The rustle of autumn leaves and the sight of a golden pumpkin can bring back memories of high school football games, neighborhood battles of Kick-the-Can, and the sweet smell of leaded exhaust from your first bike. This kind of nostalgia can be dangerous, especially if you still own a bike without an electric start, because where will it lead? To a fall tour on a vintage bike, obviously.
After mentioning my trip down memory lane to my wife, Linda, we decide to take two of our oldest cycles — a 1948 Vincent Rapide and a 1975 Honda CB400 Four Super Sport — out for a tour of Wisconsin's North Shore.
With nothing but blue highways selected, Google Maps calculated a total round trip distance of just 453 miles from our starting point of St. Paul, MN, up north to Lake Superior, and back again. Perfect for two vintage riders (sorry, Honey) on two old bikes.
In the upper Midwest, a mid-September tour can be dicey, as snow in September is not unheard of. However, with a promising forecast and a bit of luck, fall tours can be spectacular. Northern Wisconsin is quite literally set ablaze when the hardwoods are changing colors. The red end of the visible spectrum definitely gets a work out. So, with a two-day window of good weather predicted, we pack a few essentials for a lightweight tour to Wisconsin’s northern shore of Lake Superior.