The Chainlink

Hey Chainlink,

I'm wondering if anyone has done any riding around the Traverse City area and has suggestions for routes?

I know there are a lot of scenic roads especially around that area, but not sure if there are specific routes that are more bike-friendly than others? Or any that might include some gravel/dirt roads that I could ride on a CX bike? Hoping to come up with a few options for 30-60 mile rides.

Thanks!

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We used the Traverse City Bike-n-Ride shuttle to Sleeping Bear, winding our way back through the National Lakeshore, Glen Arbor, Leland and Traverse City on a great ride last fall. The shuttle is literally a retired school bus, outfitted with dozens of Saris racks. Check it out:

https://www.bata.net/maps-schedules/seasonal/bike-n-ride.html

http://sleepingbeartrail.org/batas-bike-n-ride-expands-to-the-sbht/

This looks awesome, thanks!

I was debating if I could use Uber/Lyft to do a one-way ride bike back to TC, but this looks like a perfect solution for that and only $3, what a great find.

Here's what I've been doing for the past year to find loops to ride in a place I've never been before.

www.ridewithgps.com

  • Upper left of splash page, click FIND
    Left side of page, enter # of miles from (insert city here), add a Keyword (gravel/loop/brewery/etc.), there are additional sliders to select a range of total mileage, checkboxes for rides with cue sheets uploaded, etc.
    The results will list on the right side.
  • Once you find a ride that fits your criteria, click on it to see more detail including elevation profile and any additional info the author may have provided.
  • For navigation purposes, the easiest option is to pay a monthly fee for ridewithgps.com and just hit "send to device." If you're like me and reluctant to pay the monthly fee (and don't own a GPS head unit), there is a method for getting the map on your phone for free, which will show up in "your places/maps" in Google maps. Details here:

https://www.thechainlink.org/forum/topics/current-state-of-gps-unit...

  • I just tested my linked instructions with a selection from <50miles from Traverse City, and it still works for me.
    Screen shots added of what you'll see on ridewithgps.com and then once it's imported into Google maps.
    When you're on the ride itself, the outline of the ride will show in red and you will see your location via the little blue dot.

FYI, www.ridewithgps.com lists 58 rides including gravel within 25 miles of Traverse City, like this one...

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/3059908

Ok... back to work.

Oh boy, how exciting!  My absolute favorite route starts/ends in Traverse City.  I grew up near there and have been biking in the area for ages.

This route is about 40 miles. Some gentle hills through the vineyards.  Great views of both East and West Bay.  A lunch stop at the Old Mission General Store (with pretty good sandwiches), some history at the lighthouse, and many parks along the way for quick stops. Most roads are very lightly travelled by cars, though Central is the main route on/off the peninsula.  It has a pretty good shoulder to ride on, though.  Here's a route map.

If you'd rather stick to paved off-street trails, check out the TART. It starts a bit east of TC in Acme.  There's a small gravel parking lot at the eastern trail head.  You can also get the trail at many other points throughout the city, including just behind the state park.  It runs all the way up to Suttons Bay as the Leelanau Trail.  I'd say it's about 50 miles round trip. No hills to speak of. Back in the day, the Leelanau Trail was crushed limestone, but I think they've paved it.

For more single track/mountain/gravel rides, check out the Vasa Pathway network, located just east of TC.

The Cherry Capital Cycling Club publishes a great map of Northern Michigan.  It's available at their website. It plots out many more routes all over the area - there's sure to be something that will work for you!

Thanks for the great suggestions everyone!

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