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Any Interest in a September rally in the UP?

If there's sufficient interest we have been invited to hold a regional rally at Big Snow Resort near Ironwood, MI.  It's a big place with a hotel and rental condos.  Rates are good, basic weekend rates are about $78 and you get a third night free.  There's food and a bar on site as well as an indoor pool.  The "UP" is the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and riding in the UP is incredible.  There are plenty of paved roads and all the off road that you'd like.  The resort is about 11 miles east of Ironwood, MI.

If we keep it simple, the cost would be low.  If you want it fancy, the cost goes up but that's up to what the group wants.  Right now their website is all about snow but it's worth taking a look. 

Reply to this post if you're interested.  If we get a good response we'll make it happen.


masegraves has reacted to this post.

 I have a ride in Sept. But if timing is right yes.

I'm interested too.  I think that ride may fit into our schedule.  We've ridden around the top of Lake Superior, but haven't done much along the south shore.  We've ridden MI-28 and U.S. 2, but Lake Superior can only be seen from about Marquette to Munising on MI-28 and not at all from U.S. 2.  My road atlas shows a number of scenic routes in the area.  That far north the leaves may even be changing color.

I'm interested. Some of the Chicago motorcycle groups have taken rides up there. It would be nice to have a sidecar event there.

Mark Segraves

Chicago, IL

We probably would be interested.  

Put me down.  I've been there to ski.  

Dave USCA president

Man............I'm so ready for a Looooooooooooooooong ride.  After all the cancelations I'm in. 

Regarding the September mini rally...

Since we won't have a ton of folks, we're going to use the BMWRA Riders Weekend to do the heavy lifting.  Registration isn't open yet but I'll let you know when it is.

Dates - September 3-6 2021 - Yes, that's Labor Day Weekend
Location Big Snow Resort - 
Accommodations - There is a hotel and there are rental condos. Basic hotel rooms start at $78/night [probably plus tax] and if you rent for two nights, you get the third night free.  One bedroom condos start at $109/night and the same deal applies.  There are also two bedroom condos starting at $149/night with the same buy three for the price of two deal. Camping is available, there are rest rooms, showers, a pool, hot tub.  The campsites have fire rings and there is a water source but no electric.  Camping is $10/person/night.

The rally... It's the BMWRA Riders Weekend.  The whole thing is centered on riding the area.  The Upper Peninsula has some great riding along the shores of Lake Superior and through the woods.  There will be route maps, created by locals, handed out but you're on your own [find a friend that wants to make the same ride].  I'm told there will be on road and off road routes.  As an aside, the last time I rode up there, I saw two bear cubs playing along side the road [and left before mama bear showed up].

Many folks will take to time to run up to Copper Harbor at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula. It's a 300 mile round trip but something you can check off your bucket list.  NB- Gas in Copper Harbor is VERY expensive.  Try to fill up on the way. You could also wander around in Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park [much closer]. Or, you could go west toward Hancock & Hurley, once the bawdiest towns in the US or further toward Ashland with a stop at the Bad River Lodge & Casino.  There are lots of places to explore.  Or, you could hang around with folks at the resort and enjoy the pool.

We're using the BMWRA Riders Weekend because they welcome us, the event isn't limited to BMW owners or members of the BMWRA and they have done the negotiations with the venue.  The BMWRA event fee is $60/person and it includes two dinners and two breakfasts.  This event is limited to 249 attendees. I'll have more information a soon as it's available.

Big Snow lays claim to two facilities, Indianhead and Blackjack.  The respective addresses are Wakefield and Bessemer, MI.  The towns are 5 miles apart.  Does anyone know which location is the rally HQ?

Copper Harbor sounds interesting.    Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore would be even further and what I've seen of photos would make a trip there appealing.  I've seen the iron ore loading docks at Marquette  from a distance.  Marquette would likely be an interesting place to explore.

OK, FINALLY, I have details and a little hard data.

The event will generally be 3 September - 6 September.  Yes, that's Labor Day Weekend.  This is almost a non-rally, more of a gathering for folks who share an interest in motorcycles and some BEAUTIFUL riding.

The rally fee is $60, for that you get two breakfasts and two dinners and free camping.  The free camping includes RVs but you'll be boondocking, there are no hookups, just a nice level parking lot.  There's a casual restaurant and a bar on site.

If you've already called the resort and got quoted some pretty high lodging rates, you'll have to call back armed with the secret discount codes.  There are two lodging deals...

With the code "BIKE" you get a special room rate of $78 but only use "BIKE" if you just plan to stay one night.
With the code "MOTO" you get the $78 room rate and if you stay two nights, you get the third night FREE.  That works out to $52/night.  I'm sure there are taxes on those rates but there's nothing to be done about that.  There are also some nice condos, one and two bedrooms with kitchens and living rooms.  I don't have the rates on those but the stay two get the third free deal applies there as well. The reservation number for motel and condos is 800-346-3426.  

