‘Tour Da Yoop, Eh’
Cycling event to skirt Upper Peninsula in August
The tour first was held in 2018, but is open to the public this year, with the event scheduled for Aug. 15-24.
The tour’s tagline is “Reconnecting People with Nature.”
According to the event’s website at https://tourdayoopeh.com, James Studinger, founder of Call of the Yooper and Tour Da Yoop, Eh, had a vision for people to “reconnect with nature.” Studinger, who hails from the U.P. and has hiked from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan through the middle of the Hiawatha National Forest, also canoed from Lake Superior to Lake Michigan and everything in between.
In 2018, a few riders plotted and experienced the course. This year, more people can experience the event.
Kim Mellon, who is helping run Tour Da Yoop, Eh, said the event will give people a chance to see the U.P., and at the same time, ride on safe roads.
It’s a concern many cyclists have, she said.
“Riders are worried they’re going to get by cars, always,” Mellon said.
On this summer’s tour, though, she said that riders will travel on paved roads, being off the highways almost the entire way.
That doesn’t mean the event will be easy.
TDY is a 10-day, 1,200-mile ride around the U.P.’s outskirts, starting in Manistique on Aug. 15 and finishing in Manistique on Aug. 24 where a “Cyclebration Party” will take place.
Cyclists may ride any number of days they prefer, from one to all 10. Available are “loops” that go on three sections of the course with an additional day of riding either back to a rider’s car or getting to a city to begin riding.
“We believe there is no other ride like it in the world,” Mellon said.
The event begins on Aug. 15 with the 91-mile section from Manistique to Escanaba. The next leg runs 113 miles from Escanaba to Iron Mountain on Aug. 16, followed by a 131-mile trip from Iron Mountain to Ironwood on Aug. 17.
On Aug. 18, cyclists will ride 122 miles from Ironwood to Houghton, followed by the 117-mile Copper Harbor loop on Aug. 19.
The rest of the tour is as follows: Aug. 20, Houghton to Marquette, 118 miles; Aug. 21, Marquette to Grand Marais, 110 miles; Aug. 22, Grand Marais to Sault Ste. Marie, 114 miles; Aug. 23, Sault Ste. Marie to St. Ignace, 119 miles; and Aug. 24, St. Ignace to Manistique, 110 miles.
The terrain varies along the way.
The longest section, the Iron Mountain-to-Ironwood segment, has an elevation gain of 5,745 feet. The trek has a steep climb toward the end.
The 118-mile journey from Houghton to Marquette, which has an elevation gain of 5,322 feet, includes a bumpy and challenging backwoods road around mile 82 for 5 miles.
Mellon said a few open spots are left: from Manistique to Escanaba on Aug. 15 and from Escanaba to Iron Mountain on Aug. 16. Interested cyclists can visit the tour’s website at https://tourdayoopeh.com for special pricing just for those sections.
As with many such events, volunteers are needed. Areas in need of help include registration/packet distribution; pre-event set-up and registration; luggage pick-up and drop-off driver; bicycle repair; start and finish line aides; lead driver; follow driver; course marshals; food/hydration stations; housing a rider or two, since hotel stays can be costly; and yard sign distribution.
For hosting riders, tour organizers are looking for people within a 15-minute ride of each overnight city to open their homes.
Registration and pricing information is available at https://tourdayoopeh.com/registration/. Pricing varies by how many days a participant rides, ranging from $300 to $600.
For more information, email Kim@TourDaYoopEh.com or call 906-212-4100.
Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.