This was a new one to me. My buddies said there's be a 'bent group, so I drove the roughly 200 miles and got a hotel room the night before. The good news was, it was a Holiday Inn Express, so I must be smarter today. The bad news, nobody else showed up except a velo and a streamliner. So I rode alone.
The ride started in Port Austin, MI, which is up near the tip of the thumb. I did the metric century option. The route went west along the Lake Huron shoreline to Caseville, and from there it went straight across the thumb to Port Hope, where it again followed (roughly) the shoreline back to Port Austin. The thumb area is mostly farmland. Beans and sugar beets are the main crops; and the fields were all covered with freshly-sprouted crops. Nothing to see here, folks! Did I mention that Michigan's thumb area tends to be F L A T??? The only hill I saw was a very short (maybe 150 feet of road) one at 14%. That was shockingly steep considering the lack of anything other than gentle undulations of less than 1% anywhere else.
The main problem was the wind. Out of the north, it was only at my back for part of the first 15 miles, and even then I was in trees most of the time. The relentless side wind felt like a headwind during the 30 miles across the emptiness of crossing the thumb, and I was gassed by the time I turned and got it straight in my face for the last stretch.
So, the plusses:
1. roads were in very good condition
2. flat, if you like speed
3. rest stops almost perfectly spaced at 15 miles each
1. open areas subject to wind
2. boring scenery
3. very poor markings
4. map was hard to read, too