Solo Cycle Circle Tour

From May 28-June 23 I traveled by bicycle clockwise around Gitche Gumee, beginning and ending in Duluth MN. I cycled 25 days over 1,500 miles, camping almost every night and averaging 60mi/97km per day, and all but the first 3 days were done solo. My compiled daily journal from trip can be found here: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=1mr&doc_id=20075&v=3L As a queer and transgender woman, completing the circle solo gives me an extra sense of pride and perseverance. My favorite highlights include a wonderful secluded campsite at Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (MN), Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park near Thunder Bay, Lake Superior Provincial Park on the eastern Ontario shore, the Porcupine Mountains State Park in MI, an amazing beach side campsite in Herbster, WI on my final night, and a couple of amazing wild caught fish dinners over the fire along the way. Challenges — the type of “fun” I call “Type 2,” or “it’s only fun when you look back later” – included the black fly hatch in Ontario and innumerable mosquitoes and beach flies on the south shore (next time I’ll be coming back in the fall!), and serious, sudden afternoons storms in Michigan that once had me taking shelter in an outhouse being pounded by hail! I had been warned to expect treacherous cycling conditions along the Trans Canada highway, the only route along the north shore, but after a couple days of getting used to the close proximity of transport trucks, it wasn’t too bad and the low traffic and courteous Canadian drivers made the highway riding bearable. Overall, the trip was incredibly fulfilling and the scenery beautiful, and I would highly recommend it to experienced cyclists seeking a month-long adventure! I’d love to see the creation of an official Lake Superior Cycle Tour route – as the Trans Canada highway is set to add wider shoulders in the coming years, and the MI, WI and MN portions are by and large very bike friendly, I think it would be a trip many other cyclists would love to do. As for me, I enjoyed a trip that was fairly secluded and off of published bicycle routes, interspersed with rugged areas and scenic views but still near plenty of towns and campgrounds. You can check out more details about my adventure at the link above!

Jaime Hokanson, Minneapolis MN