Lake Erie Loop motorcycle tour

Lapping the Shores of Lake Erie


| March/April 2008



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Photos By Richard Bearman

For some people, the phrase “Lake Erie Loop” elicits memories of the dramatic August 2003 power shortage that was blamed on a complicated electrical power grid in the general vicinity of Lake Erie.

But for Bill Murar and his wife, Joyce — and a small but growing number of motorcycle enthusiasts — the Lake Erie Loop is something else entirely. For them, The Loop is an annual 650-mile race around the circumference of Lake Erie.

More rally than race, it’s still as much of a race as you can have on public roads with machines sporting sub-225cc engines. And the competing bikes’ relative lack of power is the only thing this Loop has in common with its power shortage namesake, helping to keep things sane as “Loopers” ride from the Clare-Mar Lakes Campground in New London, Ohio, through Michigan, across the border into Canada, back into New York, Pennsylvania and hopefully back to Clare-Mar Lakes the same day. There, they’ll sit around the campfire for a grand bench racing session following a spectacular adventure.

First Loop
The idea for the Lake Erie Loop came from founder Bill Murar’s 2003 “Four Corners” fund-raising adventure.

A career firefighter and paramedic, Bill has a passion for helping pediatric burn victims. Some years back, he combined that with his passion for diminutive, vintage motorcycles and organized a ride that would be completed, in theory, aboard his 106SS Sears Allstate to raise money for pediatric burn victims. His wife, Joyce, a registered nurse, agreed to follow along driving the support vehicle.

Bill’s ride was truly epic in its scope, as he battled one mechanical failure after another during the ride and suffered the loss of his father, Bill Sr. And yet, 12,000 miles and three motorcycles later, the couple finished what they started.





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