This weekend Danielle and I headed up north to my grandparents house to both visit them and see the area. We spent time in Traverse City, Petoskey, a number of places between, out in my grandparents row boat, and generally had a good time.
On Monday (25-Aug-2008) I headed out to the local segment of the North Country Trail (NCT) starting at Pickerel Lake, as detailed here. In short, this was a really, really, really nice ride along narrow, winding hiking trails through all manner of Northern Michigan terrain. The trail seems intentionally routed between trees to keep ORVs off the trail, but it’s still very (and legally) bikeable.
My ride on Monday only ended up being about 15 miles of NCT itself as the long slow uphills and frequent sharp turns made for slow going, but there were also some really nice, smooth downhill sections. All in all, it’s an excellent trail for casual, relaxing, get-out-into-the-woods riding. Here is a graphical map of the route I rode and here is 25-Aug-2008_NCT.gpx detailing the route.
Except for a rear mech full of shrubbery and a slight fear of running out of water I had no problems along the way. I’ve had a lingering problem with shifting at both ends of the bike, and I have come to the realization that I need to replace some chainrings and the rear cassette as they are both bent. My chain has also stretched quite a bit, so I’m thinking that I should probably just replace most of the drivetrain soon. I might even do the whole shifting system, but that may be a bit drastic (read: costly).
Here are the photos I took while on the ride:
· My bike near the North Country Trail trailhead at Pickerel Lake in Kalkaska County, MI.
· Low fallen trees across the trail on the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, MI east of Pickerel Lake.
· What I believe to be a well head just off of the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, MI.
· Warning: Hydrogen Sulfide sign on some oil / gas drilling equipment just off of the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, MI.
· My bike on the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, MI just northeast of the Eagle Lake public access.
· A pump at an oil well just off of the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, MI. It wasn’t running.
· Oil extraction equipment just off of the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, Michigan.
· More oil extraction equipment off of the North Country Trail in Kalkaska County, Michigan.
· A bunch of leaves and twigs that got caught in my rear mech as I tried to ride away from Eagle Lake. Whoops.
· Small spur of the North Country Trail heading down to Eagle Lake in Kalkaska County, MI.