A road bike tour

Welcome to our Radltour!

Date: 05. 06. 2013 (departure Vienna)

through 19. 06. 2013 (departure Chicago)


Iris, age 68, retired

Road bike Tour round the Lake Michigan

Review of the bike Tour

The author of this review: Iris from Austria - now retired

the motto of the tour:

the map of the full circle tour round Lake Michigan

(not recommended for bicyclists!)

I tried to figure out, if there is a way to make the circle tour round the Lake Michigan. Actually, it is (...but more for motorists...). As a bicyclist, you should consider the North part of the Lake (...and you hit two states: Wisconsin and Michigan). There is a ferry from Manitowoc (Wisconsin) to Ludington (Michigan). The ferry is operated by an old traditional steam ship: the Badger.

The tour is based on the idea, to visit some concerts at the Ravinia venue, which is nearby the home of my friends. And then, combine it with a circle tour round Lake Michigan.

We all have seen Judy Collins and Joan Baez. Both artists delivered a wonderful show. The Ravinia venue comprises lawn seats and inside places. People normally eat (...and drink), before the concert. Some stay at the lawn, some move to the inside places.

Biking has has started the first day upon my arrival. Quickly, I went on bike and tried the out the 'Green Bay Trail'. At Wilmette, the trail follows the 'Metra' commuter train (Chicago to Kenosha) Northbound Beside this, we all have been touring the local area of Wilmette. Later, we hit the trail to Chicago's Botanical garden, which is actually North of Wilmette.

In this area you pass a lot of green and nice housing area. People say, this is an area, shit doesn't stink... :-)

After the concerts my biking days have started. With the help of the 'Metra' train, I have been riding a little North. Actually to Waukegan. On my first riding day, I have passed the huge city of Milwaukee. Passing the city has been on a wonderful bike trail, which came back to Lake Michigan shoreline right at the location of the Modern Arts Museum. You will be impressed if you look the pictures. Following the road North and made it finally to Manitowoc. At this city the steamship S.S. Badger starts. A ferry ship across the lake, heading to Ludington (Michigan). Riding further North to Manistee. Here the real beauty of the tour has started. And riding... North on Hwy 32 and it's sideways Hwy 22.

Round the Lake Michigan you always may find signs pointing on the 'Lake Michigan Circle Tour'. Don't get me wrong: this is meant as a tour for cars.

The tour round Lake Michigan, if you really like to do it by bicycle, for my understanding it starts at Manitowoc, cross the Lake with S.S.Badger ferry ship and then head North. So much North, just 2 miles South of the Canadian border. A sort of rural and empty area. Just beautiful with less traffic. But plan ahead your accommodation in order to avoid a bad surprise. This area is rather 'empty'.

Going down South to Manitowoc on East side of lake Michigan you may get some stress as closer you come to the industrial area of Green Bay.

A little hint:

the main winds tends to blow from the North. The lake itself causes a humid environment, as closer you may come. Rain showers can be expected often. Bicyclists take care: In the US, a private property does not have a fence necessarily. If you think, you can find shelter under an open garage or house roof...; remember this: grandma may appear and hold you up with a gun. You are a potential invader. And grandma will come on TV... :-)

Enjoy the details of my report.

Good luck to our followers!

All, I made has just been round 700 Kilometers... (not so much, I think, I am getting old...)

Wednesday 05. 06. 2013

1. day (travel day)

Arrival at Chicago Int’l (O'Hare)

Night: my friend Barb's and Dave's home

Wilmette, Illinois,

Wilmette is about 15-20 miles north of Chicago.

Some little training miles on the Green Bay trail.

The bicycle is now unpacked - ready to go

And..., the airline guys have damaged the front fork

Lake Michigan sandy beach at Wilmette

taken by 'left hand' - sorry for the bad image...!

Thursday 06. 06. 2013

2. day

Night: my friend Barb's and Dave's home

local rides

...so true...!

the wonderful house, I have been living for a while

Concert of Judy Collins and Don McLean at Ravinia Highland Park

The day, we went to the Judi Collins and Don Mclean's concert at Ravinia.

Wilmette railroad station

old British railroad system - left side traffic!

The Ravinia Festival venue entrance

A crystal clear voice, good show! Thank you, Judy!

Don McLean on stage as a second band

the 'old boys group' accompanying Don McLean

Friday 07. 06. 2013

3. day

Night: my friend Bab's and Dave's home

Ride again the Green Bay trail up to the city of North Chicago

Saturday 08. 06. 2013

4. day

a rest day at my friends home

Night: my friend Barb's and Dave's home

Sunday 09. 06. 2013

5. day

Day of the Joan Baez concert at Ravinia Highland

Daytime was spent on riding to the Botanical gardens of Chicago

I hate to see those signs!

better to enjoy the beauty of a gardeners work

Botanical Gardens tour guide :-)

I feel remembered on an alley at the Viennese castle Schoenbrunn

a model train - this is for guys like us.. :-)

more model trains...

sorry - cannot get enough :-)

and on evening: again Ravinia venue: Joan Baez concert:

The fore-group has been the Indigo Girls. They did a good job, drive youngsters crazy! Youngsters standing up and started yelling...

concerts start on the lawn - preparing our food - thank you Barbara!

the thankful guest :-)

inside the venue - Joan Baez delivered a perfect concert!

