PedalGR 7/23/08 cadence

This ride was my favorite PedalGR ride yet. Perfect weather, great turnout, great route, great orchard tour host. Except for a flat that refused to be fixed at the beginning of the orchard tour, this ride couldn’t have gone better! (and there are lots of pictures to prove it)

As usual, Amy and I rode up in the contraption 10 minutes early with a large group already gathering in front of Founders. We rolled out with 24 in our group and two more to catch up with us in a bit. We headed down Wealthy towards Kent Trail with our gang in tow. Got one of my favorite photos at the stoplight at Market.


Westward toward Millennium Park, we hit up the Kent Trail just past the Coca-Cola bottling plant. I’ve ridden that trail hundreds of times (it was on my daily commute for 5 months ), but it still is great fun nearly every time. The seasons are different and the flowers are different or the river is at a different level.



Every time I visit Millennium Park I think, “This place is awesome! and beautiful. I should really come here more often.” But, I still don’t get out there nearly enough. The photos speak for themselves. We stopped for our first short break on a deck overlooking one of the lakes.






We left the park and headed north to meet Nate Versluis at his house across from the orchard and sweet corn field. The climb up out of the Grand Valley on Maynard to O’Brien is one of the longer continuous hills in the area that I know of.


Nate and his wife Sherry and their kids were there to greet us when we arrived. Two of his daughters were going to join us for our tour. We headed a short way down the road before turning onto a the dirt/gravel/sand road that would take us through the orchard. Unfortunately, it was a little more sand than I had anticipated and a few of us on skinny tire road bicycles had to walk. Nate then explained to us that we should visit his family’s fruit stand on Lake Michigan Dr. in a few weeks to enjoy the super sweet and delicious “better than sex” sweet corn we were going to ride by.



After an extended break to fix a flat (the initial patch attempt failed), we headed on the original Versluis homestead on Maynard. TO THE PEACHES!






We then headed back toward Founder’s via Bridge St. But instead of going straight down the big hill, we went through the pedestrian tunnel on Sibley accessed from Ball Park Blvd. We headed down Lake Michigan Dr. and then across the blue pedestrian bridge with a beautiful view of the riverfront skyline.






On the outskirts of Blues on the Mall, we had pedicab and parrot sightings before the final stretch to Founders.



A big thanks to everyone that came and to the Versluis family for sharing their orchard and their peaches with us. This was my favorite PedalGR ride, yet! Keep showing up and bring your friends, especially those who might not get out on their bicycles without a good excuse.

7/23/08 – PedalGR Cuesheet

Peaches!  Straight from the tree.   That’s what Nate Versluis said would be part of the orchard tour on this week’s PedalGR ride.  AWESOME!

Just a reminder that maps are provided at the route start, and we will generally stick together as a group.  It will be pretty hard to get lost on much of this week’s route.

Also, dress comfortably for the ride.  If you have padded bicycle shorts, wear them, but if you don’t just wear some comfortable, loose shorts.  Most weeks, I don’t bother with my “spandex” for this ride.

Here is the map & cuesheet for Wednesday’s ride.

07/23/08 PedalGR Map

7/23/08 PedalGR cuesheets

Download PDF here: 7/23/08 PedalGR pdf

PedalGR on WGVU’s Morning Show (aka local bicycle linkfest!)

Tomorrow morning my interview with The Morning Show’s Shelley Irwin will air at 9:35am. I’m excited to be on the radio again, promoting PedalGR and other bicycle related happenings in the GR area. If you’re here because you heard me on the radio, I would love to have you join us on Wednesday. You’ll find this week’s super awesome route summary below (or click here for those too lazy to scroll). I guarantee a good time or your money back!

I also thought I’d provide some helpful links to some of the organizations and events mentioned on the air, in case you wanted to look into them further. Some of these can be found in the links I’ve provided on the right side of this blog. If you do look over there, you’ll also find links to all the local bicycle shops. Here are the interview related links in no particular order:

Other links to local cycling happenings not mentioned in the interview:

7/23/08 – PedalGR Ride!

PedalGR Ride, meeting at 6:30pm on Wednesday, 7/23/08 at Founder’s Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Ave SW

I’m really excited about this week’s route.  There’s a ton of great stuff to see, including a relaxing ride along the river, the I-196 pedestrian tunnel, Millenium Park, and a tour of the Versluis Orchards with Nate Versluis of the Founders Ales Racing Team.

Here is the route:

View Larger Map

Need to Know:

  • This is a no-drop ride.  Nobody in the group will be left behind. 
  • Ride is 17 miles and should take approximately 2 hours.
  • Water and portable snack food are recommended.
  • HELMETS ARE REQUIRED on Rapid Wheelmen Club rides.

A few highlights include:

  • Kent Trail along the Grand River
  • Millennium Park (larger than Central Park in NYC, check out the Master Plan)
  • Tour of Versluis Orchard
  • I-196 pedestrian underpass
  • Fish Ladder
  • Ah-Nab-Awen Park

If you’ve haven’t been out for a PedalGR ride yet, this will be a great one to start with.  There aren’t a lot of big hills and there will be a lot of fun places to see.  I’m really excited to have Nate show us around their family orchard a bit.

Although we will not be stopping often to take photographs, cameras are highly encouraged to document our journey. Please contact me with any questions.

Remember, having fun and riding safely are the two most important goals!  Hope to see you there!  As usual, we will congregate at Founder’s for beer and munchies after the ride.

Bring your Friends!  Also, don’t forget to ride the Holland Hundred this Saturday!

PedalGR on the Radio

Monday, 7/7/08, I will be speaking with Barnaby on WLHT, 95.7 about the ride at 7:10am. I’m excited for the extra exposure, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous.

wlht 95.7

The point of PedalGR is to get people out on their bikes and seeing the city, exploring its neighborhoods outside the enclosed shell of an automobile. The more people get out and ride, the more familiar you become to the neighborhoods, the more they will enjoy riding, and the healthier our city will be.  Bicycling is more fun with friends!  If you’re here because you heard the show, grab your bicycle and head on down to Founder’s and join us. “I’m too slow” doesn’t work as an excuse for this ride. Speed doesn’t matter because no one is left behind. Additionally, we are here to help you learn if you don’t have a lot of experience riding on the roads.

After the ride, w’ll gather for beer and food at Founder’s. You’ll find Wednesday’s ride map and information just below this post. You’ll also be provided a map and cuesheet at the start of the ride.