Tour da Yoop: The Missing Wheels Ride for Disabled Kids

Planning has begun for the first unicycle tour to transect the remote, historic, scenic, and not-too-hilly Upper Peninsula of Michigan!!

The tour is an effort to raise donations towards improved wheelchairs for childern in this economically challenged geographic region. The economy collapsed with the mining industry in the 1960s and is making a slow recovery.

The ~400 mile journey will take place late in the Summer of 2006. I am in the process of recuiting riders, finding sponsors, charities, and support personnel for the journey.

So far, myself and three other riders have experssed interest in the ride. Riders can participate in all or some of the trek, which in its entirity is anticipated to take two weeks.

Please consider joining us, helping us, and encouraging us! There have been many successful unicycle tours that will help serve as models for ours, which I hope is as an enjoyable experience for participants and a worthwhile fundraising effort for our cause.

Please let me know if you’d consider helping, supporting, or better yet, riding in all or part of the tour! Your ideas and suggestion will be warmly welcomed.

The idea for this tour was directly inspired by your posts in these forums!
Thanks!
Blake

Hey Blake,

I would definitely consider riding this. Sound like the weather will be fine. Any idea of the terrain? Do we get hills or flat? How’s the scenery? Anything near the Great Lakes?

Great idea and a great cause!!

Billy

Great, Billy! Please join us!

It is quite flat for most of the way, There are some hills in the western part of the state. I am working on a website today and there will be links about the area and the ride. I will try to have a loosely working version up within the week.

It is mostly forested with mixed hardwoods and conifers. The geology ranges from limestone outcrops to far east (Part of the same geological formation as Niagara Falls), to sand dunes, iron rich formations and finally to the rugged and famous copper country in the west.

Wildlife includes the usual small critters like rabbits, porkies, and skunks. Larger fauna include deer, black bear, moose, coyotes, and wolves. Anectodal reports of mountain lion sightings have been increasing and there have also meen samples of “scat” collected that resembles mountain lion feces. Not likely we’d run into a big cat. :slight_smile: The Michigan DNR does not recognise the presense of wild mountain lions in the area as far as I recall.
There are assorted weasels, squirrels, beavers, otters and larger muskelids like martins and fishers, though I have not seen with of those, thank goodness!

Please continue with the questions! And thanks loads for your interest. I hope you join us!
Blake

For geographical and economic reasons, it appears unlikely that I will join you on the ride.:frowning: However, with all that wildlife, I expect any survivors to post some good stories. Beats all the bl**dy herons and ducks that I write about.

Why are you glad you haven’t seen a martin or fisher? Keskersay? :thinking:

They are viscious, fast, indiscriminate, and look like HUGE weasels! I like weasels, had one living in my basement in my cabin up there, mind you, but weasels are much smaller, althouth with bad attitudes, too. Fishers are like wolverines and badgers but not as cuddley.

The fisher is the only known predator of the porcupine. I read this just online about a tactic of the animal to eat porcupines:
When it preys on porcupines, it attacks the porcupine’s face repeatedly until the porcupine is weakened from trying to defend itself. It will eat the porcupine’s organs first and save the rest of the kill to eat over the next couple of days. :astonished:

Friendly, eh? I’ll be snuggling up with the moose instead!

yea, you gotta see a pissed off racoon! those things are nuts!

yah those things are crazy ive got bittin in the neck by one once and i still have the scar to prove it.

anyway im in for the great UP trip, looking forward to it too. My biggist problem right now would be getting the right uni for the trip. So if anyone has any old cockers and would like to get em off their hands, I would be more than happy to take it:D

sounds like fun, but chances are i cant do it, i would but i cant, im going to europe, all you people should bring shotguns, that would make for a good pic, a band of men on unicycles with shotguns in there hands, just so other people know what will you be riding? cokers or what, you should probably put what could make it through this trek

Now how the he** did that happen?!

