Saturday, July 18, 2009

800 Bicyclists Cross Michigan

2004 PALM bike ride
2004 PALM bike ride (photo by Ellie Knesper )
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Several Grand Haven residents joined 600 other Michiganians and 200 additional riders for the 28th PALM bicycle ride. PALM means Pedaling Across Lower Michigan, and the route takes scenic paved backroads for 253 miles from the west side of the state to the east.

Tammy Beswick and her daughter Mallory, age 13, participated this year. Most people choose the 30-50 mile days plan which lends itself to family participation. For those who wish to ride longer days an itinerary with 100-mile days was also offered. The event was held June 20-26.

The ride is organized by the League of Michigan Bicyclists so that the groups end each night at pre-arranged mass campsites at schools. There riders are allowed showers, and usually provided with some local entertainment.

Beswick and her daughter completed the ride, which was challenging in several aspects. The temperature rose to 103 degrees on one of the days. "It seemed like the motto on any given day was 'Just keep on pedaling,'" Beswick said with a chuckle. "It was dreadfully hot."

PALM organizers say that in any given year about a third of the riders are new to the event. Participants ranged from children to seniors.

See Beswicks Bike Across Michigan, from the Grand Haven Press
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