The Adventures of Juan Maltalvo - Life at 6500rpm on the UPAT

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by jgino157, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. jgino157

    jgino157 Yer' mom!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    Meet Juan........................:evil

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    This is story of his adventure and 4 other turds on a 5 day adventure across the UPAT (Upper Peninsula Adventure Trail)........this is the route....or at least what we planned. 1250 Miles of Pure Michigan.

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    Big thanks to Cannonshot for offering this up for others to enjoy......here is the thread where this started......http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=627424

    Never been to MI's UP you say.....this pic pretty much sums it all up.....
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    And a quick preview of things to come................

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    OK, so where do we begin??? Lets start by saying, I suck at ride reports. Lets add to that, that we are not "adventure riders". In fact, this is our first ADV type ride. We had no plan and poor equipment. We suck at taking photos when we should. This report will not document the true epicness of this adventure for all 5 of us. What an experience.....

    But we'll get to that.........Lets see how Juan is doing............



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    We'll it appears that Juan is happy so lets meet the all the riders........



    In order....Pauly, Misko, Gino, Juan and Wade......


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    So the first three load up
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    So did the other two

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    And head across the mighty Mac
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    These are the chariots&#8230;..3 DR650&#8217;s, 1 KTM 690 and Juans DR3fiddy&#8230;&#8230;..

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    5hrs in, &#8230;&#8230;welcome to one of the most unique places to stay in the UP&#8230;..words, pictures and stories do it no justice. We are friends with the owner, who allowed us the grand tour&#8230;..

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    Yes, that&#8217;s a car through the wall&#8230;how would you heat the barn???
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    Juan Likey
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    UP Tanning Booth
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    A zip line??? What would you do&#8230;..
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    Alright, enough of the drunken shenanigans. Most of what occurred that night cant be posted because it took place underground (seriously), or is not for public consumption&#8230;&#8230;.
    #1
  2. jgino157

    jgino157 Yer' mom!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    On to the riding……Day 1 of riding…..is Juan ready….???

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    It looks like it……see the moisture on the ground….get used to it. It rained every day……some worse than others. But, don’t get me wrong…..I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Rain gave us zero dust (a big problem riding in MI) and allowed to ride within feet of each other. It also provided for some epic water crossings. On that note, not one us had waterproof boots……remember when I said we were unprepared….

    Another disclaimer……. We didn’t seem to give a shit about scenery, history, or pictures…..all we wanted to do was ride. Many scenic spots and photo ops were skipped. This is a poorly documented ride report, but alas, on to the riding pics. Sometimes its better that way.

    Ready to roll
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    We rolled mostly slab to get to Whitefish Pt……
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    After this, we finally hit the dirt…..
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    Some video from our first section of dirt......

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    Look out for the camera guy!!!!! And the tree!!!!!!!

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    FYI, bungie straps are a poor way to secure luggage…..WTF was Juan thinking….
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    First bit of carnage…….full compression with a 606 had this plate for lunch…
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    Much more carnage to come..............

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    Stopped in Grand Marais for lunch…..
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    Beer battered Whitefish….along with homemade tartar sauce…….AWSOME
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    And then this started…….
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    Stay tuned, lots more pics like this to come……LOL……

    After a trip to hardware store for some bolts, we're back off……

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    This is about when we got our first taste of this……
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    Fuck it, how deep can it be…….(little did I know this would be my DR’s demise later in the trip)
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    From Grand Marais we ventured over into Gwinn for some ice cream and gas, and then headed up to Marquette

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    Hear the Banjos??????????
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    and located this fabulous joint.....

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    Ever clean your air filter in a motel room ice bin??? check


    A couple of beers, some burgers and it was time for some ZZZZZZZZ's.
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    #2
  3. jgino157

    jgino157 Yer' mom!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    Day 2

    Yes, its raining........all day it rained.......from Marquette, we made our way over to L'anse, down in the Baraga Plains and then up to Houghton Hancock. From there, all the way up to Copper Harbor. Long fucking day. But Epic........this was my most favorite day with some of the best combination of trails and scenery.

    Out of Marquette was some wide open dirt....
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    Ran across a grader which made for an interesting surface.......
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    Who's having fun haulin ass......
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    This guy!!
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    After the wide open stuff, things got a little tighter.....and funner.....
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    Things started to get a little wetter.......
    “Has anyone seen my contact???”
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    We came across this lake and slate area......
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    We've landed on the moon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Wade was not a fan of the slate.......VERY SLIPPERY WHEN WET.
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    Leaving the slate area, things got a little soggy......
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    Then, the beaver dam......
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    Big credit to Juan, who apparently is very familiar with beavers, who asked “is this the way”. I replied “yup”. He then put his googles on and went for it......

