Liberation Cycling Tour

Liberation Tour LogoWe don’t normally do more than one multi-week cycling tour a year.  But this fall we’re breaking that mold. Having just married off our last and youngest child this summer, we feel we have earned a bit of a vacation.  And what better way to get away from it all than to set out cycling once again?  We couldn’t resist naming this tour after our newly minted status as true empty nesters.  So soon we shall be setting out on the Liberation Tour.  It’s as much a celebration of our adult children’s success as it is our own independence.

Photo Aug 28, 4 16 49 PMContinuing our propensity to follow shoreline, this trip will take us along the coast of the three northernmost Great Lakes – Superior, Huron and Michigan.  Taking advantage of our son Carl’s home in Milwaukee, we will depart from there and make our way by ferry over to lower Michigan.  We plan to travel the perimeter of the “mitten” with a foray into the UP to explore Mackinac Island, Whitefish Bay and Drummond Island.  When we return to Wisconsin, we hope to detour into Door County for our first visit to that scenic peninsula.

Per normal we have no detailed plans, only a vague route.  Daily distances and lodging will be decided the night before, based on terrain, weather conditions, sightseeing options and whim.  We haven’t done much research into how challenging (read “hilly”) this route might be.  Rich is convinced it will be flat.  Compared to Scotland, that’s bound to be true.  We look forward to a US tour once again, where we can follow our natural cycling rhythm minus any cultural differences.

Time and distance are pretty fluid.  The route is roughly 1250 miles, and we are allowing 4-5 weeks.  We’ve always had good luck cycling in September with fewer tourists on the road and still-mild temperatures.  And we are prepared for chillier days should we delve very far into October.  For someone who is normally highly scheduled, I look forward to the flexible nature of this trip.

We will both be blogging along the way, in our own fashion.  I enjoy trying to capture the spirit and experiences of our trip – both good and bad.  Rich writes for the touring cyclist, chronicling the route, providing advice and injecting some personal perspective.  We hope you will follow us along the way!

Here are the progress reports from our trip:
Pre-Trip Announcement: A Cycling Liberation Celebration

Week 1 – Milwaukee WI to Elk Rapids MI
A great first day – Cycle Touring Made Easy
Wet experiences – Water, Water Everywhere
A friend joins our trip – And then there were three
Getting nowhere fast – Start and Stop Cycling
Avoiding shortcuts, seeing more – The Long Way Around

Week 2 – Elk Rapids MI to Paradise MI
Farm markets and more – Roadside Delights
Pre-dawn cycling – Good Morning Drummond Island
Moving into wilderness – From Lower to Upper Peninsula
A rest day in Sault Ste Marie – A Soo-thing Day
Yea! The rain stopped – Happiness is… A Cloudy Day

Week 3 – Paradise MI to Au Gres MI
What determines how many miles we cycle – How Far Today?
Visiting Mackinac Island – A Cycling Haven
Camping alongside Lake Huron – Why we camp
Cycling the Huron coast – The Sunrise Side

Week 4 – Au Gres MI to Egg Harbor WI
Our favorite accommodations – Not the Last Resort
Will the rain ever end? – A Cyclist’s Prayer
Cycling the roads less traveled – Penalty or Bonus?
Some things bear repeating – Back for an Encore 
An unplanned delight – A Writer’s Invitation
Cycling the tip of the peninsula – Door County in a Nutshell

Week 5 – Egg Harbor WI to Milwaukee WI
Dressing for cooler days – My Happy Hat
Our final days of cycling – Winding Down the Tour
A bit of comfort on our final leg – Finishing in Style

Post-trip thoughts
A collection of road signs – Signs of a Successful Tour
From one adventure to the next – A Brush with Civilization 

Here are additional posts about our trip:
Molly’s blog posts – All blog posts related to the Liberation Cycling Tour, including those leading up to the trip and after thoughts.

Rich’s view of the trip – He posts to the Crazy Guy on a Bike website, which is a widely used portal for long distance cycling trips. Scroll down to page to Table of Contents to find the individual posts.