Bikes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles 

An easy paced bicycle exploration of the American can-do spirit.

 

Bikes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles (BPTA) bicycle tour explores the American can-do spirit along the Port Haven trail. BPTA takes place in September when the the pace slows, leaves start to get a tinge of color, and daytime temps average in the mid 70's. That's a great time to cycle the shady lanes of the Port Haven Trail. Bicycling moderate distances, averaging 42 miles a day, lets you get in a few hours of riding and have time to explore. The tour is suitable for any type of bike and skill level.

Michigan is famous for it's natural beauty. Places like Lake Huron, Mackinac Island and it's many lakes. BPTA riders not only enjoy Michigan's natural beauty, they can experience some contributions to the American can-do spirit by innovators like the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Kelloggs, and Pfizer.

 

The Great Lakes create a climate where vineyards, farms and orchards filled with hops, apples, peaches, cherries, berries and foods of all kinds create a crop diversity second only to California. During BPTA you'll get a chance to sample and savor some of this diversity.  Join us in this journey of world class museums, historical monuments, and tasting the harvest of growers from across the state.

Registration opens soon!

Itinerary

Check In - Welcome to Kalamazoo, birthplace of Gibson Guitars, Checker Automobiles, Bell's Brewery, and longtime home to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. As you arrive at the Kalamazoo train station, our team will be waiting to collect your bike and gear so you can explore the city. Come early and spend the day visiting the Air Zoo which houses the famous Blackbird spy plane. Check-In is just a short walk from the train station 3-5 pm in the lobby of the hotel, followed by an evening reception from 6-8 pm to meet your tour mates.

 

Day 1 - Kalamazoo to Battle Creek. After breakfast, pedal out on the scenic Kalamazoo Valley River Trail, a few miles later, take a tour of the Gilmore Car Museum, pay your respects at the Fort Custer National Cemetery and the Avenue of Flags, then head to Battle Creek, home to Kellogg's, on the Battle Creek Linear Park. Battle Creek was also a hub for the Underground Railroad and today's route will pass a few monuments remembering the bravery of people fleeing slavery and those who worked to help them find their freedom. After we share an evening meal, you can retire to your room or head out to try your luck at the casino located a short walk away.

 

Day 2 - Battle Creek to Jackson. Today we sample a small portion of Michigans food diversity. Travel along quiet country roads passing orchards, farmlands and small towns. We'll stop hungry and ready to enjoy a country breakfast at a local farm on the outskirts of Marshall. After getting our fill, pedal through Marshall and enjoy some of the over 800 historically significant homes and buildings which make Marshall a national historic district. From there we continue through the small college town of Albion to enjoy fresh pressed apple cider, donuts, wildflower honey and other farm fresh treats before we finish the day riding the Falling Waters and Martin Luther King Equality trails into downtown Jackson.
 

Day 3 - Jackson to Whitmore Lake. Enjoy miles of quiet forested trails along the Mike Levine Lakeland Trail before finding yourself on the road to Hell. Don't worry, we'll help you find your way back. In Hell enjoy some ice water, personal creamatory service (an ice cream shop), and of course Hell Saloon. Just don't make any deals while you're there! Don't forget to mail out a postcard because how often can you send a note from Hell? At trails end, you'll rack your smoking bike and take a quick shuttle to our overnight in Dearborn. Dinner will be at the hotel. Tonight is our last dinner together and we'll celebrate the week with a night of food, awards and laughs!

Day 4 - Layover in Dearborn. On our last day, you're free to enjoy the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and Greenfield Village (both included with registration) or embark on a private journey. Greenfield Village is where you'll find the Wright Bicycle Shop and nearby is the Rogue River Assembly plant where you can take an optional factory tour. For those who don't want to visit the Henry Ford, the Yankee Air Museum and the TCP golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus are just a short ride-share away. You responsible for reservations and fees for those visits. Amtrak service to Kalamazoo leaves Dearborn at 6:51 AM; 10:48 AM; 6:36 PM daily.

Questions?

Please call us at 616-581-3464 or email us at hello@porthaventrails.com

Bicycles on Tour

 

Our philosophy is ride what you own. If you don't own a bike, we'll provide a bicycle rental. We don't judge, all we ask is that the machine is in good mechanical condition. This includes trikes, recumbents, tandems, unicycles, and e-bikes. We provide e-bike charging mid-route each day and each evening. We provide secured overnight bike storage so you don't have to drag your bike into your room. Also a professional bike mechanic is in residence for the entire tour.