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    Lots 'o bridges
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    Which led us into L'anse for lunch.....where else would you stop but.....
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    After some lunch, and some gas.........
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    We headed back out.............in the pouring rain. Out of L'anse was awsome stuff leading out into the plains......

    Movin at a good pace, until this guy face plants smack dab in a huge mud puddle...
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    Something doesnt feel right.......LOL
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    Some quick wrenchin gets us back on board....
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    Remember the guy that just crashed (me).....yup, 5 mins later
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    Hey Juan, what did you think of the crash??????
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    This is a man who desperately needs a Monster.......
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    Out of the good ORV/Snomo stuff and on to some fantastic open roads.....
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    this is starting to become a common theme on this trip. I couldnt tell you how many trees we went around......
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    I LIKE TURTLES
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    You know who else likes turtles????? Captain F'n America like turtles!!!!!!!

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    After some great dirt roads, we slab it up into Houghton............
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    A short run up the shoreline and found this landmark.....
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    Looking towards the lake
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    More slab took us north towards the very tip of the peninsula.........then we finally hit some dirt again.........
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    A river
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    Stopped here
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    Found this old bridge with holes in it.......I took the Juan approach...”is this the way”...”yup”......”braaaaaaap”.
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    By the time we all crossed, a new hole was in the brige.....we almost lost Juan......
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    Then guess what........yup, it started raining again.....hard. We hit awsome rocky stuff that twisted around elevation changes. I forgot I was in MI.........seriously. Unfortunately because of the rain, we have no pics......

    Popped out of the fun stuff and had this view of everything we had just ridden through...

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    Rolled into Copper Harbor and stopped for dinner at some very nice place. No clue what the name was …......it was still fucking raining......
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    We had full intentions on hauling it all the way back to Houghton after dinner........mind you, its raining and about 55 degrees outside.........

    Guess what happened next...............




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    Manager offered us a cabin for $100 the night.......ummmm, sold. Had an awsome dinner and a lot of beers and then rolled the bikes over to our cabin for the night......

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    So Copper Harbor.....no cell service and one payphone in the town........
    Juan was pissed about no international calls...............
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    Does this bike make my butt look big????
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    #3
  4. jgino157

    jgino157 Yer' mom!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    Day 3....

    Let me start by saying.........we were tired.....most hungover......our boots were still soaking wet......and we were all up at 0630hrs (earliest morning of the trip). No breakfast......piss poor coffee.....and guess what??? Yup, fucking pouring rain outside......FUCKING POURING........

    Thanks to Juan for keeping us composed with his normal morning salute.......
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    We all suited up and rolled out. Took about 15 mins to realize.......this sucked....From Copper Harbor to Houghton we managed one picture because of the rain.....
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    Into Houghton at roughly 800, I spot a Hardees.........yup
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    Do you have any idea how much of a mess 5 guys in soaking wet gear make on a tile floor. Wow, were they pissed......i dont think Juan cared......I know Wade didnt
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    So, out of Hardees....it was still pouring.......however, we had breakfast and coffee in our systems....and we starting to hit some good dirt. Rain was not a factor at this point (even though it was still pouring). In fact it became a game of hitting every puddle possible, because it didnt matter. Our boots had been wet for two days now......back to having a blast.....until......

    Anyone who is a true dirtbiker knows the game of passing your buddy at about 60mph to hit a puddle and soak him. Well, I was playing that game at about 70 over some whooops and one of my luggage straps came loose. All I heard was BANG as a tie down got stuck in my rim, ripped of my rack, took out my inner fender, turn signal, brake light, plate and most importantly.....my rear brake line.......

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    Oh well...........continue on..............
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    About this bridge, Juan and Miskoman start bitching about their rear brakes......look at em....yup, pads are fried........that makes three bikes with no rear brakes......

    As luck would have it, we find a dealership 1.5 miles off the trail....(bigtime luck)
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    They put a GIANT rear line on from some ATV, and a quick bleed....
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    And the brakes still sucked.....oh, wait, this was in the caliper....
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    While stopped, Juan and Misko call every dealership in the UP looking for pads.....one set.....in Iron Mountain......looks like we have our nights destination......

    Continue on.......
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    Starting to get a little soft here......
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    Man Down!!!!!!!!!!!
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    What happened????????
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    Really Juan???? Really????
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    Stopped in to visit some relatives...............
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    Some great gravel roads in this area.....and some phenomenal paved roads as we wound our way into Wisconsin for lunch ......
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    And then off to Ironwood.....another section where we took very few pics and hauled ass......until....

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    What haaaaaaapened???
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    No more pics to document the evening, however we rolled into Iron Mountain and retrieved one set of pads from the dealerships mailbox as it was well after closing time. Found a couple a rooms for cheap.

