Touring da Yoop: Cyclists set off on 10-day, 1,200-mile ride across Upper Peninsula | News, Sports, Jobs

MARQUETTE — Cycling enthusiasts set out from St. Ignace on Friday morning as part of the annual “Tour da Yoop, Eh” ride across the Upper Peninsula.

The tour consists of 10 sections, averaging 120 miles per section, and covers all 15 UP counties and the three Great Lakes that surround them.

Each section spans an average of 120 miles, with cyclists staying overnight in each city and moving on to the next the next morning. The 10-day tour ends in St. Ignace on August 15.

Tour da Yoop, Eh was founded by James Studinger to “help people reconnect with nature,” according to a press release. He was born in Manistique and now lives in the downstate Bloomfield Hills.

Studinger started Tour da Yoop, Eh in 2018 when he wanted to showcase the UP’s “forgotten pavement,” noting that the UP has only 1% of the bicycle accidents reported in lower Michigan. When Studinger noticed that there aren’t many cars on the UP’s back roads, he outlined thousands of miles of safe bike routes across the peninsula and brought those routes to the attention of many by establishing the annual 10-day ride.

It has now become an annual event. In 2020, 38 riders rode 18,064 miles together. Riders came everywhere from Marquette to Florida. About 80 riders are expected this year, according to the organizers.

Those who have signed up for the ride can go as they please: fast or slow, solo or in group. The riders will stay on a set route with directions and signage posted at intersections so they know where they are going. Tour da Yoop, Eh provides support along the route by operating hydration and relief stations that allow the riders to stretch, refuel and relax. A support vehicle also stays with the last rider until a section is completed.

This year, Tour da Yoop, Eh is partnering with the UP Lions Clubs “I Trekked the UP” initiative, which launched earlier this year and encouraged the community to get outside and hike, drive, ski or snowshoe and make a donation to the Lions’ UP Pediatric Cancer Program based on registered miles. A portion of this year’s Tour da Yoop, Eh ride will be donated to the Childhood Cancer Program, which has raised more than $25,000 to date through various initiatives to help UP childhood cancer patients. To date, 43 UP families have benefited from assistance and resources through the program.

The sections for the 10-day ride are as follows:

≤ Friday Aug 6 Section 1, St. Ignace to Manistique, 120 miles

≤ Saturday, August 7, Section 2, Manistique to Escanaba, 90.75 miles

≤ Sunday, August 8, Section 3, Escanaba to Iron Mountain, 122 miles

≤ Monday Aug 9 Section 4, Iron Mountain to Ironwood, 132.47 miles

≤Tuesday August 10, Section 5, Ironwood to Houghton/Hancock, 137.08 miles

≤ Wednesday, Aug 11, Section 6, Copper Harbor Loop, 116.45 miles

≤Thursday Aug 12, Section 7, Houghton to Marquette, 114 miles

≤ Friday Aug 13, Section 8, Marquette to Grand Marais, 105.42 miles

≤ Saturday, August 14, Section 9, Grand Marais to Sault Ste. Marie, 114 miles

≤ Sunday, August 15, Section 10, Sault Ste. Marie to St. Ignace, 122.56 miles

Tour da Yoop, Eh encourages every community to come along the route and cheer on the riders. Volunteers such as local Lions Clubs, Boy Scout troops, and more can raise money for their organizations by volunteering at aid stations, driving a support vehicle, or installing signage.

Visit www.tourdayoopeh.com for more information or to view specific route details to find out where to cheer on the riders.

For more information about the UP Lions Clubs, visit www.uplionsserve.org.

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