Kevin is at it again! The first summer, Kevin and Skye set out to prove that it could be done. The second summer, Kevin and Abby did it to help raise money to fight breast cancer. This summer it’s Wills turn! The boys need to prove that they can do together what the girls made look so easy. Follow along as Kevin and Will ride the Northern Tier bike route on their tandem.
Day 1- June 30, 2022 Fargo, ND to Detroit Lakes, MN
We had a nice cool departure this morning where we needed our light jackets and tights. Lots of detours due to road construction and we ended up detouring south rather than north. Ran into some hills after lunch. Had some 6 to 9% climbs. Today’s ride and it up being 6 miles longer than Abby‘s last year due to the detours.
I broke a bolt on the bike seat and robbed one from Will‘s seat, so we are heading to the hardware store in just a minute to buy new ones.
Day 2 - July 1, 2022 Detroit Lakes to Walker
We were off to a good start this morning after a quick breakfast. Will is easy to get up and get going, which is nice. He has not had much of an appetite which may be due to the hard work. I suspect his appetite will come back in a few days. Today’s ride was familiar territory, which is always fun. The picture with the people on the bench is at a convenience store that Abby and I stopped at last year. It was really nice, as they remembered us being there last year. One lady said we made a good impression last year as I was biking with my granddaughter! I’m sure it was just her memory? We had a good breeze all day that shifted quite a bit but was never too rough. First 39 miles we’re on the highway and then we got to a trail in the last 30 miles. The trail is sure nice, as there are no cars and it’s much quieter.
Day 3 - June 2, 2022 Walker to Grand Rapids
Actual Miles were 62.71. With all the technology, I forgot to hit start on Strava! Started Strava after biking 6.36 miles pervGarmin. Great weather today and great roads. We were on highways the vast majority of the day but had an adequate shoulder and the drivers were all polite. I’m not sure how many of Minnesota’s 14,000 lakes we’ve seen but it has been a bunch! Beautiful scenery. Skye and I took pictures at the same Bigfoot sign in 2019. Will would not let me get a nap in as he wanted to hurry up and get to the hotel. We found a nice shady spot along the way but he insisted we keep going. As we were getting close to the hotel we ran out of road and had to carry the bikes across train tracks to get to the main highway rather than backtrack. We met a really nice family from Iowa, when we stopped for lunch in Reemer. This has been a really fun day.
Day 4 - July 3, 2022 Grand Rapids to Duluth MN (Actual Miles 77.4)
We got started at 7 this morning and it was a cool 55°. We had good weather and good roads the vast majority of the day. Strava shut down for 15 miles or so when we stopped to fix a sock issue this morning, it failed to resume. This afternoon there was a storm approaching that we were warned that they were expecting hail. Talk about motivate you to pedal a little faster! We had a quick sandwich at 50 miles and hit it hard. Will finished the day in his raincoat and I just got a bit wet and cold. Another good day on the bike.
We are working on Will’s picture taking! Should be great by the end of the ride.
Day 5 - July 4, 2022 Duluth, MN to Ashland, WI
Well all the wonderful weather we had the first four days spoiled us! Today was cold and rainy. Started off with fog and then rained off and on hard then soft all day. We lived in our rain gear today!
Day 6 - July 5, 2022 - Ashland to Mercer
Another chilly morning with a little bit of fog. I forgot what it was like to ride in humidity! It got pretty darn hot today for us. Granted we don’t handle heat extremely well. Will took pictures of bunnies for Abby as well as a picture of a mother turkey flying off with about 10 chicks. There’s also a picture of a turtle that was on the shoulder of the road. Will was also excited as he spotted wild raspberries on the shoulder of the road. He will certainly not starve to death on this trip. Lots of nice hills today and busy roads but we had shoulders most of the way. Quite a bit of tomorrow should be on trails and we are really looking forward to the quiet biking.
Day 7 - July 6, 2022 - Mercer to Phelps
We started off this morning on a bike path and biked on it for about 30 miles. Should’ve been about 25 miles but we took a detour! Also known as a wrong turn. Saw some beautiful scenery and had good weather with cloud cover for most of the day. Tomorrow evening we should be in Iron Mountain Michigan. We are Looking forward to getting started on MI as it will take a while to get out of MI and into Ontario.
Will and I had dinner tonight at the same little bar/restaurant that Abby and the rest of our gang ate at last year. Doug, the owner, is trying to sell it so he can retire. It was good to catch up with him.
Day 8 - Phelps, WI to Iron Mountain, MI
A great day of weather and lots of highway time. We saw some beautiful scenery in the morning and you’re very quiet back country Road. When we stopped about 14 miles in, Will noticed hundreds or more baby toad frogs crossing the road all around us. That’s one of them in the picture with his hand. We got to the hotel and about 10 minutes after we checked in, the bottom fell out with rain. We went back to the same restaurant that we ate out last year with Abby and the crew and had a good meal and are looking forward to Escanaba tomorrow.
