Triathlon matches, cycling escapades and old fashion leisure family biking join forces to make this sporting activity accessible to all enthusiasts.
Join the 2011 West Shoreline Tour, August 6-15, for the 25th year of exploring Lake Michigan’s coastline. Choose from three to seven day ride options from Spring Lake to the Mackinac Bridge. There’s plenty to see on top of your two-wheeler, from historic lighthouses, orchards, farms and a stop at the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes.
Up to 2,000 racers are expected for the 12th annual Ore to Shore Mountain Bike Epic in Marquette on August 13. It’s Michigan’s largest mass start point-to-point race with five races that range from the Littlest Rock 50-yard race to the 48-mile Hard Rock race.
It’s not an Iron Man or Woman event but you can test your mettle at the August 27 Coldwater Mini Triathlon, where men and women can compete by swimming 300 yards, biking six miles and running three miles to the finish line.
Enjoy the colors of autumn at the annual Copper Harbor Fat Tire Festival on September 4 for a full day of mountain bike racing – choose either a 12 or 20 mile race. Event organizers have awards, refreshments and live music on tap.
Trails and Parks for Family Fun
Most parks have 4-6 mile trails for leisure riding. The 34-mile Kal-Haven Trail State Park, between Kalamazoo and South Haven, is one of five linear state parks, four of them are former rail corridors. These paths are ideal for a leisurely ride through wooded areas, farm lands and small towns.
The Betsie Valley Trailis 22.3 miles long and extends from Frankfort through Elberta and Beulah to Thompsonville in Benzie County. From Frankfort to Beulah it is non-motorized. All of it is excellent for bicycles.
The entire family can enjoy a day at the scenic 4,461 acre Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township with hilly terrain and the beautiful 500-acre Stony Creek Lake. Ride a paved 6.2 mile Hike-Bike trail. Pack a picnic meal, visit the Nature Center, take a swim or try out the disc (Frisbee) golf course.
Deerfield Nature Park in Mount Pleasant offers a 591-acre forest and river setting. Canoe or hike to your rustic campsite with eight miles of biking and hiking. Fish the scenic Chippewa River, which runs through or just relax and enjoy the wildlife. Features include a sandy swimming beach, picnicking, two swinging bridges, two canoe landings and Fisher’s Covered Bridge.
For more Michigan biking news, contact the League of Michigan Bicyclists, the Michigan Mountain Biking Association, or the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.