    Misko stops to buy some tools as his header is coming loose. Low and behold, he forgot to put the exhaust gasket in during the rebuild. Juan to the rescue, and the two use a key ring, yes a keyring, as a gasket.

    Off to Tbell and then the grocery store where it is discovered that beer is cheaper than water. Easy decision. Short walk back to our room where we are met by the most god awful stench I have ever experienced. I had no idea wet gear (especially boots) could create such a powerful WMD.
    #4
  5. jgino157

    jgino157 Yer' mom!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    Anyway, Day 4.

    We planned on a quick breakfast......(Misko did not).......
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    Then we passed a dealership that will open in a few minutes......its here that Misko starts fucking with his bike.....again...

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    Its soon discovered a bleed was all he needed......this is Wade helping him out

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    And Juan lending a hand.........
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    After fucking around for the better part of the morning, we are on are way again. We slab it north to get back on the trail. We stop to fuel up at a little gas station / restaurant. It is here I discover something I will never forget.......

    The BEST FUCKING DONUT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    Juan says “Really Gino, Really????
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    And Misko confirms........

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    Fueled up, Brakes ready, tired of slab.......lets do this

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    Hello???

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    What Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapened???????????

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    Quick laugh.....and then BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAP
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    Another break

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    How did this happen you ask????????????

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    Clicky
    <object width="640" height="390"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/70YdI1ollaE?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube-nocookie.com/v/70YdI1ollaE?version=3&amp;hl=en_US&amp;rel=0&amp;hd=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="390" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

    So I notice the trail line gets a squiggly......yup, single track time.....

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    We come across another giant tree down blocking the single track.......”is this the way” was asked again and then a bike disappeared in the woods.........

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    Blazing the trail around the giant tree consisted of running straight through the wood without due regard for anything.......

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    I was laughing so hard I couldnt breath.............
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    Vid from go around
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    We pile out of the single track.......
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    And Wade says......”Fuck you guys......and #*#*^%#$@&%&”.......

    Hilarious vid from single track......clicky,clicky.....

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    Lots of trees down......and go arounds in this vid....

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    We haul into Gwinn and Wade comes out with this power lunch which was put down in less than 5mins.....2 montsters and a donut!!!!!!!!!!!
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    On the way again

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    Things are getting wet again.....
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    Wade says hes hot and decides to go swimming.......


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    Where else would you stop for lunch but the ….......

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    We hit the road.......

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    And find more single track.....very tight stuff

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    More hilarious single track vid
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    Then we find a little puddle, just like the other 1000 we have crossed..........EPIC FAIL


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    Bike stalls after sucking in water.......rest of the troops pick a different line and come to the rescue......
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    Think it was deep????????
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    Drain the carb and open the airbox to find this...........
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    Now we are in the middle of nowhere, soaking wet, no clue where we are going to stay, almost out of gas, and its getting cold and dark. After repeated attempts to start the DR, the battery is almost dead.

    Oh crap, Misko has an extra air filter........quick change.......
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    Bike fires up reluctantly....but we are off...........with a new trailer....
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    With a lot more water to go..........this is what lies ahead of the breakdown....
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    Nearest gas station is closed because its after 9:00pm...

    No more pics for the night, however we roll into Manistique cold, wet, with one flat tire and everyone on reserve.....hilarious......you know whats funnier than that....when a guy in full riding gear slaps a 40oz beer on the counter and the clerk says “you cant drink and ride!!!”. Reply.......”watch me”........

    Pick a notel-motel and get some zzzzzzzzzzzzz …...awake to this.......
    #5
  6. jgino157

    jgino157 Yer' mom!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    455
    Location:
    South Lyon, MI
    Day 5
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    Yes, its raining.............

    Me thinky the DR might need some fresh oil, instead of relying on water for lubrication.....is that a gallon of oil in your pocket or.............
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    Off to the trucks on final day...........
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    This is Juans lowside in the curvy stuff.....yes he's facing the wrong way.....
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    is that a turn signal...??
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    Miskos chain.....everyday.....no I didnt help to tighten it....
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    So, we are about an hour or so away from home.......thinking that the adventure is about over, and enjoying the last of the ride........
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    Nope, flat tire..........
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    Now the adventure is surely over, we are less that an hour from the trucks........oh wait, another tree down across the road...........two bikes take a run at it.......

    Two bikes down...what haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapened??????
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    We left a marker to show other bikes the route we created.....
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    Third bike down......what haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaapened????
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    Think it was muddy????
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    Then some more good stuff
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    A near miss........
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    And then we end the trip...........5 riders, 5 bikes all made it..........

