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  1. #1
    Bike Nerd Mr. Jim's Avatar
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    Michigan this summer

    I am planning a week to 10 days touring in michigan in late june or early july. My route and dates are flexible at this point. I am planning mostly camping and a "low cost" vacation. Anyone interested in joining up for all or part of the ride let me know here.
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  2. #2
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    I'll be riding around SW michigan every weekend this summer. I live in kzoo but plan to do some kind of stealth camping beach tour(s) from here to grand haven or muskegon.

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    always looking for a trip

    I am interested in doing a short tour....get in touch and let me in on some of your ideas....

  4. #4
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Have you considered the Michigander? This year roughly 600 of us are going from Big Rapids to Mackinaw July 15-21. The cost is about 300 dollars, and that covers food for dinner and breakfast at the shools we camp outside of, and the trucks that carry gear from one school to the next. Just bring extra cash for lunch on the road (and trail, its a road and trail ride). For more information, go to www.michigantrails.org, email them at michigander@michigantrails.org, or call them at 517 485 6022.

    Be forwarned, this ride is addictive. This will be my 5th year. Hope to see you there.
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  5. #5
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    I won't be able to tour with anybody this year, I just join in any thread about Michigan. I live in Lansing but spend 5 days a month in Traverse City. I think the Leelenau peninsula (NW of TC) is one of the great spots to ride in Michigan. They started the Tour de Leelenau last summer, with accompanying rides if you don't want to race. But I think that's later in the summer than what you're talking about. Have fun. Bicycling magazine once called Michigan "the best kept secret in cycling."


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  6. #6
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Having lived in Michigan for 20 years, I have to dissagree with bicycling magazine. Michigan is an often flat and mostly ugly place, especialy compared to out west. But if you have the misfortune of living here, there are some fun riding possibilities.
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  7. #7
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michigander
    Having lived in Michigan for 20 years, I have to dissagree with bicycling magazine. Michigan is an often flat and mostly ugly place, especialy compared to out west. But if you have the misfortune of living here, there are some fun riding possibilities.
    You're totally full of crap. Michigan is a beautiful state. The upper peninsula in particular is a world treasure. You cannot find beaches anywhere that are more beautiful than our beaches. We have shoreline on four great lakes and thousands of inland lakes, huge to tiny. When they run out of water out west they'll come crawling back to Michigan!


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  8. #8
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    I am a swimmer, but I find beaches ugly. Just sand and water. A good exception to that is the Kalifornia coast, because much of their beaches are backed by astoundingly beautiful mountains. We are in agreement about the UP to some extent, but I'll tell you what; I saw the Tequamenon Falls, and I've been all over the UP. Just the same, there is a little un-named trail in Marin county Kalifornia that follows a river down a mountain. I make sure to walk down every time I go there. That trail by itself beats the daylights out of any part of michigan.

    I am curious, what other parts of the country or perhps world have you been to Roody?
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  9. #9
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    Well, I have biked in Colorado and Arizonia and find them boring. I love to go the Smokey Mountains, my favorite. Out west, I get tired of only running rivers and rock. Everything is pretty for a while, but I need green. I have cycled in many states and on many rides. The Michigander I have not done. I ride a road bike and have heard horror stories about that ride. 500 people on a limestone or sand/dirt rail trail and all you get is dust. I have cycled on Dalmac and Shoreline West. This year I have did Bike Florida by Gainesville and St. Augustine. Last year it was in the panhandle. But again, the ocean gets boring, and the Florida scrub gets boring. Personally I like Michigan, You may want to try Shoreline West or Dalmac. The rides can be from 40-80-100 miles per day. Some go inland, but most of them hit the hills in the northwest part of the state--I find the short steep hills (Ever been to Frankfort) much harder than a mountain pass that is 3-7% for 20 miles. Now that is boring, one switchback after another, and it just feels like you have a flat tire. In Michigan, you know when you hit that 1/2 mile at 8-10%, that you will struggle, and then come down and then go up. At the end of the day your legs are sore because you did not pace yourself like you would on a mountain. The mountains of Arizonia are very boring after the 2nd or 3rd day. But I still like to ride at least one week in Wyoming/Arizonia/Colorado/New Mexico or California. I have done many week-long supported bike tours in Indiania, Ohio, Virginia, N. Carolina, Iowa, Arizonia, Colorado and have also cycled in Georgia, Califorinia, W. Virginia and S. Carolina. Been there and done that. Most places are beautiful for a short period, then I want to come home.

