FAQ

Because questions abound ...

This section will be added to as people ask questions, you can also check our Facebook group.

Will riding the Great Lakes Mac & Cheese 1200k qualify me to register earlier for PBP in 2019

Great Lakes Mac & Cheese 1200k is sanctioned by both RUSA and Randonneurs Mondiaux.  It does count for earlier registration for PBP in 2019.

Do I have to start in Manitowoc?

No, you can drive your car directly to Ludington, leave it there, ride to Manitowoc and take the Badger back to Ludington after the ride.  However, if you have a choice, we highly recommend that you start your journey in Manitowoc.

We will be arranging a group rate on the trip over as well as collecting your drop sacks so that you don’t have to mess with them on the ship.  You will also have an opportunity to meet others and get to know them before the ride.  We will also be able to arrange both parking and bike storage in Manitowoc which will not be the case in Ludington.

If you decide to stage in Ludington, you will need to make arrangements on your own for the return on the Badger.  We recommend that you do this early since it will be a holiday weekend.

How can I get my bike to the start?

You will be able to ship your bike directly to the hotel in Manitowoc.  We are working with a CAT 2 certified mechanic who will be providing support on the ride.  He will put your bike together for you for a nominal fee being worked on now.  More on this later.

You are also free to bring your bike with you by plane, train or automobile – even better ride to the ride!

Weather

Don’t we all wish we had a crystal ball when it comes to the weather?  In the absence of one, we can only look at the numbers…

Part of the challenge of this ride will be the weather.  The historic averages at Whitefish Point are between the high 40s and the high 60s.   Late August and early September are some of the very nice times of the year for cycling due to the temperature range and the cooler temps and typically dry temperatures.  It is slightly warmer in the southern parts of the route with the temperature typically in the 60-70s during the day and down into the 40-50s at night.   The sun will be up around 7am and set at around 8pm.  There will be quite a bit of night riding!  Though they will be around, mosquitos, black flies and other varmints will be far fewer this time of year.

However, lows can also dip to near freezing – in 2017, the low on September 1 was only 36 degrees.   Green Bay had a high of only 45 degrees in 2017.  Hopefully, the weather will be stellar, but you must be prepared for anything and everything in between.

The other fact is always the wind.  Winds off the Great Lakes are extremely powerful and can last all day.  Less climbing also has the effect of less wind blocking by terrain.  US-2 is being avoided for this reason as it is particularly prone to wind, but strong westerly winds may crop up.  This can make it feel quite a bit colder.

In the true rando spirit – the weather is part of the challenge.  “There is no bad time to ride, only inappropriate clothing”.

Trip Insurance

While we all hope that nothing goes wrong, the reality is that we also should consider plans for when things don’t work out well.

Our refund policy is listed in the Ride Details.   That does not cover your travel plans, bike shipping, or anything else.  You may want to consider something like trip insurance to cover such things.  Sites like https://www.insuremytrip.com can provide you with information on the various types.

Note on Evacuation Insurance

Most people have never thought about evacuation insurance.  If you are injured, you are typically taken to the nearest hospital.  Better evacuation insurance can give you options about where you are treated and that is more important on this ride as so much of it is so remote.  Rural hospitals in the UP may not have the care you really need.  The last thing you really want is to be injured and unable to get back home where you want to be treated.  Services like MedJet fill this void, you can subscribe to them for 8 days for $99 – they will get you home by air ambulance if necessary from just about hospital.  Your regular insurance likely will not do that.

Can my spouse/BFF/Mortal Enemy volunteer?

We welcome all volunteers on the Mac & Cheese.  There are so many volunteer activities that are vital for everyone.  Everything from serving food to SAG vehicles to helping out at the overnight to helping organize things ahead of time (such as support for the pre-ride).  We will be posting a list for volunteers in the near future.

We would like to avoid having people bring their own personal support for controls.  There are many places in the UP that there is just ONE road passing through.  Keeping vehicles off those roads improves the safety and enjoyment for everyone.  We are currently planning to have shared hotel rooms and some food provided for our volunteers for those donating their time.

Volunteering at a 1200k is an incredible experience.  You get to be a part of everyone’s success!

 

How can I train?

If you are coming into this ride as your first 1200k event or just want opinions, we will be opening up a training blog in the near future with all kinds of recommendations and known tactics to get ready.

What are my chances if I am on the wait list?

As organizers, we want everyone to be able to ride!  However, that isn’t really practical either so we have to make adjustments.  We will fill slots from the wait list as they become available.   The other option you have is to donate 24 hours of your time during the actual ride which qualifies you for the Volunteers Ride.  The dates of the Volunteers Ride are August 18-21, 2018.  You get the same credit as if you did the real ride (for PBP, medals, entry into the gates of heaven, etc).  We will be opening registration for the Volunteers Ride mid February.