Duluth Men Prepare for Great Lakes Bike Tour
Posted at: 04/15/2012 1:07 PM | Updated at: 04/15/2012 10:36 PM Plenty of folks love to get on their bicycles and ride here and around the Northland, but how about for more than 5,000 miles? That's the goal for two Duluth men as they prepare to trek around the Great Lakes.
By: Dayna Landgrebe
Kris McNeal and Zach Chase are about the embark on the biggest trip of their lives. The 2010 UMD graduates are less than three weeks away from traveling around all five of the Great Lakes by bicycle.
They're calling the trip Big Water Bike.
The idea came during a shorter West Coast bike trip in 2007. This time, they said they wanted to take a journey closer to home that brought awareness to the idea of bike touring, high gas prices, and the big blue resource that so many live on.
"Our end goal to create a bond with people living around the Great Lakes, but also with people living away from the Great Lakes," McNeal said.
It's a lofty undertaking that's requiring a ton of planning, training, and securing sponsors. The pair snagged support from local resources like the Brewhouse, Trailfitters and Ski Hut, along with some bigger nods from Keen, O2 Rainwear and Icebreaker.
"Once April hit, it was stopped being, 'It's coming.' It's Oh, it's in three weeks. Are we ready?'" McNeal said, and that's got the nerves setting in.
The more than 5,300 mile trip will take them northward, starting in front of Duluth's Fitger's complex on May 1 with a public send-off at 9:00 a.m. They pair hopes to travel about 60 miles per day and to finish in August.
They'll also be filming the trip as they go to create an educational adventure documentary about the beauty and the livelihood of these freshwater lakes. And they both agree that biking trips aren't for experts only.
"You don't have to be huge into biking, you just have to be big into adventure," Chase said. "We're never going to forget the whole process and we haven't even started yet."
It's a lot of preparation and hear that's left these guys ready to ride. You can follow Big Water Bike on their Facebook blog and get more information on the trip by clicking here.