I was kidding lol

you got me good… :smiley:

-Podzol

We have a website!

Hey folks, check out the website!
Blake

I think It would be rad but, I dont have a coker and a plane ticket…

Great concept, I’m definately interested in riding with you guys. I haven’t done much long distance since May '04, when I rode the MS150. I have a 700c, but by August I might have a geared up “penguin-style” giraffe, like Skippii’s. How will fund-raising work, big corporate donations, or will the riders solicit their family/friends/churches?

Hi Hell On Wheel.

Thanks for your interest!! It’d be fun to have a giraffe along, too. I’m looking for corporate sponsorship and private donations, but once I find the right charity to hand the donations, I’ll send out a printable flier and cards to facilitate rider participation in the fund drive, too. All charity monies will go through the third parties charity, so what the solicitiation will entail is encouraging people to drop by a website or put a check in the mail.

Whether or not there is a fee to cover rider logistics like support vehicles, lodging, and food depends on what kind of sponsors I can drum up for the event.

Seems like rider response in good do far, so I need to start moving on the rest of the project (only seriously been planning for a week or so now.).

I also have had a lot of interest from young people, so there may be a requirement for a parent or guardian to accompany riders under 18 (Even if on a bike or in a support vehicle). I need to talk to other tour organizers and some insurance people about the liabilities of such an event. I was warned by someone with experience that plannig one of these is a “life-changing event!” Not really certain what that means, but I will find out soon, eh!

I’ll be in contact with you this week sometime with some information and a questionairre for the website profile if you’re still interested! Keep an eye on your PMs. My contact info is also on the website if you have questions.
Blake

Looks great. Advice: When you link to your sponsors/charities, open them in a new window rather than in your “frame” (target="_blank"). Also a warning that the UP maps are PDFs would be nice.

For best results, make sure there is a very clear and easy path for visitors to the site to make donations. If they have to figure it out on their own it will cut down on the amount you raise. Make sure there is a “Donate” link or similar on every page, and hopefully your charities will provide a way for people to do it online with a credit card. This makes it much easier for “casual” donations to take place. Count me in for one of those!

BTW, my limited experience in the UP shows that it’s sparsely populated, but don’t think you’ll be Dorothy riding through the Emerald Forest or whatever. I assume you’ll be on roads? So you’ll probably be lucky to see the “interesting” wildlife. After nearly 10 years riding California’s trails, I’ve yet to see a mountain lion.

Thanks, John!

Thanks a bunch, John,
I am still learning Dreamweaver and the next step is getting windows to pop up instead of opening in the pane.

I lived in the UP recently, so I have a good idea kind of roads we’ll be on. I am hoping to plan the route between thoroughfares like HW 28 and some paved side roads that will take us to some more scenic paths. Any large wildlife we see will likely be deer, but I have seen a lot of Bear crossing the roads, too. Wolves are spotted more by joggers becase the move more quietly and sloowly than a vehicle and they have more time to scan the landscape. Moose know to keep their distance and they are only in one part of the UP. There’s a culture of “talk” about wildlife in the UP, and I suppose my post was along those lines, like Uni-Steve511’s raccoon attack :wink: . The warning stickers on the dumpsters that show Bears inside suprising innocent dumpers are standard, in Houghton county, atleast!

The DONATE button is a very good idea. I am corresponding with a variety of charities right now and when that’s settled, I’ll set that up.

I will try to get some maps that are printable but not PDFs. Those do take a while and some folks don’t have Reader.

Thanks again for your ideas!
Blake

Dreamweaver: When putting in your link code, in your Properties pallette there is a “Target” drop-down box. Just choose the first item, “_blank” to pop your links in a fresh window. These days, this works better than Javascript pop-up windows, as many users of Windows XP will have those blocked.

Ahhh thanks! Why Blank. Why not new window?!

Okay… I did it for one of the links, I’ll do the rest tonight when I am done makin’ bacon! :slight_smile:

yes me too