Don asked which mountain we'd be staying at.  The lodge, restaurant and bar are all located at Indianhead Mountain.  There are a handful of restaurants nearby, mostly scattered around Wakefield, MI which is about three miles away and Hurley, Wi which is 13 miles away and much bigger than Wakefield.  Hurley used to have the reputation of being one of the bawdiest towns in the US but things are quieter now.

You can register at 

Registering for the rally and booking accommodations at the resort are two different things but if you're camping all you need to do is register for the rally.

Got a question, you can PM me [it's under my profile picture], send an email to or call 612-759-4666

'See you there


Thanks for posting the very helpful info - I am hoping to be able to attend. No MM tho' and I will have to depart Sunday. A lot depends on whether I have my rig back by then

Do you happen to know if the special rates apply before 9/3? 

Hi to you and hugs to TLMA


2011 R1200GS + EML CT2001



Have you and/or Jan given any thought to opening up the UP Rally to non-USCA sidecarists by posting info on advrider/hacks?

Just a thought


2011 R1200GS + EML CT2001

Duncan, et al, 

The discount codes work [for ANYBODY during the event] and for BMWRA members on any day that isn't part of one of Big Snow's "black out dates".  Most of those dates are either while there is another event running or the major ski weekends in the winter.  Again, the codes work for anybody during the event. so if you want to come early [I am] the discounts still apply.

I have no objection to reposting the information to any site.  Spread the word.  This is obviously not a BMW or sidecar only event.  There ae some really good off road opportunities in the area from what I'm told so if you've got an old scrambler in the garage, you might want to bring that too.

Posted info on adv rider post # 169


2011 R1200GS + EML CT2001

Thanks, Duncan.  I hope we have a big enough crowd to turn people away.  There is a strict limit of 249 in our insurance contract.


Sign up is open for the Pure UP Weekend.  The resort is happy to have us and the roads are still the roads [they really don't change much until it snows and we're too early for that]  I encourage you to sign up now.  The BMWRA Rally is in a little over two weeks and there will be a surge in registration there. 

There are three waterfalls on one half hour from the resort and more scattered around the UP.  If you like heights and great views Copper Peak Ski Jump and Observation tower is nearby.  For those who want to keep their feet on the ground the Bessemer Heritage Center Museum is just 10 minutes from the resort. A lot of folks will want to make the trek up to Copper Harbor.  My suggestion is to make sure you have gas before you get there,  Gas in Copper Harbor is EXPENSIVE but the trip is great.

You can sign up and pay at 


Sign up for the Pure UP Weekend- BMW Riders Weekend is open to all, there's no need to be a BMWRA member.  There will be a number of sidecars there.  The registration ends Monday, August 30 at 5PM central time.

Remember, registering is a two step process.  Go to  to register and pay for the event.  IF you're camping (which is free) you're done.  IF you plan to stay in the motel or condos go to to book lodging or call them at 800-346-3426  ext 1.  

 There are two lodging deals...

With the code "BIKE" you get a special room rate of $78 but only use "BIKE" if you just plan to stay just one night.
With the code "MOTO" you get the $78 room rate and if you stay two nights, you get the third night FREE.  That works out to $52/night.  I'm sure there are taxes on those rates but there's nothing to be done about that.  There are also some nice condos, one and two bedrooms with kitchens and living rooms AND HOT TUBS.  I don't have the rates on those but the stay two get the third free deal applies there as well. 

I hope you can make it.  If you have questions send me a note at or call 612-759-4666.  Remember, registration ends Monday, August 30 at 5PM central time.

If you stay around till the 9th the Cannooball Run 2021 starts Sept 9th in UP


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I just looked up the weather forecast for the Rider Weekend at Big Snow Resort.  The daily highs will be in the high 60's to low 70's under partly cloudy skies.  It should be ideal for riding in the daytime and you probably want to bring a sweater for evenings around the fire.

I also checked with the resort about shower facilities and WiFi.  There are locker room style shower facilities available 24 hours a day.  They are located off the recreation room (also open 24x7 and available for shelter if the weather turns sour).  There is WiFi in all of the buildings and it extends to some of the parking lot.  It doesn't make it out to the camp ground but you can come into the rec room anytime.

Remember, the deadline for registration is Monday, August 30, 2021 at 5PM Central Time.  If you have any question which with I can help send me an email at or call 612-759-4666.

Thanks for the weather report Al. It will be a much welcome change to what I had riding home from Miami this past week [lows in the mid-80s, highs in the mid-90s] with heavy rain / thunderboomers most days. Not fun, that. Looking forward to seeing you and TLMA next week.


2011 R1200GS + EML CT2001