Monday 10. 06. 2013

6. day

starting with the 'Metra' train heading for Waukegan...

Riding North.

I have hit Milwaukee (it looked like a capitol city to me, but it is not... - the capitol city of Wisconsin ins Madison).

I made it up until Begium/Wisconsin.

pure Wisconsin :-)

just before Milwaukee, my navigator device felt down and the next car went over - the driver: 'shall I call the police'? My reply: 'why not, if they can repair the device you have ruined...!'

A short extra picture page, as the Milwaukee modern Art museum is so impressive:

a little about the history:

that's what wiki says:

In 1888, the Milwaukee Art Association was created by a group of German panorama artists and local businessmen. The same year, British-born businessman Frederick Layton built, endowed, and provided artwork for the Layton Art Gallery. In 1911, the Milwaukee Art Institute, another building constructed to hold other exhibitions and collections, was completed. The institute was built right next to the Layton Art Gallery. Alfred George Pelikan, who received his Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) from Columbia University, was the Director of the Milwaukee Art Institute from 1926 to 1942.

I have heard that the wings have been manufactured by Voith Appleton (usually known as a paper machine manufacturer).

found next to the Modern Art Museum

skyline of Milwaukee

Tuesday 11. 06. 2013

7. day


riding further North to Manitowoc, where the S.S. Badger ferry starts

Crossing the lake is exact 4 hours.

My way to Manitowoc:

some miles on a freshly grind asphalt road - a micro massage :-)

bicycle in the waiting area of the ferry ship

this coal pile is 'eaten' by the steamship

Finally have taken the ferry Ship from Manitowoc to Ludington

Crossing the lake is exact 4 hours.

Arrival at Ludington / Michigan

So impressive: the steamship S.S. Badger:

looking down to the car load at the ferry

the S.S. Badger terminal building at Manitowoc

this is the wonderful picture as Badger advertises the ship :-)

steamship Badger in action

and some pictures from the arrival at Ludington:

looking back (not in anger...) :-)

self explaining:

as nice the welcome sign is, I have found a 'spot' at he Internet:

Upon this, the Indigo Girls have been banned once at Michigan on an woman folk festival, as they support lesbian and transgender issues,

Wednesday 12. 06. 2013

8. day

ride North on Michigan side until Frankfort / Michigan.

This is the real Lake Michigan Circle Tour for bicyclists like me :-)

I did a big mistake, not riding further North. Don not really know why...: the motel has been a bit above my budget, the weather looked, it may change, whatever...

The have returned until the little town of Arcadia, just 5 houses, a motel, a restaurant (closed), a camp ground and...

No Sheriff, no church...

old harvest houses like this, you may, maybe find only at Michigan

riding North on Hwy 32 towards Manistee

the tired rider :-)

Manistee, here we come!

soon turning in to a wonderful sideway - much more better as a Hwy

got it!

Portage Lake / Michigan

without my navigator - dead end... :-)

have seen Frankfort / Michigan and returned right away to Arcadia (fear of expenses?, fear of a possible weather change?, I don't know; maybe I am getting old...:

Thursday 13. 06. 2013

9. day

From Arcadia back to Ludington:

The road is, as the sign says... :-)

Friday 14. 06. 2013

10. day

A day off, but have been riding to Ludington state park (a huge dune park), a dead end Hwy, nr, 116:

Some like it red :-)

Hopefully my return ferry has propellers on it... :-) :

Saturday 15. 06. 2013

11. day


Ferry Ludington to Manitowoc

ferry ship starts at Ludington: 09:00 am

arrive at Manitowok: 12:00 pm

Dave said, he will pick me up and drive to his home

We went further on North on Wisconsin side further North until Sturgeon Bay.

There was a 'beer' and 'music' festival. The music was not ours (a sort of punk music), but the beer we enjoyed.

It looks like a lot of person starting private breweries.

google does not allow more pictures to upload:

'the site has exceeded it's quota'

We had a wonderful dinner and spent the night in Dave's father's cottage (a sort of castle...):

Sunday 16. 06. 2013

12. day

Night: my friend Dave's cottage at a little lake, Lake xxx

Dave brought me down to Kenosha with his car, and then, I have take again the Metra train down to Wilmette

Monday 17. 06. 2013

13. day

Night: my friend Barb's and Dave's home

a rest day

Tuesday 18. 06. 2013

14. day

Night: my friend Barb's and Dave's home

Have done the ship ride: 'Chicago architectural tour'

pack the bike

Wednesday 19. 06. 2013

15. day

Time to say good buy

Fly back home

Airplane departs 21:40