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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I'm looking at the weather. Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and 60 after weeks of cold and rain. I'm getting on the bike at 6:00 AM for a full day.

I'm heading from Twin Cities to the North Shore of Lake Superior. I'm wondering if anyone has ridden the Gunflint Trail and/or route 1 from Silver Bay to Ely yet this season. Any reports from Minnesota riders or others who may have hit these early in the season? I am interested in the road conditions after the winter.

I've never ridden either of these, but have heard good things. And I have a new bike that has been begging me for some miles and road time. This is a day trip. I'm not sure if I will make it all the way to Gunflint or not, but I'm going to try.

Any feedback is welcome.

Thank you.
 

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3 Wheeler, the road is in great shape up until the last 1/2 mile or so. Then there is sand on the road and the pavement is broken up a little.

I had a great ride yesteryday. I got started early (5:30A). It was a little cold to start the day, but that wore off (and gave me reason to order some new must-have accessories). The rest of the day was sunny and 60's, a little less along Lake Superior on 61.

I rode through duluth and stopped for breakfast just north of Tow Harbors at Aunt Betty's Pies (I recommend the bumbleberry pancakes).

Then rode north to the end of Gunflint Trail where I snapped the attached pic. It's a beautiful spot.

Then I headed back south, with a diversion through Ely via route 1 (another great road, although there were a couple turns that snuck up on me and almost ruined my day)

Pulled into my garage about 7:30 PM with 799 new miles on the odometer.

A good day
 

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I love reading about your rides and the big miles that you guys do. But I am sticking with my club CAT [Candy Assed Tourers]. 600 miles is a big day out for me. Eric
 

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Hey Eric,

Yes, the ride was really just about spending a full day in the saddle. My problem is that its' 150 miles each way to where the ride starts to get interesting. So, it makes it a high mileage day.

Just glad I had the chance to escape.
 

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Thank you maestro. Northern Minnesota is full of beautiful lakes. It's really very nice. If you get a chance to ride it, let me know. I'll try to point you in the direction of some good roads.
 

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Looks like a great ride. Take a look at the UP of Michigan for some good rides. I haven't been there in a long time but it also is a beautiful area.
 

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I love reading about your rides and the big miles that you guys do. But I am sticking with my club CAT [Candy Assed Tourers]. 600 miles is a big day out for me. Eric
Eric, you crack me up! If you ever get to the states, I sure hope you come by Indiana, I want to meet you.
 

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Eric, you crack me up! If you ever get to the states, I sure hope you come by Indiana, I want to meet you.
I am going to get to the USA next year or there will not be anyone Down Under that will be able to put up with me. Eric
 

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I am going to get to the USA next year or there will not be anyone Down Under that will be able to put up with me. Eric
If you end up anywhere near Mississippi I'll be swinging by to meet you also.
 

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All,

I traded a PM with another member who was interested in some recommendations for the upcoming weekend on the North Shore (North Shore of Lake Superior in Minnesota). Anyone who has been to the North Shore will have their own point of view, but this is what I sent...

Thank you for your note. I hope the weather is great for your trip. I hope to get some riding in Northern MN myself over the weekend, but I'll be staying in the North Central part of the state.

Regarding your trip, I agree with going up the WI side to avoid the cities. There's no reason to go through the cities on a holiday weekend. I havent ridden all the way to Duluth on the WI side, but I imagine it will be nice 2-lanes.

I imagine you are staying in Duluth on Friday evening. If so, Canal Park in Duluth is nice. That is the location with the Lift Bridge. If you happen to be lucky an ore boat will be coming or going. There are also a bunch of restaurants in Canal Park. You will find something you like.

In the morning, I suggest heading north on 61 along the lake. Just north of Two Harbors is a cafe on the left side called Betty's Pies. If you like breakfast, I think you will like this place. It's worth a stop.

I forget exactly whether other things are north or south of Two Harbors. Since you are site-seeing, you'll want to stop at Split Rock Lighthouse and the Gooseberry Falls. To get a great veiw of the falls requires going down and up a few steps, but the path is very well maintained. It is worth the effort.

Continue along the North Shore to Grand Marais. Depending on how many miles you want to cover, you may want to stay in Grand Marais on Saturday. The distances are not all that much, but everyone's judge and taste for miles is different.

The ride along the big lake is scenic.

Once in Grand Marais, head northwest on the Gunflint Trail. It's a dead end road that runs about 55 miles of twisties. It's fun. The road is in good condition until the very end. The lake at the end is scenic.

If you are interested, the canadian border is not far from Grand Marais. The scenery is much the same as you will have already enjoyed up to that point.

At some point in your exploring, you will also want to ride from Silver Bay to Ely on route 1. This is a very twisty route, and some of the corners are deceiving. Please ride within your abilities, but the road is definitely worth it. Ely is one of the main access points to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. As a result, there are a number of shops and restaurants that might be fun to explore.

Those are my main suggestion. If the weather is in your favor, I am sure you will have a good time.

Ride safe and have a great holiday weekend.
 
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