Day 9 Part 1 - July 8, 2022 Iron Mountain to Escanaba
We had a relatively short day of peddling, which allowed us to stop and have a second breakfast around 30 miles in. We are going to be catching up with some friends from Escanaba for dinner tonight and tomorrow we will pedal on about halfway to St. Ignace. We will be taking a day off in St. Ignace and spend some time on Mackinac Island.
Day 9 Part 2 - Escanaba to Gulliver
We had a fairly flat day of riding with good weather. Our hotel did not have a restaurant open within 15 miles so we grabbed a few things from a convenience store and went to bed early. We were up late the night before as we caught up with friends from the Escanaba area and had dinner with them.
July 12 - St. Ignace to Gaylord
We enjoyed our day off yesterday as we spent it hanging out with new friends from lower MI. We met a group of six families from the same church in lower Michigan took it with them to waterfall about an hour and a half out of town. We had a great time with new friends.
Today was a cold day. We biked over to the bridge and then caught a ride across the bridge to Mackinaw city. We biked all the way down to Gaylord with our coats on all day. The high temperature was 71. It did drizzle a bit but we never had heavy rain.
Day 12 - St. Ignace to Gaylord
Day 10 - Gulliver to St. Ignace then onto Mackinac Island
Another chilly morning and we got started about 715. The restaurant that we thought would be open for breakfast was not and so we had a convenience store a couple of miles and peddled on snacking our way to Saint Ignace. The pictures of Will looking for things in the sand, or him looking for sharks teeth. Once we got to there we checked into the hotel then rode over and got on the ferry to the island. We biked around the island (about 7 miles) and Will loaded up on some fudge and a Mackinac Island T-shirt. We are getting ready to go out for dinner and will be sleeping late tomorrow as Will has earned a rest day!
Day 13 - Gaylord to Houghton Lake
We had a short day of 54 miles. Really good weather and we were expecting rain, but did not get it. We biked with our jackets and pants on for about 3/4 of the ride. Just outside of Houghton Lake, we passed the Bahr Harbor resort. Little bit of a teaser for Will, though he is not ready for this journey to be over yet anyhow.
We have been working with Kelly back in the Montrose office to plan the next week or so of ride. She has been super helpful in helping us figure out which roads to take and where to stay. Tomorrow we are biking down to Midland and will start heading south east after that.
July 14 - Houghton Lake to Midland
Another chilly start where we were wearing all of our clothes. By about 10:30 we were discarding them pretty quickly as it warmed up. We had great weather today and it was fun seeing some of the same sites that Abby and I enjoyed last year. Highlights were riding through the Amish area and the tractor weathervane. We also really enjoyed biking the Pere Marquette bike trail with Jim from Vancouver Island who we met in Wisconsin.
July 15 - Midland to Lapeer, MI
We got a pretty early start this morning and had nice weather all day. Started off cool and got fairly warm by the time we got to Lapeer. We spent probably 25 miles or so on bike trails. Road conditions were not the best and it got hilly towards the end. We keep running into references to towns and Maine. Sure what’s the appetite to get there. We spent most of our day on US bicycle Route 20. The Farmall tractor picture is for my dad, who actually had a similar tractor for many years. We are looking forward to crossing over into Ontario tomorrow afternoon. We will be biking with one of our friends that we met earlier this week in Mackinac city, will be joining us for part of tomorrow.
July 16 - Lapeer, MI to Wallaceburg, Ontario
We had another day of great weather, started off wearing jackets got rid of them after about 15 miles. At about 22 miles or so we met up with our friend, Dave Frank, from earlier this week and he biked along with us for 20 or so miles. Dave is a pastor at a church not too far out of Detroit who took us under his wing and showed us the waterfalls this past Monday in the upper peninsula. The picture of the grassy trail is a bike trail that Google suggested. We did not take it. One of the locals told us that the trail was actually for horse riders. We did bike about seven or 8 miles of gravel today which just made us appreciate the roads that much more. Will got to enjoy some dipping dots this afternoon before we left the US and then had more ice cream again in Wallaceburg. The picture with Dave and Will and I was outside the restaurant and then the restaurant owner got in a picture as well. She wanted to make sure that we showed her restaurant in the pictures. To be fair it was a great meal and she was quite the personality! Will and I are having dinner tonight in Wallaceburg with some friends that Skye and I met here in 2019.
