Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers- “Enter the Pampered Zone”

12 06 2014

If you don’t have your own tent, Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers is the way to go! “Enter the Pampered Zone” and Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers will take ALL of the work out of setting up camp for the night!

Kick up your feet after a long day of riding in his comfortable chairs in the “Pamper Zone”. Bubba and his team will take care of your bags every morning and night, and set up and take down the tent he provides throughout the ride. A fresh towel each day will greet you at your tent, along with snacks and ice cold beverages.

What’s included in his pampering?
– Top quality tent with daily set-up and take-down
– Air mattress
– Fresh bath towel and wash cloth every day
– Baggage transportation
– “The PAMPERED Zone”
– Cold drinks and snacks after riding
– Deluxe camp chair
– Cell phone charging
– Bicycle floor pump
– Bicycle work stand
– Lots of laughs
– Bubba!

Courtesy of: Bubba's Pampered Pedalers

Courtesy of: Bubba’s Pampered Pedalers

Bubba and his team do everything for you but pedal your bike, and his charisma will keep you entertained throughout the week. Check out Bubba’s services for your awesome #Michigander14 experience!

Leland- 2014 Michigander City Spotlight

16 04 2014

Cushioned between Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, Leland is a striking village located north and west of Traverse City. The charming community is home to unique shops, restaurants, the Leland Marina and historic Fishtown.

Seagulls on the shores of Lake Michigan.  Source: http://www.lelandmi.com

Seagulls on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Source: http://www.lelandmi.com

Northern Michigan is notorious for its roots in commercial fishing and wildlife. Leland’s Fishtown is rich in the maritime history in Michigan. Fishing shanties, smokehouses, docks, fish tugs and charter boats line the Leland River and were once the heart of commercial fishing in the Great Lakes. The shanties of Fishtown date back to the early 1900s when settlers came to Leland. Prior to their arrival, the Native Americans fished the bountiful waters to sustain their livelihood. The shanties are fruitful with unique shops and exemplify a story of endurance, after surviving more than 150 bitter, windy winters in the north.

The Fishtown Marina.  Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/

The Fishtown Marina.
Source: http://www.bonappetit.com/

Riders of the 23rd Annual Michigander can walk the streets and docks of Fishtown and visit the quaint boutiques, galleries and unique eateries. Sugar-sand beaches can be found on both Lake Michigan and Lake Leelanau, where Michigander riders can cool off in the lake or just soak in the scenic views.

The Leelanau Historic Society Museum allows visitors to explore the diverse cultures of the Leelanau Peninsula and the surrounding areas.

Who’s ready to visit Leland? Share your favorite characteristic about the village below!

First Stop on the Michigander: Reed City!

9 04 2014

Reed City, population 3,000, embodies a Michigan small town. Once known as “Michigan’s crossroads” because of the intersection of Michigan’s main North/South and East/West railroads, Reed City is full of history and natural beauty. Reed City is now a “Michigan Trail Crossroads” for two intersecting trails, the White Pine and the Pere Marquette Trails, that show off its vibrant scenery. The fully restored historic railroad depot at the crossroads depicts the history of this town that grew up along these tracks.

The Reed City Depot is located next to the Pere Marquette Trail, just north of the trailhead parking lot.                                                                                    Source: Eye on Michigan http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/reedcity/photos.php

In 1975, Yoplait Yogurt came to the United States, rolling right into Reed City where the plant is still located downtown. Michigander bicyclists will get the opportunity to see the picturesque downtown, pedal along Reed City’s trails, sample the White Pine Trail’s covered bridge over the River, and appreciate plentiful parks.

The intersection of the Pere Marquette Trail and Fred Meijer Pine Trail in Reed City.  Source: Eye on Michigan http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/reedcity/photos.php

The intersection of the Pere Marquette Trail and Fred Meijer Pine Trail in Reed City.
Source: Eye on Michigan http://www.eyeonmichigan.com/guides/reedcity/photos.php

Blessing of the Blossoms: 2014 Michigander Spotlight

2 04 2014

Did you know that Michigan produces 70-75 percent of the tart cherries grown in the United States? With 3.8 million tart cherry trees, the sandy soil on the shores of Lake Michigan allows for cherry production to thrive in Northern Michigan. Dubbed “The Cherry Capital of the World”, Traverse City harvests both tart and sweet cherries, which are used for pies, preserves, jellies, juice, dried fruit and other products.

Cherry production began with missionary Peter Dougherty in the mid-1800s, when he planted cherry trees on Old Mission Peninsula near Traverse City. Cherry orchards soon prospered and by the 1900s, processing factories were built to outsource cherries to Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee. In 1998, 228.5 million pounds of Michigan tart cherries went to processors to be sold throughout the United States!

ImageSource: Traverse City True North Blog 

In 1924, a spring celebration titled Blessing of the Blossoms first celebrated the region’s love for cherries. As the years have passed, the festival became the National Cherry Festival, held every July in Traverse City.

The countryside of Northern Michigan is sprinkled with cherry stands, markets and orchards for locals and visitors to satisfy their cherry cravings. Bursting with flavor, cherries are a favorite of local eateries in Traverse City. Cherry pies offer up a little sweet and a little tart with each bite, while dried cherries put a tasty twist on salads, baked goods, and even dishes featuring chicken and pork. A Leelanau County butcher put a healthy twist on the traditional beef burger, creating a hamburger/cherry mix that is a local favorite.

The 23rd annual Michigander route takes riders through Traverse City and the TART Trail. The cherry season will be in full swing—you won’t want to miss it!

Do you love cherries? Sound off below with your favorite cherry recipe!

