Many days and many miles in Michigan…

We crossed the Mackinaw Bridge and entered Michigan on September 7th.  While crossing the bridge, we saw the 15th Annual Antique Tractor Parade with over 1300 tractors crossing the bridge.

On the 8th we rode in Avalanche Preserve and the Boyne School Forest in Bone city, MI.  Two nice areas.  We met two trail builders from TOMMBA (Top of Michigan Mtn Bike Assoc).  The club has their own mini ex and is buying another.  They explained that Michigan is just one big and dune– there are no rocks, not much duff and the trails are hard packed with few obstacles.

From there to Kathy and Mike’s lakeside cottage on Central Lake.  We met up with Ron and Joyce and all rode over 19 miles at Glacial Hills–fast and flowy.  On the 10th Butch and I headed to Arcadia Dunes and had another fast, flowy, 13 miles ride and spent the night in Newaygo with Ron and Joyce.   Today we put in another fast paced ride at the Merrell trails (yes, the shoe company) and Luton Park.   Merrell had some rocks and features that reminded us of home.  Tonight we spend that last night in Michigan–actually we are in a region known as Michiana (MI and Indiana)!

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One thought on “Many days and many miles in Michigan…

  1. Michigan is a pretty interesting place. There are bike paths and rail trails throughout the state, well advertised and marked. They connect cities, they go along water ways, and are usually paved or hard surfaced. There are also marked road bike ride routes that incorporate moderately safe routes for road riding. There are a lot of opportunities for mountain biking, especially from mid Michigan to the south. Sometimes a town forest or park may only have 7 or 8 miles of trails, but there may be another park in the same town with another set of trails. Because they don’t have steep terrain or many rocks, the trails are fairly easy riding. They are also easy to build. The singletrack we rode at Glacial Hills, Merrell and Arcardia Dunes created the maximum length of trails incorporating good design and a fairly high fun factor. For the most part, there were no technically difficult trails, some trails had man made rock piles to traverse for skill building. All in all, they offer a lot of biking opportunities for all kinds of riders. The soil and climate make it a great place for orchards, grapes and produce farms. We saw advertised Farmer’s Markets, but there were so many regular farm markets along the way, a farmer’s market seems unnecessary. Many of the lake towns we drove trough had renovated and tidy main streets and homes and reflected a quality of life that seems to have passed some of us by. We still have a few things on our list for Michigan—a ferry ride across Lake Michigan, Pontiac Lake State Park, Fort Custer—so we will have to come back for one more round.
    Another thing they have in Michigan—black squirrels, so weird!

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