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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Cannonshot, Jul 31, 2005.
Just finished riding the Six Days of Michigan. Here is my report.
The Six Days of Michigan (billed as "The Ultimate Trail, Dual Sport, Road Ride") is put on by the Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan (www.cycleconservationclub.org). This year was the 21st annual and it was split with three days in the Upper Peninsula and three days in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
To ride the Six Days you must be a member of the CCC ($30) and the AMA. You can sign up for all six days ($200) or either half (three days for $100). You can camp (great for camaraderie and convenience) or stay in nearby motels. They offer a great meal plan ($108 for breakfast and dinner on the six event days). The meals are high quality and you get plenty to eat.
This year the first half was in Kinross, MI (UP near the old Kincheloe Air Force Base) and in Wolverine, MI which is about an hour south of the Mackinac Bridge in the Lower Peninsula.
Oh man, I've read about this ride........waiting for more photos and story please .
This year you needed to show up on Saturday, July 23d, to complete your registration and in-processing. The first thing you have to do, before you can register, is undergo a bike inspection.
Once you get a completed bike inspection worksheet, you can go through the registration line. There you present your AMA and CCC membership cards and sign the required waivers. As you pass through the line you can register for camping in both campgrounds, buy T-shirts, sign up for meals, and anything else you need. At the end they total up your fees and you pay for it all at once - convenient. Then you draw your map sets and roll charts for the events you are signed up for. I signed up for the Dual Sport but there was an option or trail or road riding (or you can mix them up if you want a little of each).
Alright Bryan, keep the pics coming. You sick of riding in Michigan yet???
Once I was checked in I got my camp set up and unloaded the bike. I went to work on my roll chart for the next day's dual sport. This one wasn't too long. One day I had one that had to be 14' long. The roll charts and maps are quite professionally done.
Chad, after that 1236 miles on the UP Safari with you a few weeks ago and the Six Days last week you think a guy would get tired of it all. Not so, I still plan on doing the Lower Peninsula Safari (another 1200 miles) in August.
lookin good so far.
Like I was saying the roll charts are great and so are the route maps. I bought a more detailed eastern UP map and upper LP map that resembled the DeLorme Gazetteer in detail. I traced our routes onto that each day as it was better for me. If you are good with the roll chart you will not likely need the map. I also used my GPS with topos loaded as another reference. This saved us a time or two when we became temporarily disoriented.
There is a mandatory riders meeting every day at 0800. Usually I would get up at 0630, eat chow at 0700, come back and get ready. Then I would head for the riders meeting at 0800. Last minute info, changes, coordination, and cautions would be discussed. Then it was time to head out. People would leave in small groups. I found it was nicer to leave after about a half an hour as the early departures did a nice job or marking the trail with their tire tracks. You had to check out by rider number so they could keep track of whether everyone returned or not.
It rained the first day. We were all anxious to ride so we headed out early in spite of the rain. Later in the week, we were more willing to wait a few hours for the rain to let up. Rain was good for keeping the dust down but bad for fogging your eyewear making it hard to see the trail in the dark woods.
Various celebrities were in attendance. Shane Nally from Suzuki was there and they offered technical support and product information. Jeff Fredette, a Kawasaki Team rider, was there as well. Honda sent some product development engineers to ride with us and later had a Service Rep there. Some others were in attendance as well. What I can tell you is if you had a problem, they were quite helpful. Several parts got overnighted in from California to keep people riding. Honda also had bikes there for demo rides. I took a 450 on a 10 mile course in the woods and it was a great ride. Where else can you REALLY try an off road bike to see how it works for you.
Keep it comin...
Peacock Ltd send a trailer load of parts, gear, and clothing to sell. There was a little bit of everything. Since we were out in the boonies and cycle shops were not close, this was a great asset.
This ride has a lot of sand. It is not that there are big sections of sand, but it keeps turning up everywhere - often at inopportune moments. Most of the time you can blast through it by keeping your speed up. Sometimes though, you find it on corners - like on the bottom of a narrow trail in the woods - where you really need to be handy negotiating it. Like I say, it turns up all over, over and over, every day.
Trails were single track, two track, dirt, gravel, or paved. We rode about 826 miles with the following percentages:
3% single track (24 miles)
26% two track (211 miles)
29% dirt (238 miles)
20% gravel (168 miles)
22% pavement (185 miles)
This is what they call "dim, grassy, two track".
There were a lot of face slappers and fallen trees. I got beat by branches quite a bit. The top of my helmet has a lot of scratches from ducking limbs. When the branches were wet they really hung low. We also trimmed a lot of trail by clipping ferns and brush with the footpegs. Storms left a lot of fallen trees (logs) and branches to cross on the trail.