Author Topic: Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula  (Read 201 times)

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Offline currenv

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Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula
« on: August 14, 2017, 04:22:57 am »
Friends,

I'll be heading to the Upper Peninsula next Saturday with the family, trailering the C14 from Ann Arbor to Petoskey on day 1, then to the house we've rented in Manistique where we'll be from Sunday to Sunday.  Then we expect to head down to Travers City, spend a night or two there, and return home.

So, I've got some questions: 

About the Mackinac bridge -- I'm using a "pull-apart" trailer (a "Port-a-Chopper").  I could unload the bike when we get to Petoskey, break the trailer down and put it in the back of the car, and ride the Connie over the bridge to Manistique.  I'm a bit intimidated by that bridge, though.  And it looks like, since they're repainting one of the towers, the outside lanes are closed and I'll be on the grating for part of the way. How petrified should I be?   And how bad can the wind get before I should just trailer the thing the whole way?

About the U-P -- any suggestions for rides within a couple of hours of Petoskey in addition to those mentioned in Bikergofast's thread in mid-June?

Coming back down, I'd definitely plan on the Tunnel of Trees on the way to Travers City.  I'll likely just ride from Travers back to Ann Arbor, too.  Any more interesting routes for that leg?

Thanks for any help!

If anyone's in the area while I'm up north, drop me a PM -maybe we can meet and have an adult beverage or two.

Thanks,

Vinnie

Offline Stasch

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Re: Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2017, 10:16:08 am »
I've ridden the bridge multiple times.  I always look forward to the opportunity as its a great experience

The grating will feel much like rain grooves on a freeway so your bike may feel a bit 'wanderey'.  Don't have a death grip on the bars or freak out - it'll all be good.

The outside paved lanes are more spookey to me than the grates since you are closer to the edge.  Guard rails are there but you are looking out over them which plays withyour psyche a bit (at least it does for me).  While it puts me in a state of heightened alert, I ride on 'em some of the time anyway because it always makes me smile.

While I've never experienced what I would call high winds, it is windy up there.  The speed limit of 45 (IIRC) helps reduce any wind effect on you(compared to riding strong winds at 70 mph), or from other vehicles.  You'll be fine.

If you have the nerve, glance down through grate while underway.  I do this any time I'm on any grated bridge.  The grate essentially disappears from your view and on the Mac you'll be looking straight down as much as 150' to the water, which is very cool.

On one crossing, the timing worked out that I could look from the peak straight down at a freighter that was passing under the bridge.

My vote is that you ride it and enjoy the views when safe to do so.  You'll be glad you did.

Only 2 vehicles have ever gone off the bridge - both with significant extenuating circumstances - so don't worry about that:

On September 22, 1989, Leslie Ann Pluhar died when her 1987 Yugo plunged over the 36-inch-high (91 cm) railing. A combination of high winds and excessive speed was initially blamed.[26] Later investigation showed the driver had stopped her car over the open steel grating on the bridge's span and that a gust of wind through the grating blew her vehicle off the bridge,[27] although this is not supported by recorded wind speed measurements taken on and around the bridge at the time of the accident.[28][29]

On March 2, 1997, Richard Alan Daraban drove a 1996 Ford Bronco over the edge. It was later determined to be a suicide.[30]
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He IS a racer, hence the forward lean!!  by: Mettler1

Offline ron203

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Re: Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2017, 11:05:31 am »
Add another spot to the ever growing bucket list!
2014 C-14

Offline RWulf

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Re: Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2017, 12:56:42 pm »
I agree with that "Stasch guy" I live in Traverse City and have been over
the Bridge too meny times to count. Just try to relax and let the bike
wander a bit. If you want you can hug the tank with your knees that
may make you feel better, or not. then don't do that. Just look at the road.
From Manistique you can head north on 94 up to 28 on to Munising,
about 50 miles. From there do the boat ride to Picture Rocks shore line.
From Manistique just west is 149 north to 455 and stop at Palms Books
State Park. There is a manual power platform that floats across the lake,
you can look down into the water 50ft and see fish (doing what else) swimming.

Offline currenv

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Re: Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2017, 08:27:44 pm »
Very helpful information.  Thanks!


Vinnie

Offline currenv

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Re: Another request for info re: Michigan Upper Penninsula
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2017, 02:54:52 am »
In Manistique now.  Turns out the house we are renting is beautiful in  a beautiful spot.  I rode to Fayette State Park today.  Enjoyable ride but it sure was windy! I suppose the dozen or so wind generators would be a hint.  It was challenging keeping even the heavy C14 going in a straight line.  Also people here are very friendly and sure like to talk bikes.  Lots of interest in the C14 from three different Harley riders and a long conversation with a fellow retiree about whether he should get his endorsement and look for a bike.  Since I came to this late myself, I was encouraging. 

Vinnie