July 17 - Wallaceburg, Ontario to Port Stanley
We had dinner and time with friends from Wallaceburg last night. Will and I caught up with Mike, Teresa, Rudy, and Charlie Van Damme. Will got to ride in his first combine and cut a little winter wheat with Teresa’s Dad. We got a decent start this morning and for the first 45 miles had overcast cloudy weather. The last 30 miles were rainy. We stopped off at a blueberry stand in Eagle and Will got to pick fresh blueberries right off the bush and eat them. He also ate a piece of blueberry pie. Said it was great! I got the crust…. We are having dinner tonight at the same restaurant that Skye, Larry, Clint and I ate at in the summer of 2019. Looks like tomorrow is another 75 miles or so.
July 18 - Port Stanley to Simcoe
Well and I have a good day of biking. Super long as it was about 60 miles. We had rain most of the day and it seem like we were in a lot of our raincoats eight or nine times today. We passed lots and lots of interesting crops including chili peppers, bell peppers, dill, and all the normal things such as corn and soy beans. We followed the coastline of Lake Erie a bit and then head a bit north to get to our hotel. Will was a bit confused with the way these towns have been named after famous European cities.
July 19 - Simcoe to Welland
We got an early start and had clear weather pretty much the whole way. Not a lot of cloud cover and it got fairly hot. This region is having all kind of heat warnings. The family celebrating a birthday at the next table tonight gave Will a slice of the birthday cake. I’m guessing he had that hungry look on his face! The gentleman in the red shirt came out of his store to give Will a snack and chat with him a bit. He was proud of Will for his efforts. And yes Will had Tim Hortons donuts for breakfast.
July 20 - Welland to Niagara on the Lake (Lake Ontario) to Niagara Falls, ONT
We biked up to Niagara on the Lake with about half of it being on bike trails. From there we biked down to Niagara Falls mainly on the road. Great weather today with lots of sunshine. We biked along the Welland canal this morning, and Will got to see the locks in operation as the ships moved through. We kept receiving heat advisories as the area is in a bit of a heat wave. Abby, Skye, and Jennifer are flying into Rochester, NY this afternoon and will drive up here this evening. We will take tomorrow off before we hit the road again on Friday, when we will be biking across the bridge back into New York.
July 22 - Niagara Falls, ONT to Brockport, NY
We had a hard time finding the right road this morning to get across on the peace bridge. After a 3 or so mile “long cut” we got on the right road and crossed over into New York. Had a really good day of biking. It got quite warm. GPS was registering 92 degrees. We stopped into the same café/coffee shop that we went to last year and the young lady (Cassidy) working there recognized us and was asking about Abby and Don who I was biking with last year. We had a good day though it seemed to go a bit long. We did meet a few new bikers today and spent some time chatting.
July 23 - Brockport to Palmyra
Great day of weather, though it was getting hot. We are trying to get started early to avoid some of this heat. It was nice biking along the canal and generally avoiding cars. Getting through Rochester is always interesting as you cross quite a few bridges as he pick your way across the city. Will was not injured in the making of his video. I had no idea he was not holding on, I just knew he was being really loud! We are looking forward to getting to Syracuse tomorrow evening.
July 24 - Palmyra to Syracuse
We got an early start to try and beat the heat. For the most part it worked. We did get some rain this afternoon which helped cool things down a bit. The picture of the sign is from the same church that had funny sayings last year.
July 25 - Syracuse to Boonville
We started off this morning in a light drizzle and it didn’t rain long. We ended up with really nice weather is it warmed up a bit. This afternoon things got quite hilly as we entered the Adirondack mountains. Will was not enjoying the hills so much! If you can watch the video, it seems that he was quite energetic as we were grinding up the hill. Jen and the girls got quite a chuckle out of watching him move those arms. Not sure he was moving the legs as energetically?
July 26 - Boonville to Long Lake then a rest day
We had a another great day of riding! Started off pretty chilly at 54°. We were quickly in our cold weather for the first 15 or so miles. Things got really hilly and didn’t let up much. This has been our first day with lots of climbing. The cemetery picture is just outside of Boonville and has always caught my eye as we bike through. We did not have any dog interactions today which was nice after yesterday’s two encounters. The beaver den or lodge with the satellite dish on it that’s quite interesting. We are going to take Wednesday off and then will bike to Ticonderoga on Thursday.
July 28 - Long Lake to Ticonderoga
We got an early start to the day and hit a little drizzle early but otherwise we had great weather. Thunderstorms were forecast but didn’t get here till after we checked into the hotel. We got here in time to see the very ending of a town play. The insect picture is a daddy long legs carrying a bee. Will notices the funniest things when you’re biking!
Tomorrow will be a short day as we are going to Middlebury, VT.
July 29 - Ticonderoga to Middlebury, VT
We have a very short day as we were able to take the Ticonderoga ferry from the New York side over to Vermont and then bike 20 or so miles into Middlebury Vermont. We met Larry and Viv Walters from Rutland Vermont for dinner and Larry stayed with Will and I at the hotel. Larry will bike the Middleberry gap with us tomorrow.