  10. #10
    Senior Member MichiganMike's Avatar
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    Michigan

    For the past three years I have done a little one week tour in Michigan. I live in St. Joe and for two years rode up to Mackinaw using the maps from the LMB. They sell the old ones for around $10 or $11. I stay in motels along the way so the camping thing I would know nothing about. Last year I went around the southern end of Lake Michigan, through Chicago and Milwaukee to Manitowoc. From there the ferry to Ludington, then back down to St. Joe. Very nice ride. This year, up to Ludington, across to Manitowoc, then the UP to Mackinaw City, down to Traverse City. From there I'll probably rent a car and drive back to St. Joe. Really looking forward to it. All the rides though have been great. MI is indeed pretty to ride through. I also lived in Denver, but enjoy the biking here much more. Just a matter of taste I guess. I'd really recommned something up the coastline.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outashape
    Well, I have biked in Colorado and Arizonia and find them boring. I love to go the Smokey Mountains, my favorite. Out west, I get tired of only running rivers and rock. Everything is pretty for a while, but I need green. The Michigander I have not done. I ride a road bike and have heard horror stories about that ride. 500 people on a limestone or sand/dirt rail trail and all you get is dust.
    You bring up a couple good points. There are these jerks think that they should "lead the pack" and hold up 50 people on these trails. As you said, dust gets everywhere, and people are miserable. Also, loose sand slows everybody down. I am the only one I know of that uses downhilling tires on that ride, so I easily handle sand while all sorts of buffoons get in my way. Last year on the worst day like that my brother and I left very early and were among the first 20 people to arrive that evening. Its a good idea to leave early and haul ass on any day of long riding on unimproved rail trails.

    On the subject of out west being to dry, thats why I go to The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia in the winter. Everything is green.

    By the way, are the people who told you these horror stories among the 50% or so yearly washouts?
    Last edited by Michigander; 04-19-06 at 08:18 PM.
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  12. #12
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    I think most, if not all, geographic regions have their advantages and disadvantages. I've lived in California, ridden the Atlantic coast of Florida, ridden most areas of Michigan, upper and lower peninsulas, and spots here and there along the entire I-75 corridor. Like outashape, I ride a road bike, but will probably hit the trails one day soon on a hardtail. Just no place local to the metro Detroit area that I would consider to be worthy of making that change. Out west, or down in the Smoky Mt area would be a different story.

    One of my favorite rides is the Horsey Hundred in Kentucky - particulary the century route. The first half takes you into the backcountry, big hills (did someone say Frankfort??), but questionable road quality. The second half takes you through some of the most beautiful horse farms you could imagine, gently rolling hills, and considerably better road quality. DALMAC still is my favorite multi day tour, though having done that 5 times already I am ready for something new. Spent several days last week scouting the Blue Rdige Parkway and the Natchez Trace Parkway, and drove the Smoky Mountain Parkway from Gatlinberg TN to Cherokee, NC. Looking to ride the Natchez maybe next year or the year after, Blue Ridge MAYBE a year or two after that.

    Half the fun is planning the ride..... and swapping stories afterwards.

    All in all..... Michigan has a lot of variety to offer. It is true that there are prettier and more interesting areas to ride scattered across the country - but don't discount what we have right in our own backyard.

