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Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: Day Six

Today we woke up expecting some rain on our final day of the trip. We were pleasantly surprised when we were greeted with clear, sunny skies instead! We hit the road between 8 and 9 am, headed for Beloit, Wisconsin and home.

It was a gorgeous day, bright and sunny, on the warm side. Probably the nicest weather day we'd had the entire trip. We stuck to mostly country roads and county highways as we worked our way south through central Wisconsin, only stopping for gas.

We saw ten times as many bikers on the road today as we had the entire rest of the trip. Not too surprising, really, considering it was a Saturday. As we got closer to Beloit, Dean split off, headed east towards his home, since he lives just north of the Illinois/Wisconsin border in Wisconsin. We waved bye as he took the exit home, and continued on our way.

We wandered into Beloit, and then South Beloit, where Tim continued on home, Mike and I splitting off in the direction of his house. We arrived around 1 pm and I took the chance to take a long break, relax with Mike and his wife, April, and eat some lunch.

After checking out Mike's other bike, a Yamaha dual sport, I put my bug splattered helmet on and headed East through beautiful Northern Illinois countryside, towards my home. A ton of bikers were out for their weekend rides. With my pack on the back and mud and bug covered bike, I didn't quite fit in and caught quite a few looks from the bikers I passed.

The closer I got to home, the more familiar the roads became; this was home ground and I'd ridden these country roads a lot over the past three years. Lots of trees and powerlines were down, remainders of the storms that had rolled through the area the day and night before. Seeing them made me realize we'd made the right decision in staying an extra night in Appleton, Wisconsin. Still, I was anxious to get home.

Lake Michigan Circle Tour, route map

Lake Michigan Circle Tour, route map

When I finally pulled into the drive way, it was with a mixture of relief and a little bit of depression. I was happy to have completed the trip without any mishaps, but a part of me didn't want it to be over either. I had gotten used to the feel of the open road and the wind in my face, not really thinking about anything except what I was doing at that moment. It's the "freedom of the open road" cliche I'd heard so many bikers talk about before; it's a powerful feeling that just makes you want to keep on riding!

According to my odometer, I'd ridden a total of 1,317 miles in a complete circle around Lake Michigan. We rode through four states and got to see three of the Great Lakes on our trip. I really enjoyed riding through Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, since so much of it I'd never seen before.

Taking a long trip by motorcycle is something I'd been dreaming of ever since getting my bike. It was a bit of a pain in the ass, literally, doing the trip on a Sportster, but it's something I can brag about now. It wasn't the easiest bike to go that far on, but it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone made it out to be before we left either.

I learned quite a few things along the way (my next post will be about these lessons learned) that I'll be making use of when planning my next long motorcycle trip. Hopefully you enjoyed following along!

Related posts:

  1. Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: An Idea is Born
  2. Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: The Bike
  3. Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: Day Four
  4. Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: The Luggage Problem
  5. Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: Day One

1 comment to Lake Michigan Circle Tour by Motorcycle: Day Six

  • Nora Geuther

    care to share what roads you actu­ally road on .. we would like to go this sum­mer and avoid the inter­states if pos­si­ble.
    thanks Nora

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