop.
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    Roadside repair.
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    Fireman88, Skinner, and R.Markus at a wayside overlooking the Alger Underwater Preserve (shipwrecks) in Munising Bay.
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    Breakfast stop in Munising.
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    Zigman rode a 1982 Honda on this ride.
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    #18
  19. Steez

    Steez USMC Infantry

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    Thanks for the report. I'm always visiting family up there, but it's always snowing, so thanks for the photos!
    #19
  20. Critic

    Critic More or less!

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    West of the Illinois, heart of the state!
    2 am Monday arrival, stopped and sleep for a hour. Made it back through all that rain!!! Poured all the way to IL and then it started to rain first bugs and then more water! It just stopped raining.

    A real great time!
    #20