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    What did you think Juan......??
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    #6
  7. polarpc

    polarpc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Metro Detroit
    Seriously......most fun trip I've ever taken on a bike! Great group of guys to ride with......an epic journey. I've been around a majority of the UP as a kid camping with my family and on snowmobiles but had never ridden a bike up there. We went places and towns I'd never been before and some of the scenery you'd never believe was still in MI! Thanks a ton to Cannonshot for laying out all the routes and tracks we used.....it was absolutely great!

    The restraunt in Copper Harbor is The Mariner North - great food and drinks.

    Even though it rained a lot it was great......later in the day it didn't matter as our boots were soaked anyway. Felt like a little kid splashing through the mud puddles! :rofl:rofl:rofl Riding in dust really sucks anyway!

    The single tracks we rode thru - Bass Lake and Sand Lake - amazing....can't believe we got those big bikes thru there - except Juan on his cheater 350. :D Seriously, I will be going back to the UP with my 525 or something smaller to ride those trails again!

    Thanks to Gino for leading us a majority of the way, we had 2 other GPS with us, but I forgot to load the UPAT points before we left, I only had trail systems loaded. Oh well, it worked out well. I'd do this ride again in a heartbeat with hardly any changes......it was hopefully the first of many multi-day rides!
    #7
  8. MiskoMan

    MiskoMan Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2009
    Oddometer:
    11
    Location:
    Michigan
    Awesome job on the report Gino :clap ...I already forgot half the shit! ....couldn't stop laughing reading thru it :rofl

    When's the next ride?? :wink:
    #8
  9. wdavis009

    wdavis009 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
    Oddometer:
    139
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I hate sand. I love Java flavored Monster Energy drinks.
    #9
  10. joehamilton

    joehamilton Adventurer

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    70
    Location:
    Chicago
    Nice ride report Gino and awesome work guys! I love the carnage. I think my DR had less damage after 4,500 miles on the TAT than yours after a loop around the top of Michigan. "Sherman tank down a goat trail" describes it pretty well.
    #10
  11. wdavis009

    wdavis009 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2009
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    139
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
  12. austin

    austin Mr. Stache

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Oddometer:
    26
    Location:
    Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ
    very very first class! :clap
    #12
  13. MItrnsplnt

    MItrnsplnt PllnGs tillthey puke

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    Oddometer:
    671
    Location:
    Medford, NJ
    Good job boyz!!! I see all the usual suspects were there, having a grand time!!!:lol3 Wish I could have rode this loop with you. If you guys think about coming down south to do the southern DS loop, let me know.

    Nice ride report Gino!

    I'm headed out to CO in two weeks to ride the Rockies, I'll shoot you a link of the ride report that I do. Should be fun. We need to set up a big trip somewhere.....or a mini psuedo trip to the GAP, so get all of your asses down there in the spring!
    #13
  14. Phreaky Phil

    Phreaky Phil Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
    1,940
    Location:
    NEW ZEALAND
    Awesome report.:clap:clap Loved those videos too. Some neat trails you got there. Looked like you had a ball despite the rain.
    #14
  15. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    SE Wisconsin
    Looks like you guys had a blast! Really enjoyed watching the videos on the single track.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the route. I feel the same way about re-riding it every time I finish a long loop like this up there.
    #15
  16. Bruno T .

    Bruno T . N8YQ

    Joined:
    May 20, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,964
    Location:
    Detroit area, MI
    Thanks for sharing, Gino. (and for the link in the 'Detroit greetings' thread)

    We'll be up there riding that loop soon.

    Good stuff !
    #16
  17. Yooper_Bob

    Yooper_Bob Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,886
    Location:
    Da UP, eh! (Marquette, MI)
    Man...they really have to tighten up security at the Mackinac Bridge...they are letting way too many hoodlums in.

    You guys were only a mile from my house, and didn't stop by and say "Hi".

    Looks like a fun trip. Cannonshot puts together some great routes.
    #17
  18. rubberband

    rubberband Will ride for tacos

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    429
    Location:
    Michigan
    Only a mile away....then you heard us....and no invite...for shame


    Seriously this was the most fun I've ever had on a motorcycle.......so far. Great trip with great friends.

    Sincerely, Juan.
    #18
  19. polarpc

    polarpc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    Metro Detroit
    It would've been great to have you along....been awhile since we rode! Hopefully we can get down your way, Gap or whatever and get some miles.

    Let us know how the ride in CO is......I'd love to get out there sometime! Have fun!
    #19
  20. motoxer667

    motoxer667 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Oddometer:
    519
    Location:
    Lebanon, Ohio
    :clap:clap. Good job!! 28 days until I start my UPAT with 3 other riders
    #20