Summer 2011 Possible Bike Tour

MVNU Bike Club


This page is for sharing information about a possible MVNU bike club summer tour. The current concept is that in July of 2011 The club would do a 2 week, 950 mile bike tour through Michigan and Ontario, around Lake Huron. Dr. Skon will lead this trip.

Given two weeks, with a half day driving on either end, the average daily ride would be about 75 miles.

Each participant would need a bike capable of carrying at least a rear rack with panniers. It is assumed that this trip would be unsupported, e.g. we would have no support from a vehicle, and would thus need to carry everything we need on our bikes. This would include a tent, sleeping bag, clothing, spare parts, tools, and some food.

The expected cost of the trip (including transportation to and from the start/end) would be about $500. Each person would need a U.S. Passport for travel in Canada.

Proposed Route:

This route will follow the west side of Lake Huron up through Michigan to Sault Ste. Marie. It will then pass through Manitoulin Island, and then take a ferry ride to Bruce Pennisula. From there it will follow the historic east (Canadian) side of Lake Huron.

First Leg : Port Huron, MI to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada (424 miles): map

Second Leg : Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada to Port Huron, MI (492 miles): map


This section is for gear suggestions. First some sample touring bikes:

Question: Can I use my current bike?

Answer: Yes, if it meets the following criteria:

  1. Steel or Aluminum frame. You cannot put a rack on a Fiber frame, the clamps alone would destroy it. It is best, but not absolutely neccesary, if the frame has "braze-on" connections for the rack. A fiber fork is not recommended, but may be ok, as long as you don't plan on having front panniers. This of course will put more stress on the rear wheel.
  2. 36 or 32 spoke wheels. 36 spoke wheels are HIGHLY recommended, especally in the rear. 32 may work, but you may have problems. I won't even let someone come with less then 32 spokes wheels, you would never make it. Such wheels are not designed for heavy loads. Fortunately ebay has new 36 spoke touring wheels in the $120-$150 range, new, quite regularly. So, you could simply replace your wheels.
  3. A rear rack. This is implied above. A FULL rack, not a seat post rack. It must be securely fastened to the frame. You need a rack rated at at least 40 pounds. A front rack (called low riders) is very nice, as it distributes the weight better, giving better handling, and less stress on the rear.
  4. 28cc or greater width tires. Anything less will get flats. Some bikes will not have clearence for such tires, so you need to check. If you are using a mountain bike, you must get slicks, you cannot tour on knobbies.
  5. Good strong brakes. Stopping with an extra 40-50 pounds is a lot harder, your brakes need to be strong and well adjusted.
  6. A good fit. You can't ride a bike 60-100 miles a day if it doesn't fit well.
  7. Reasonable gears. You won't need alpine gearing, this is a flat route. But you need a reasonable range for these loads. At least a 28 for the big cog in the rear, and a 42 or smaller in the front. A triple is best, but not absolutely required.

Kelley's Island route: Link

-- JimSkon - 2011-03-09

  • Bear on bike:
Topic attachments
I Attachment Action Size Date Who Comment
Gifgif bear-on-bike.gif manage 361.4 K 2011-03-09 - 05:08 JimSkon Bear on bike
Topic revision: r6 - 2011-06-05 - JimSkon
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