I have been reading here for some time. I guess it's time to introduce myself.
I live in Stevensville, Michigan. I have been a bike rider since childhood. One of my currently owned bikes is a 1976 Fuji Gran Tourer that I bought new and I still ride it once in a while. The bike I normally ride is 2001 Fuji Supreme. It is a hybrid, which is what I thought I needed for my aging body. Shortly after I bought it, I started riding quite a bit more than I expected to. Now I wish I had bought a true road bike with a less upright position and narrower tires. I put a different handlebar stem on it to lower the bars more. My average speed is about 2mph slower on this bike than it is on the '76, but twice the gears and better shifting makes the '01 a better choice for most rides.
I biked in your neck of the woods before. Camped at Warren Dunes State Park and they had a brochure from the bike club that does the annual Apple Cider Century in September/October. The different bike routes were marked on the cement so I stayed in the area and cycled. Racoons ripped the window on my tent to eat my baked chips. Camping neighbors heard them and chased them off during the daytime, but I had to sew the window on the first day of the new tent.
I used to live a few miles from Warren Dunes. I did the 50 mile rounte in the Apple Cider Century last year. That was my first ever organized ride. A week ago last Sunday I did a 50 mile ride for the American Cancer Society. This was the day after my wife and I walked in the Relay For Life. It was a hot weekend and the last 10 miles about killed me that day.
I just switched my bike from 700x35 tires to 700x28 today. I'm doing the One Helluva Ride near Ann Arbor this Saturday. I hope those tires make a difference for me. Wish me luck!
Actually, AABTS is my cycling club. I'll probably be working somewhere on the ride. I work midnights and am not sure if I will be awake, so my volunteer status is to show up and they will put me to work. I was threatened with cleaning the restrooms at the fairgrounds because I did not volunteer last year. If I find out where I'll be volunteering, I'll post the location. Which route are you planning on riding? BTW, many of us on bike forums used to ride mountain bikes in the 80's, quit, and then started riding again and the hybrid/comfort bike seemed so fast. But, then you need a road bike, (around 1000-1500) and then the next bike is in the 3000-5000 range or perhaps a tourer. It never stops.