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  1. #1
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    Hilliest Rides in/near SE Michigan

    I'm in the Detroit area (actually nearer Ann Arbor) and looking for suggestions for road training routes with a little climbing involved. What's your favorite hilly ride within an hour or two auto drive from SE Michigan?

  2. #2
    Got Hills, I do! "Fred"'s Avatar
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    I live in boyne city and all we have is hills. I cant find a flat road to ride unless it follows a lake. Nothin huge 100 to 400 ft elevation changes.

    Check out a topo map any where in the north western lower you will find a lot of hills. find a spot that you want to visit and go ride the roads. To be safe you will have to wait for the snow to melt as we dont have shoulders this time of year and the roads stay snow covered.

    if you want to hit the boyne area I can show you some good hills in a few months.

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    The NW part of the lower penninsula is great for riding, and I manage to get there a few times a year. It's much harder to find climbing for my routine riding, here in southern MI. Last year, my season culminated with the Six Gap Century (over 10,000 ft elevation gain) in Georgia-which nearly killed me.
    I'll do it again this year, but hope to find some hills I can routinely train on over the summer.

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    climbing in michigan? AAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  5. #5
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David McLeod
    I'm in the Detroit area (actually nearer Ann Arbor) and looking for suggestions for road training routes with a little climbing involved. What's your favorite hilly ride within an hour or two auto drive from SE Michigan?
    The website for the Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society has a route posted, "The Hills of Ann Arbor." I haven't ridden it and don't have the ride "specs," but you should be able to find it on their website.

    Road Fan of Ann Arbor.

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    Being in Ann Arbor just head southwest on US12 about an hour in to Hillsdale county. The name says it all and its about as close as your going to get. It actually inspired alot of no-till farming practices that are used throughout the country today. But stick to the paved roads.

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    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcevans
    Being in Ann Arbor just head southwest on US12 about an hour in to Hillsdale county. The name says it all and its about as close as your going to get. It actually inspired alot of no-till farming practices that are used throughout the country today. But stick to the paved roads.
    Great idea! Can you recommend a specific route or at least a starting point?

    Road Fan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Road Fan View Post
    Great idea! Can you recommend a specific route or at least a starting point?

    Road Fan
    Hate to dig up an old topic, but I keep finding myself asking the same thing over the last few weeks, and Google led me here.

    Being a SE Michiganer, it sucks. There aren't any real hills. But, I've found a few places with very small elevation changes.
    In Howell, you have High Hillcrest Drive, about 175ft climb up to the site of an old sanitarium. A mile North of I96 on Kensington Road, you have a steep incline, about 200ft. In Kensington MetroPark, using a counter clockwise route on the main road, there are the hills up to the farm followed by a hill up the toboggan parking lot. Just north of downtown Ann Arbor on Sunset Road, there is a 180ft climb going West.
    I used google earth to measure the elevation changes.

    I think that is just about it. It's flat here.
    Anyone else knows of anything, post it. I'd love to ride it.

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    Get a cyclocross bike and find the book Dirt Road Washtenaw. Also there is a ride called the Dirt Hammer that leaves from Barton Pond if it is still going on. Finally look up the route for One Hellava Ride put on by the Ann arbor touring society. That's a great route. I ride from saline to Waterloo to Pinckney to Jackson to Brooklyn both on paved roads and dirt. If you have a mountain bike check out the Potowatami Trail at Pinckney Recreation Area. Finally there is a ride called Mountain Mayhem up in the Boyne Area, but it is already passed this year.

    I personally have a ride I love down in Ohio called the Columbus Fall Challenge. About 16k feet and 100 miles in two days. What's more there is a new ride this year called simply The Frank that does 10k in 100 miles on one day on my favorite stomping grounds around Malabar State Park and Loudonville.

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    Senior Member Zedoo's Avatar
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    Oakland County has some rolling hills. Lots of climbs and drops instead of one long climb. Stoney Creek Metropark has a Black Diamond Trail. I've heard Bloomer Park is worth a visit, but in that area I was always on the other side of the road, at Yates Cider Mill to buy cider and donuts. There is a River Bend Park on the Yates side, but that is probably flatter.

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    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Irish Hills, SE of Jackson along US 12... Brooklyn, Cambridge Junction, Wampler's Lake and so forth. It's not very far from Ann Arbor.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    The Cuyahoga Valley National Park located between Cleveland and Akron has many good climbs out of the valley that will exceed 400'. The roadways along the bottom and top of the valley connect the hills, and are very bike friendly. The small town of Peninsula is in the center of it all and has a bike shop, restaurants and train station that can be used for bike transport to either end of the park. The flatland riders have the stone dust Canal Towpath that follows the scenic river beyond the park boarders. Looking at Google Maps it is 175 miles from Ann Arbor.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  13. #13
    Road Runner DougG's Avatar
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    If you like hills, be sure to enter the Michigan Mountain Mayhem ride sometime. It's in that NW part of the lower peninsula that others have mentioned. The hills in that region are not particular high, but they're very steep and they keep coming one after the other. If you look at the cumulative elevation gain, I'm told it exceeds some of the better-known Colorado mountain pass rides!

  14. #14
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougG View Post
    If you like hills, be sure to enter the Michigan Mountain Mayhem ride sometime. It's in that NW part of the lower peninsula that others have mentioned. The hills in that region are not particular high, but they're very steep and they keep coming one after the other. If you look at the cumulative elevation gain, I'm told it exceeds some of the better-known Colorado mountain pass rides!
    For other routes that run far afield from SE Michigan, I'd suggest the Leelanaw Peninsula NW of Traverse City. I haven't measured any climbs, but I have had my butt kicked several summers in a row riding around there - hard stuff!

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    I'm a little late to the party but I'd say check out the gravel roads in NE Oakland county/ SE Lapeer. Not only for the hills but for the beautiful scenery. Lots of little lakes, farms, and horse country in Metamora. There a decent hills in Oxford (Drahner Rd has a killer hill)
    Lake Orion, Dryden, Metamora, Almont, Oakland twp, Rochester, just to name a few....

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    I'll have to check Drahner Rd out! Thanks!

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    I'm from the Royal Oak area, and maybe I'm just weak, but I find that Squirrel Road, and Beach Road in Auburn Hills are good climbs. Oakland University has a decen hill from the lower to upper fields as well, great for hill repeats. Willits Road in Birmingham, or making your way to Lone Pine through Cranbook, are fun. The best part is that you can link a few of these roads together through good surface streets.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Road Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmeiser View Post
    Get a cyclocross bike and find the book Dirt Road Washtenaw. Also there is a ride called the Dirt Hammer that leaves from Barton Pond if it is still going on. Finally look up the route for One Hellava Ride put on by the Ann arbor touring society. That's a great route. I ride from saline to Waterloo to Pinckney to Jackson to Brooklyn both on paved roads and dirt. If you have a mountain bike check out the Potowatami Trail at Pinckney Recreation Area. Finally there is a ride called Mountain Mayhem up in the Boyne Area, but it is already passed this year.

    I personally have a ride I love down in Ohio called the Columbus Fall Challenge. About 16k feet and 100 miles in two days. What's more there is a new ride this year called simply The Frank that does 10k in 100 miles on one day on my favorite stomping grounds around Malabar State Park and Loudonville.
    Your Saline route sounds great. I looked at it as (with liberties!) a loop Ann Arbor Old West Side - Saline - Brooklyn - Jackson - Stockbridge - Pinckney - Ann Arbor Old West Side, and it's about 109 miles. I'm familiar with a lot of it, but not with Brooklyn/Jackson/Stockbridge. Nice!

    Have you made detailed map, say on Map My Rde?

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