Google Maps says you can make it from Lansing, Michigan to Mackinaw City in 242 miles and with the right crew and a decent tailwind we could make that trip in less than 13 hours of ride time, maybe even twelve.
Instead, the Tri-county Bicycle Association stretches that out to between 365 and 385 miles over four days (there is an option to do 400+ and shorter routes as well). And we have more fun than a group of adults would have if they were 14 and carefree again… only with means.
This year, we rode faster every day. Thursday was a chilly 104-1/2 miles @ 18.8-mph. Friday was harder and hilly, but faster. 99.7 miles @ 19.5-mph with a little tailwind. Saturday was a barn burner, 101.7 miles @ 20.2-mph… we had a nice tailwind but spent the last two hours getting drenched. At least it was easy to stay hydrated… just get behind a fellow rider and open wide. There was enough roostertail refreshment for an army. If it was a little gritty.
We opted for our own alternate route this year for day four. This year I set it up so my wife, who SAG’s selflessly for me and the gang, to ride the best, most beautiful 30-mile section of the entire ride with us. She parked the truck with our pop-up at a local State park with a friend’s wife and the ladies joined us for the ride through Harbor Springs and down the tunnel of trees along 119.
The ride was a “bucket list” ride almost since I started cycling and after having done it four times now, I can’t imagine it ever getting old. So, rather than complete the ride up to Mackinaw City this year, we turned around after lunch and rode home on the lower route back to Harbor Springs and then to the park again. With 61 miles in, that was the end of our DALMAC. My wife and I, and Matt took a cold dip in Lake Michigan, changed, and headed for home.
There were a lot of enjoyable miles ridden over the long weekend but the best part of the trip, as has always been the case, was sharing the experience with my wife and friends. It was testy at times between some in the group, but in the end we capped our days off with fist bumps and laughs.
The weekend was as good as it gets.