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1600 Mile Bicycle Trip around Lake Michigan

Joe and His 1600 Mile Bicycle Ride around Lake Michigan.

My brother-in-law, Joe, has been traveling around Lake Michigan the last 20 days. Okay, big deal, a lot of people drive around Lake Michigan every year. Yeah, but Joe has been riding a bicycle the whole way, not driving a car. Trust me, it makes for a very different experience.

He had asked me to join him, but I kindly declined. A smart decision. Joe is kind of a dare devil, and I feared he might make decisions that put him and me at risk. I was reminded of that when he posted that he found this state park in Wisconsin, where the waves and wind had created a cliff that fell off into the lake for ten to twenty feet. He said, "If someone else was here with me, then I would have jumped into the lake. The other person could get help if I had a problem."

A picture of Joe as he starts his 1600 bicycle journey around Lake Michigan.

See what I mean. Maybe he wouldn't have had a problem, but if he did, he would put all the responsibility for resolving the problem with someone else. No thanks, I don't need that kind of a headache.

Truth is, I doubt I could have done it anyway. I have problems after riding a bicycle twenty miles, and I'm sure the seventy to one-hundred mile days Joe was riding would have been exhausting. Plus, add the heat of summer and no regular or sure places to find water, and I'm okay with watching from the sidelines.

Did I mention that Joe is over sixty years old? Yep. Not a young pup anymore, but if you have a dream, then you go for it. Joe's dream started as a high school student, when one of the organizations he was a part of sort of thought about doing the same trip with the members of the group. I can't imagine how that would have turned out. Five, ten or more high school students with different levels of fitness, riding 1600 miles on a bicycle. But the dream stayed in his consciousness all these years, and he decided this was the year to achieve the dream.

Joe has had a great trip and he is due home today. The finish line is Chicago's Oak Street Beach, where the sand turns into the concrete pier?. The weather has turned rather questionable for today. Joe might be riding in rain and maybe even thunderstorms. Yikes. A number of his family members, me too, are heading to the beach to welcome him home and congratulate him on his accomplishments. It might be a rainy day for us, but we love our brother and are willing to be in a little discomfort to cheer him to the finish line.

Oak Street Beach in Chicago on a cold rainy Saturday in August.

Here is what Lake Michigan looked like on the Chicago lakefront on Saturday when Joe arrived back at his starting point.

High waves on Lake Michigan at the Oak Street Beach in Chicago

We had some great Chicago Pizza to celebrate Joe's achievement.