You could say Marlin Ledin is going for a nice ride.
Or you could say he's going for an ice ride.
He hopes to do both when he departs Washburn on Monday for a weeklong winter-camping bicycle trip on Lake Superior.
Ledin, 25, who lives in Washburn, will not only ride the big lake's ice to get where he's going. He'll also bring along sophisticated recording equipment to capture sounds the ice makes as it expands and contracts.
An experienced winter camper and serious bicyclist, Ledin doesn't consider his ride particularly risky.
"Other people seem to think it's crazy," Ledin said, "but to me it doesn't seem crazy at all. I think some of the things other people do are crazy."
Ledin, who worked for the Bayfield Bike Route bike shop last summer and has worked at other bicycle shops, has made shorter trips onto the Lake Superior ice. He has biked to Long Island and Madeline Island.
He rides a Surly, a beefy bicycle with big balloon tires made especially for winter biking. He plans to add studs to its rear tire for better traction while pulling an inflatable raft with 35 pounds of gear on this trip.
He'll have a sleeping bag ready for quick access, with heat packs and food inside it. Just in case. He'll carry a tent, some extra clothing, a shovel, cook kit, fuel, water and a week's worth of food. He also plans to boil Lake Superior water for cooking and drinking.
The ice is about 6 to 12 inches thick where there is ice, Ledin said. As of last week, the ice extended about 6 or 7 miles from Bayfield into the Apostle Islands.
"It's not as good as last year -- about half of what it was last year," he said. "I think it's kind of peaked out."
Earlier this winter, the ice had extended farther out among the islands, but that ice broke up and drifted away, said Neil Howk, assistant chief of interpretation and education at Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.
Howk said others have bicycled across ice among the Apostles in the past, when the ice was good.
"One winter about 15 years ago, we had really cold temperatures and not a lot of snow," he said. "There were several people who were doing retrofitting of their own mountain bikes, basically putting studs in the tires, and riding on the frozen surface of the lake. There were a couple of people who got to every one of the islands."