OVERVIEW: This tour of the northern part of Michigan''s lower peninsula encompasses some of the state''s most beautiful scenery and best cycling. It is a repeat of the September 2011 Lake Michigan Ramble tour led by Vickie Smith.
Meet in Mackinaw City, MI on the morning of Thursday, September 5, 2013: bicycles, riders, and luggage will be transported to Ludington, MI, where we will start biking on Friday, September 6.
The trip concludes with two overnights on Mackinac Island, (Sept. 16 &17), returning to Mackinaw City on the mainland on September 18 after breakfast.
RIDE DESCRIPTION: The route will take us through wooded areas, past orchards and inland lakes,the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes National Lakeshore, Grand Traverse Bay, and along the shoreline of Lakes Michigan and Huron. Note that while the roads in this area are lightly traveled, this is a popular vacation area. Roads can be somewhat busy, especially on weekends. We will start in Ludington and follow the shore of Lake Michigan as closely as possible. Highlights include Mission Point in Grand Traverse Bay, the Tunnel of Trees along Lake Michigan, the funky Leg''s Inn restaurant in Cross Village, a stay at Stafford''s Bayview Inn in Petoskey, the Mushroom Houses of Charlevoix, magnificent 1890''s summer “cottages” in Harbor Springs, the Mackinac Straits Bridge, historic (and car free) Mackinac Island, beautiful Lake Michigan beaches and sand dunes, numerous lighthouses, lovely resort villages and towns, and local wineries.
RIDE RATING: The terrain in this part of Michigan is mostly rolling, although it runs the gamut from flat to hilly. Most days will be 35-50 miles, with one short day, and four days slightly longer, the longest being 63 miles. The average elevation gain per day is 2200 feet with 3 days slightly over 2500 feet. There are 9 required days of riding. Tour riders will receive an area cycling map showing preferred biking routes so they can ride longer (and hillier) options if they wish. On several days shortcuts will be available.
OVERNIGHTS: Overnight stops will be at Ludington, Portage Point, Frankfort, Glen Arbor, Leland, Traverse City (2 nights), Bellaire, Charlevoix, Petoskey (2 nights) and finishing with a 20 minute ferry ride to Mackinac Island (2 nights).
LOGISTICS: Arrangements will be made to leave private vehicles and bicycle boxes in Mackinaw City for the duration of the tour. The nearest airport to Mackinaw City is Pellston (airport code PLN).
COST: Estimated cost of the trip is $1,985 and includes 13 nights lodging, 4 group dinners, 9 breakfasts, social hours, van and bus rental, ferry ride to Mackinac Island, $50 BAC fee; and organizational expenses. Estimated hotel costs are based on double occupancy. Singles are welcome, as we will assist in finding roommates.
CANCELLATION POLICY: If you cancel and your space can be filled, you will be refunded your deposit minus the $50 BAC club fee. If your space cannot be filled, the amount of your refund (if any) will depend upon how much of your deposit can be recovered. Cancellation will not result in an increase cost to remaining participants.
ADMINISTRATION: Members with questions may contact the Ride Director by clicking the name at the top of the page. A deposit of $585 is required upon acceptance. A second installment of $700.00 will be due May 15, 2013. and the final installment, $700.00, due July 1, 2013. To register, use the signup link below. You will be contacted by the ride director who will tell you more about the ride. Upon acceptance to the ride, the director will tell you where to send your deposit (which includes the non-refundable BAC $50 registration fee) along with signed ride application and waiver forms (found on the BAC web site under “more”). When these have been received, your name will be moved from the “wait “ list to the “participants” list. All participants must have access to e-mail for communication of ride information.