picture of bike leaning against picnic table, coffee, stove

the purpose of upbt.org

There is one main goal of this project and a host of related goals.

The main purpose of this project is to provide Upper Peninsula-specific information and ideas about on-road bicycle touring, and to promote & popularize bicycle touring and slow travel in general

A key to that is to provide a means of discussion, questions and answers, presentation of ideas, and reported experiences of UP bicycle touring among interested people,

Another purpose is to give information on the geography and natural and cultural heritage of the UP.

I hope to show that you can have a good time as a tourist without bringing tons of vehicles and other infrastructure with you.

As an example of 'creeping gigantism' in traveling, compare the average automobile traveler of mid-20th century, the 1970s, and the ridiculous setups of current motor travelers - how did we get from a canvas tent in the trunk of a car to a 40 foot motorhome, towing an SUV, with a canoe on top and bicycles strapped on the back?? Am I the only person who thinks this is obscene? It's one thing if you're willie nelson and you need a portable home and studio as part of your livelihood, but people, leave it behind and interact with the place you are going to! You don't need computers, plumbing, electricity, multiple huge vehicles, or a concrete slab to enjoy the UP landscape - in fact those things most definitely hinder your awareness and connection to it! If you need a motel, there are plenty, you don't need to tow one all over the place!

I think that it is a good thing to encourage careful, polite, civilized, intelligent, and healthy tourists to the UP - people who come to understand and 'feel' the land and culture at a higher level than faster travelers.

People who commit to bicycle tour in the UP presumably already know at least a little of the place, and have decided that it's worth their time and effort to get to know it better. You can't dash up from the casino or downstate golf resort just to have a fast look at a 'the falls' for a few minutes on a bicycle tour - you have to actually get yourself there, and in the process you see how one place changes to another, and maybe why!

So, the site will hopefully increase awareness and consideration of travel and tourism in the UP (and elsewhere!) as more than just the standard automobile-directed logistics (road conditions, '20 minutes to X' (which assumes 60mph travel!), parking lot information instead of cultural information, etc.) and the passive 'looking as if on tv' type of travel increasingly presented in much of the tourist literature.

I hope that this website will develop and increase the awareness of bicycle touring (as opposed to the current perception of most all bicycling as off-road trail riding) among tourism and regional development organizations, so that it will be promoted alongside faster travel modes.

Benefits to the UP: (take some from the site purpose section) (Do bicycle tourists spend more in local economy than car tourists??) Need to add something here!