  13. #13
    xyz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody
    You're totally full of crap. Michigan is a beautiful state. The upper peninsula in particular is a world treasure. You cannot find beaches anywhere that are more beautiful than our beaches. We have shoreline on four great lakes and thousands of inland lakes, huge to tiny. When they run out of water out west they'll come crawling back to Michigan!
    Ever rode in the Rose Lake area(north of Haslett)? Semi-hilly around this area as well as woody and full of deer, turkeys, rabbits, turtles, geese, cranes, herons, coons(dead ones on the road anyway), buzzards, etc...
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  14. #14
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Whatever state I'm in is my favorite!
    Have ridden in 30+ states and all have something good to offer. Yes, have ridden MI, both lower and UP.
    Other favorites are MD, UT, AZ, OR, WA, WI, NM and MN.

  15. #15
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    Kinda off topic, are there any good trails up in Mid Michigan? Im in SE MI for the summer, but I go to CMU for school. I also have a cabin in Harrison. If there are any good trail rides near those two places, please let me know.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    If you want rail trails, go to www.railtrails.org If you want mtb trails, I can't help you.
    Bring back the Sig Test!


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  17. #17
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    thanks man! I found a few through that site, that I plan on going to check out in a weeke or 2

  18. #18
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    Fred Meijer Trail

    They will be paving the trail from Edmore to McBride this spring. As of right now you have a great paved trail from McBride to Greenville with stops along the way for Beer & Burgers if ya like. It's my favorite ride.

  19. #19
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    mr jim -

    i stopped in my local bike shop yesterday and i picked up the feb issue of michigan sports and fitness. its a free street rag. the feb issue is their annual event “all sports” guide for “all” of michigan. its a pretty comprehensive compilation of all things athletic. pages 18 through 26 are devoted to biking clubs and events around the state throughout the year. unfortunately i don't see a web site listed but maybe if you contact the editor she'll mail you a copy.

    Peggy@outdoorathlete.com

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  20. #20
    Senior Member Denny Koll's Avatar
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    Ugly Michigan? I grew up on the West side of the state on the shores of Lake Michigan. Dunes and beaches there are beautiful. The ride up Lakeshore Drive from Grand Haven to Holland is very scenic and nice.

    The East side of the State can be ugly. I live in Saginaw and I would guess that's the type of area the poster was thinking about. Still you can find some beatiful trails. Pere Marquette in Midland is a nice 60 mile ride.

  21. #21
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edgar_rhode
    mr jim -

    i stopped in my local bike shop yesterday and i picked up the feb issue of michigan sports and fitness. its a free street rag. the feb issue is their annual event “all sports” guide for “all” of michigan. its a pretty comprehensive compilation of all things athletic. pages 18 through 26 are devoted to biking clubs and events around the state throughout the year. unfortunately i don't see a web site listed but maybe if you contact the editor she'll mail you a copy.

    Peggy@outdoorathlete.com

    good luck
    .
    I think that most LBSs carry this little magazine too.


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  22. #22
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Denny Koll
    Ugly Michigan? I grew up on the West side of the state on the shores of Lake Michigan. Dunes and beaches there are beautiful. The ride up Lakeshore Drive from Grand Haven to Holland is very scenic and nice.

    The East side of the State can be ugly. I live in Saginaw and I would guess that's the type of area the poster was thinking about. Still you can find some beatiful trails. Pere Marquette in Midland is a nice 60 mile ride
    .
    The beaches on Lake Huron are as nice as the ones on Lake Michigan, and often less crowded. Try the northern coast of the thumb, around Grindstone City, or the whole area around Tawas City and north from there. Frankenmuth, near Saginaw is the top tourist attraction in Michigan (although I don't care for it myself).

    Now that the state is moving away from manufacturing, we need to spiff up all the areas to make them worth visitin and living in. Michigan is one of the most beautiful states, underneath the rust and smog.


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  23. #23
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    your near lansing?

    xyz. the wife and i live near laingsburg and am new to cycling would love to hear some ideas. let me know. Peabob

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