Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

Navigation

The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour

One Cyclist’s Journey along the Shores of the Inland Seas

2017
Author:

Thomas Shevory

The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour

A chronicle of travels by bicycle around the Great Lakes, combining personal observations with reflections on the geology, ecology, history, and culture
of the region

Over the course of four summers, Thomas Shevory biked along the Great Lakes’ shores, absorbing the stories the lakes tell—of nature’s grandeur and decay, of economic might and squandered promise, of exploration, colonization, migration, and military adventure. This is Shevory’s account of his travels and explorations of the geological, environmental, historical, and cultural riches harbored by these great inland seas.

Thomas Shevory has provided the reader with a unique window on the Great Lakes—with an emphasis on GREAT! There are many ways to see and experience the lakes—by car, motorcycle, kayak, foot, boat, or bicycle—and to really know the lakes a person must try at least a couple of these options. In this book, Shevory puts you in his panniers and lets you experience periods of cold, head winds, and exhilarating hills and tail winds without having to face your own muscle cramps. The reflections on area histories provide a sense of place, and his encounters and challenges tie the adventure together so that the reader not only admires the rider, but also the landscape he travels through.

Mike Link and Kate Crowley, authors of Going Full Circle: A 1,555-mile Walk Around the Worlds Largest Lake

The Great Lakes are a remarkable repository of millions of years of complex geological transformations and of a considerably shorter, crowded span of human history. Over the course of four summers, Thomas Shevory rode a bicycle along their shores, taking in the stories the lakes tell—of nature’s grandeur and decay, of economic might and squandered promise, of exploration, colonization, migration, and military adventure. This book is Shevory’s account of his travels, shored up by his exploration of the geological, environmental, historical, and cultural riches harbored by North America’s great inland seas.

For Shevory, and his readers, his ride is an enlightening, unfailingly engaging course in the Great Lakes’ place in geological time and the nation’s history. Along the northern shore of Lake Huron, one encounters the scrubbed surfaces of the Canadian Shield, the oldest exposed rock in North America. Growing out of the crags of the Niagara Escarpment, which stretches from the western reaches of Lake Michigan to the spectacular waterfalls between Erie and Ontario, are the white cedars that are among the oldest trees east of the Mississippi. The lakes offer reminders of the fur trade that drew voyageurs to the interior, the disruption of Native American cultures, major battles of the War of 1812, the shipping and logging industries that built the Midwest, the natural splendors preserved and exploited, and the urban communities buoyed or buried by economic changes over time.

Throughout The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour, Shevory describes the engaging characters he encounters along the way and the surprising range of country and city landscapes, bustling and serene locales that he experiences, making us true companions on his ride.

The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour

Thomas Shevory is professor of politics at Ithaca College. He is author of Notorious HIV: The Media Spectacle of Nushawn Williams and Toxic Burn: The Grassroots Struggle against the WTI Incinerator, both published by the University of Minnesota Press.

The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour

Thomas Shevory has provided the reader with a unique window on the Great Lakes—with an emphasis on GREAT! There are many ways to see and experience the lakes—by car, motorcycle, kayak, foot, boat, or bicycle—and to really know the lakes a person must try at least a couple of these options. In this book, Shevory puts you in his panniers and lets you experience periods of cold, head winds, and exhilarating hills and tail winds without having to face your own muscle cramps. The reflections on area histories provide a sense of place, and his encounters and challenges tie the adventure together so that the reader not only admires the rider, but also the landscape he travels through.

Mike Link and Kate Crowley, authors of Going Full Circle: A 1,555-mile Walk Around the Worlds Largest Lake

The Great Lakes at Ten Miles an Hour

Contents
Introduction: An Unexpected Idea
Lake Huron
Lake Erie
Lake Michigan
Lake Superior
Lake Ontario
Conclusion: Future Prospects
Notes

Purchase

About E-books

Available in October 2017