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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The weather and my schedule (far too busy for a retired guy) finally worked yesterday so I could complete an Iron Butt Association themed ride. They have a series of Great Lakes rides, and I chose the SS1K lap around Lake Michigan. Why, because it's right there! And I've been meaning to do an IBA ride on my N400 so that my IBA plate backer isn't considered to be false advertising while it's attached to Ninjette Noire. After all, it's a little braggy, and even more so on a bike that's not considered a touring bike. ;)

I'll post some pics once I download them from my phone.

A Saddle Sore 1000 is simply to ride 1000 miles in under 24 hours. The Lake Michigan themed ride is to do this on a route of your choice around The Lake and back to the place you began.

I chose a clockwise route begining in the north Milwaukee suburbs, passing west of Lake Winnebego to Green Bay, then north to Michigan's Upper Peninsula at Lake Superior, crossing the Mackinac Bridge and riding south to Lansing, then southwest through Indiana to Chicago and then home. 1062 miles added to the odometer. This was my first time in the UP, and while not my first time in the state of Michigan, it was my first time riding a motorcycle there.

Some highlights:

Northern Wisconsin ("Up North"), Michigan's UP, and central Michigan have nice hilly, curved roads with thick forests. It all looks worth exploring on a longer motorcycle vacation some day. There should be some good roads off the major highways.

My gear was comfortable all day, easily adapting to the changing temps. Most of it is no longer available, so there's no point in making a review, but good comfortable gear makes a huge difference on a ride that takes this long. And the heated grips were good to have in the middle of summer because the morning temps were cool enough to use them when the wind chill from highway speeds is considered.

I dawdled. Since I was returning home without a schedule, the weather was good, and my worst case was to get a hotel room if I became tired, I had that convenience to take my time. So it wasn't my quickest SS1K.

I chose to go clockwise around The Lake because my Milwaukee starting point would put the wooded rural two lane roads plainly in daylight hours with less chance of encountering any homicidal deer. Chicago traffic at the time I'd be hitting it is kinda like the Grand Theft Auto video games. I'm more confident playing at being a hooligan hooning in city traffic than becoming another deer fatality. The wildlife carnage I saw throughout the morning and afternoon confirmed this to be the right choice. Also, dusk hit around Kalamazoo, MI, and I had other vehicles' headlights to "extend" my vision all the rest of my ride home.

And our bikes:

Ninjette Noire easily accelerated to speed with any highway on-ramp, the light weight and flickability made me feel very safe in traffic, and the headlights are great for stock. I've previously only taken Ms. Noire out at night for a few miles in town. But after several highway nightime hours, it's just amazing how well these do in comparison to my previous 2007 N650R. Also, no problem keeping up with the folks in the passing lane all day long. Next test: a multiday trip with full luggage.

The Norton seat and Zero Gravity touring windshield helped a lot. I'm still wondering about an upgrade to aftermarket suspension, butt :p it doesn't feel absolutely necessary with the Norton seat. I'm going to put some coments about my Beeline navigator and Scottoiler E-Sytem chain oiler in the appropriate threads. But the Beeline worked well as a GPS/Sat Nav substitute as I'm learning its quirks. And my Scottoiler (which is about 6 or 7 years old) had its control screen blink out on me, while the system itself still appears to be working correctly.

And physically, the little fitness program that I began last year paid off. This was by far the easiest SS1K on my body and mind. I could have kept going. I prevously became concerned that I just couldn't complete an IBA safely any more, but not anymore!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I stopped at the Mackinac Bridge, which links Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the rest of the state, spanning the strait between Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

Necessary artsy motorcycle tourism pic:
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And since I'm getting to be a bit less shy about internet exposure, here's a pic with a bad case of helmet hair. It was taken by a vacationing motorcycle couple on a Harley Bagger who were also there to take some pics. Geeze, how did I get so old looking?
19683
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
And here's a few pics from a roadside park on Lake Superior:
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19686


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I wish that there had been convenient places to stop along the road to take more pics, but it would have taken a lot of time to scout a safe place out and park and then walk back. Or maybe I'm paranoid. But the northern parts of Wisconsin and Michigan have a lot of fun, curved, hilly tree-lined roads, with some stony outcroppings and many rivers and ponds. And the nighttime ride through Chicago would have made a great GoPro video, there were some views of the lit-up city that were outstanding and keeping up with the faster traffic was exciting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well done! I am interested in eventually doing something like this. Maybe later, when the kids will be older and I will have more experience.
Thanks!

To a certain extent, it's a little bit of a stunt. I rode my first IBA ride on my 50th birthday as something challenging but yet good to do. However, the best part is how my mental map of where I can ride shrank--no more doubts about where or how far I can ride.
 

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Thanks for sharing. We crossed the Mackinac Bridge when moving from Ontario to B.C. in 1978! Thanks for the picture of that!
 
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