When ideas for an epic ride come late in the season, do you wait until “next year,” or do you say, “Hell, maybe the weather won’t be so bad?” – This particular proposition – “how about 200 miles in one day, during the first week of November along the north shore of mighty Lake Superior.” Sometimes it takes guts, other times, stupidity. This time, it was blind faith: “Yeah, I’ve ridden a lot this year. Not so much in the past few weeks, outside the daily commute, but I’m patient and I feel strong enough.” Two weeks out? “I’m in.”
As it turns out, seven other folks were thinking the same thing.
What did we learn?
– You’ll only be mentally prepared when you decide that you are.
– When you cross the US/Canada border, go right to processing. Don’t hang out taking pictures by the welcome sign. And don’t take pictures of any guards. They won’t like that.
– Trust the locals. They know where good roads are.
– If a highway says “No Bikes” and “No Pedestrians” it is best to observe that suggestion. Even if your turn is *shouting* “Only three more lights!”
– When you find out how far you have still to go, acknowledge it and move forward.
– Don’t complain. It never helps anyone to call attention to your suffering.
Hope for favorable wind (especially on a lake-shore).
The weather looked promising on the drive to duluth:
Clocking in at 4:30AM before the grand departure from Duluth.
Split Rock Lighthouse:
The majority of elevation gain happened in the last 1/3 of the ride:
Grand portage to Thunder Bay was arguably the most beautiful part.
Debriefing / Storytime:
5020 Ft. elevation gain
3 Flat tires
30 degree ending temperature
2 bottles of champagne
Many Liters of Molson Canadian.