Michigan: Biker’s Heaven and Frozen Hell

I live in a place known as the Copper Country. People refer to it as, “God’s country,” because of its natural beauty. It’s in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. For a motorcyclist, you couldn’t find a better place to live. The roads and scenery are some of the best I’ve encountered and I have ridden in quite a few places.

There are miles of roads that run along the coast of Lake Superior, many of them have plenty of knee dragging curves that’ll leave any sportbike rider satisfied. If you can catch a sunset or sunrise over the lake, you’ll definitely be in awe of the colors reflecting off of the water. On hot and muggy days, there’s a refreshing breeze coming over the shore.

There are also some awesome riding roads that aren’t on the shore. Roads through the forest feel as though you are riding through a tunnel with all of the overhanging trees. These roads are plentiful in the area and each provides its own unique experience.

Northern Wisconsin is about a hundred miles away and is loaded with curvy roads running through forests. There are some great back roads that’ll get you there, so it can be a great long day of riding, or an overnighter. Some of the roads aren’t in the greatest condition, but the scenery makes up for it (including waterfalls, a cool one lane bridge, and wildlife).

In September, when the fall colors come, the riding experience goes to a whole new level. The colors are ridiculous! The reds, orange, and yellows of the leaves just enhance your rides. This is my favorite riding season, but in the words of (arguably) my favorite thrash metal band, Slayer, “Hell awaits.”

In late October or sometime in November it all changes. Around this time of year I like to say that Hell has frozen over and we’re living in it! With our specific location in relation to Lake Superior, we are a prime area for lake effect snow.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Lots of places get snow over the winter, right? It only lasts three or four months, right? Wrong! In the winter of 2013-14, places in the Copper Country (God’s country?) had 320 f@&$ing inches of snow! It started in November and kept snowing until April! That’s 5 months, if you were counting.

The other aspect of all of this is that all of that snow has to melt. That adds another month of thawing before anyone can think of getting on their two-wheeled ride. Even then, you have to watch out for all the sand and salt that was dumped on the roads during the winter months.

What is a biker to do during the winter here? A lot take up drinking (I’m not kidding). Others will snowmobile and some guys will stud their tires and ride on the ice. Me, I took up blogging about motorcycles (I am probably gonna try riding on the ice one of these years).

Why in the hell would a motorcyclist live here? Well, summer and fall are outstanding and you won’t find nicer people to live around, so the snow hasn’t sent me packing (yet).

“The mind is its own place and in itself, can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” – John Milton

See more from Josh at KLK Cycles on their blog, Twitter, and Facebook!