Local cyclists heading for Mackinaw

PALM to pedal across Spring Lake on Sunday
Tribune Staff
Jun 21, 2013


Grand Haven’s Derek Rust is one of four riders who are currently pedaling from West Michigan to the Mackinac Bridge to raise funds for Freedom In Motion.

Freedom in Motion is a faith-based nonprofit organization that collects used and donated bikes, makes the needed repairs, and distributes them in communities throughout West Michigan.

The group left Rockford on Thursday and hope to reach the Mackinac Bridge later today. That’s 250 miles in two and a half days.

Anyone wishing to support this mission can visit freedominmotion.org


Today, an expected 830 cyclists from 27 states, Canada and the United Kingdom will converge upon Mona Shores Middle School to prepare for PALM — the Pedal Across Lower Michigan.

The ride begins on Sunday as they pedal from Mona Shores, through Spring Lake, on their way to Grandville Middle School.

The trip will take six days, and riders will camp at various schools along the rout.

After Grandville, cyclists will make stops in Lake Odessa, Dansville, Manchester, Petersburg and finally Luna Pier on Lake Erie next Friday.

The ride helps promote bicycling by demonstrating that people can cycle public roads safely. Because PALM goes coast-to-coast, it also strikes to show that biking can be a serious form of transportation.

PALM began in 1982, when Thomas Pendelton attended a conference for a similar type of event in Wisconsin. He realized the opportunity for a similar event in Michigan, and from 1989 to 1994, there were two PALM routes, one in the northern part of the state and one in the southern portion.

Now the ride alternates between northern and southern Michigan. The route goes through different small towns each year.



Maybe my next ride will be across the state, even though I am not a huge fan of the east side; having grown up there in the blah portion of the state.

I just got back yesterday from cycling from Thompsonville, to Frankfort, up around Leelanau Penninsula via Northport, down to TC, and up to Mackinaw City. I was averaging about 60 miles a day with lots of stops to take in the scenery. All self-supported carrying a Warbonnet camping hammock, water filter, and other gear I typically take hiking on the North Country Trail when I go on week long jaunts into the wilderness.

I wish more people would get into bike packing. On the Betsie Valley Trail, I did bump into a young couple currently on tour riding across the US. They started in Oregon, and were taking three weeks to tour around Michigan before continuing to NYC. It was fun chatting with them the 20 or so miles we rode together.

Here is my rig:

And one of the many trails I rode on:

Scenery is so much better on bike:



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