The Legend of the Sleeping Bear Dunes- 2014 Michigander Spotlight

21 03 2014

The Legend of Sleeping Bear Dunes has captivated children and adults alike for hundreds of years. According to the National Park Service, legend has it that “Long ago, along the Wisconsin shoreline, a mother bear and her two cubs were driven into Lake Michigan by a raging forest fire. The bears swam for many hours, but eventually the cubs tired and lagged behind. Mother Bear reached the shore and climbed to the top of a high bluff to watch and wait for her cubs. Too tired to continue, the cubs drowned within sight of the shore. The Great Spirit Manitou created two islands to mark the spot where the cubs disappeared and then created a solitary dune to represent the faithful mother bear.”

The Sleeping Bear Point Trail
Source: The National Park Service. http://www.nps.gov

Experience the Dunes firsthand during the 2014 Michigander. The Michigander will take riders along the newly- built Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, which spans 27 miles. The trail is paved, wheel-chair accessible and travels 4.25 miles from the Dune Climb to the village of Glen Arbor. A hike up the Dune Climb is a main attraction for kids (and adults!) to climb up and run down the dunes, which overlooks Glen Lake.  Modern restrooms and a bookstore are at the base of the Dune Climb, and riders can climb back up the dune to cool off in Lake Michigan or have a picnic at the bottom of the dunes.

Areas surrounding the Dunes are rich in not only history, but with shops, eateries, galleries, music and wine. One-of-a-kind shops in Leelanau County offer a unique and enjoyable experience, and visitors are greeted with a warm welcome from the local businesses.  If you grab a bite to eat, you can enjoy a dining experience on the waterfront  or outdoor dining to enjoy the scenic views of Leelanau County.

We’ll see you at the Dunes July 12-18 for the 2014 Michigander True North Bicycle Tour!

Have you been to the Sleeping Bear Dunes? Share your favorite memory about the Dunes below!

What a Great Day For a Bike Ride: A Look Back at the 2013 Michigander

22 07 2013
image (8)

Finish Line in Harbor Springs!

Biking nearly 300 miles, surviving heat and rain, and finally crossing the finish line, the 2013 Michigander is now complete. On Wednesday and Thursday, bikers stayed in Mackinaw City where they were able to go on a trail ride around Mackinaw City or venture to the beautiful and timeless Mackinac Island. Thursday morning dawned wet and cloudy, showering riders with a few thunderstorms before clearing up until nightfall when clouds rolled in again. Friday morning, cyclists packed up and prepared to ride back to Harbor Springs where they began their journey six days prior, some getting caught in the rain. The rain stopped around noon, clearing to reveal blue-skies and sunshine. Can you believe it’s already over?


Mackinaw CIty Recreation Center welcomes Michigander riders

I have had one of the most unique experiences anyone could ask for as an intern. All week I ran around juggling multiple tasks—and literally things in my hand— in order to set up at each stop and help out with other various tasks. I have seen a handful of Michigan’s beautiful northern cities that I remember traveling to with my family when I was younger and played the role of a tourist when I could. It was a fantastic experience, and I met so many interesting people and could not have asked for anything more.

Mackinac Bridge

Mackinac Bridge

In the next few weeks, look for an e-mail from us asking for your feedback on what you thought of this year’s Michigander. Also, we will be setting up a Flickr will all the photos taken throughout the week for you to peruse at your leisure and download any that you would like so you can enjoy and remember how much fun you had traveling Michigan’s northern trails.

As always, be sure to follow Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance through our various social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

The Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance would again like to thank all of our sponsors, including Meijer and Clif Bar, as well as anyone who helped make the Michigander possible including staff, volunteers, and our bikers! We hope you had a wonderful time and we hope to see you next year!image (9)

Greetings from Mackinaw City!

17 07 2013
A Michigander rider fills up during the Hawaiian SAG stop.

A Michigander rider fills up during the Hawaiian SAG stop.

Today was a hot one! Temperatures on the trail reached up to ninety, but there was a nice breeze the entire way up the North Central State Trail as bicyclists left Indian River and headed to Mackinaw City. Blue skies and sunshine led the entire way, but a storm appears to be rolling in from the north and moving east.

In Topinabee this morning. riders stopped at our final SAG stop; today was Hawaiian themed complete with flamingos, palm trees, grass skirts, and coconut bras. In Mackinaw

Riders during the Hawaiian SAG stop in Topinabee.

Riders during the Hawaiian SAG stop in Topinabee.

City, there was a chance to cool down in the Mackinaw City Recreation Center (aka the ice arena!). Tomorrow riders will have the chance to either bike a mini-trail around Mackinaw City or travel by ferry to Mackinac Island with or without their bicycle. Gorgeous views of the Mackinac Bridge can be seen by only traveling about a block north of the Recreation Center where riders can walk along Historic Colonial Michilimackinac boardwalk and visit the historical fort.

IMG_1546It’s a great week to be a Michigander! Riders are loving their time and enjoying the SAG stops. We also had a wedding between two Michiganders; Fred Purol and Kelly Poppe tied the knot on Mackinac Island at the Harbor View Inn. Congratulations Fred and Kelly!

Hopefully the rain will hold off until Friday; veteran riders who have seen the goods and the bads have commented that this

A beautiful view of the Mackinac Bridge!

A beautiful view of the Mackinac Bridge!

weather is the best they’ve seen in years. Although it is a little hot, they’re making sure to stay hydrated and take the right steps to prevent heat exhaustion and dehydration. Keep up the good work, riders! You’re almost done!

From the tip of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, Happy Trails!