Multi-Day Tours are in bold print
Dawn Farm Ride for Recovery
This ride is near and dear to me simply because that’s where I went to treatment when I was just a young buck. This is typically our first Metric Century of the season and with little elevation on the ride, high average speeds are a definite possibility on this one. It starts in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Boyne City, Mi USA
Boyne City isn’t a supported ride, as much as it is a bucket list climbing adventure. You can find routes on most major supported fitness trackers, especially for Garmin (with the 520 you can use turn-by-turn directions). For instance, on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/embed/routes?id=69517152&width=900&height=600
Search your app for “Michigan Mountain Mayhem” or “Lake Charlevoix” or “Boyne City, MI”, you’ll find dozens of routes measuring anywhere from 10 to 105 miles. Just be sure to bring your climbing bike. It’s hilly, baby. Bring your tent or camper and stay and Young State Park, it’s one of the more beautiful State Parks you’ll stay at in Michigan. It’s a fantastic trip. Also, if you need help, check out the bike store in Boyne City. They’ll likely help you find a route to suit you.
Three days, Thursday through Saturday, 90-105 miles each day (with shorter distances available) and an option for 27 miles on Wednesday and Sunday. Tent camping is available with plenty of off-site options (additional cost). The Northwest Tour is easily the most beautiful tour I’ve been lucky enough to ride. The ride sells out in roughly 30 minutes to an hour after it’s posted and my wife and I decided late in the game that we’d go so we camped off-site at Interlochen State Park and met a few of our friends on the road. Be prepared, there are no rest stops on this tour, you’re responsible for onboard food and stopping where available for lunch or to replenish your bidons. There are, however, there are more than enough spots to stop in for lunch. The Northwest Tour, at least doing the centuries, is not for the faint of heart. More information available here and here (or simply Google “Northwest Tour, MI). One thing is for certain with this ride: Be prepared for the hills. Each course, no matter the distance, is an incredible challenge. This is one of the hardest multi-day rides I’ve ever taken part in. Plan on more than 9,000 feet of climbing a day for the century routes but the road surfaces are stellar for Michigan. This has quickly become my favorite tour – it does help that I like climbing hills… A lot.
One Helluva Ride (Ride through Hell, MI)
This year’s ride through Hell is on the 9th of July, the second Saturday of July. Again, this ride has several distances but we always opt for the greatest… If you’re going to ride with friends, may as well get the biggest bang for your buck, right? One Helluva Ride is a hot one. Nice undulating roads, in decent condition for Michigan, none of the distances are all that tough as far as hills go, it’s just a nice, well supported ride. Plenty of rest stops and a great atmosphere. While this isn’t exactly a destination ride, I do drive about an hour and a half to do this one. More information is available here.
The Assenmacher starts out in my small hometown and typically has a great turnout of upwards of 600 cyclists. The terrain is relatively flat at only 3,500 feet of elevation gain and that makes for some very fast times. Get in with the right group (ours) and you can expect anywhere from a 22-24 mph average pace. The rest stops are well spaced and excellently stocked and for southeastern Michigan, the scenery is quite nice. The ride takes place mainly on back country roads so traffic is typically light and decent. This, the Horsey Hundred in Kentucky, DALMAC, and now the Northwest Tour are the only rides I won’t miss. Find more information here.
DALMAC: DALMAC is the premier Michigan multi-day tour, starting out in Lansing, MI and heading all the up way to Mackinaw City over four days. There are several routes available but we ride the Four Day West because it’s got the most elevation change and has more in the way of decent scenery… They call it the Quad Century, four days ranging in distance from 95-106 miles.