 

Bikes may be shipped to the start or from the finish and Port Haven Tours will have them assembled or packed for shipment by a professional mechanic. Shipping fees at the end of the tour are not included.

Route Surfaces on Tour

Bikes, Trains, Planes & Automobiles (BPTA) takes place on trails paved with crushed and packed limestone or asphalt. Roads are primarily paved. On occasion for safety we may ride a few miles on gravel roads. But we hear that's all the rage!!

Support and Gear (SAG)

This is your vacation and we are here to serve! Bikes, Trains, Planes & Automobiles (BPTA) is a fully supported tour with a roving SAG wagon and a mid-route SAG stop. Port Haven Tours provides a specially designed gear trailer to transport your machine. All bikes, trikes, recumbents, and tandems are transported fully assembled. Bike boxes, golf clubs, and all other luggage is also transported in our gear trailer. Luggage is delivered to your room each day and we ask you to bring your luggage to the lobby each morning.

The mid-route SAG stop is stocked with real food and drink. This includes meats, cheeses, pickles, breads, fruits, vegetables, juices, Gatorade, sparkling water, energy drinks, sodas, chocolate milk, and salty snacks. A generator will be provided for those who need to give their e-bikes a charge.

 

Instead of marring the landscape with paint or pins, each day's route is fully documented for use by GPS devices like smartphones or bike computers. These turn by turn directions are provided free by PHT on Ride With GPS. Participants who do not have a smartphone or GPS device may request one upon registration and we will provide a GPS device with the route pre-loaded for use on the tour. If you prefer, printed turn by turn directions are also provided.

If you want to skip riding or end riding early on any day, for any reason, we'll pick you up and transport you and your bike to the overnight hotel. Riders who experience a mechanical or physical breakdown will be transported to either the mechanic or the overnight hotel as requested. Riders who experience a medical emergency will be transported by first responders to the nearest emergency room.

Some riders like to bring a dedicated SAG driver, often called a private SAG. You can absolutely do this.  If the private SAG is sharing rest stops, meals and lodging with you, they should also register.

Meals

With the exception of Check-In day, breakfast and dinner are provided each riding day. On our last day in Dearborn, breakfast is provided. As noted in Support and Gear, the mid-route SAG stop provides an extensive offering of food and drink which is ample but not technically lunch. Meals are provided by a professional caterer or local restaurant. 

Lodging

Lodging is included from Check-In through our first night in Dearborn. We use hotels that performed well on past tours when possible. When not available, hotels with high AAA ratings are used. Lodging is included from Kalamazoo through Rochester. We place your bags in your room each day and you bring them to the lobby each morning.

Transportation

Getting to and from the tour -

  • Long-term parking is provided at the finish in Dearborn and the start in Kalamazoo.

  • Train transportation is provided from Dearborn to Kalamazoo on check-In day for those who wish to ride back to their vehicles. Currently the train leaves Dearborn at 6:51 AM, 10:48 AM, and 6:36 PM daily. For those who want to ride the shuttle back to their vehicle, we will leave Dearborn at 6 PM. Please review Amtrak schedules to determine which better suits your needs, train tickets are included with registration.

  • Shuttle service from the Amtrak station in Kalamazoo to the overnight hotel and check-in is provided. At the finish in Dearborn shuttles will transport you, your bike and gear to the long term parking lot, the train station, or Detroit Wayne airport. Those who choose to take the next day train will need to arrange their own transportation to the train station.

  • Kalamazoo's international airport and Detroit Wayne County Airport are a short ride share from Kalamazoo and Dearborn hotels. We recommend flying into Kalamazoo and out of Detroit.

 

During the tour -

  • Like the pro's, you and your machine will be transported as needed to or from the start and finish so you can ride the best portions and keep distances in the 40 mile range.

  • Shuttles are provided to transport riders to and from the train station.

  • Amtrak stations are located in Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Albion, Jackson, Ann Arbor, and Dearborn. We will facilitate transportation for participants to join or leave the tour at nearest of these stations. Currently bike transport is allowed on the Wolverine.

Private Vehicles -

  • Riders who want to bring a vehicle on tour, must provide a driver and are considered private SAG. You can absolutely do this as long as your private SAG registers as a participant if they are sharing rest stops, meals and lodging with you.

Registration Fees -

Registration includes lodging, reception, meals, mid-route SAG stop, on route SAG support, bike and bike box storage and transport, secured overnight bike storage, a train transportation from Dearborn to Kalamazoo, museum tickets to the Gilmore and Henry Ford, route shuttles, GPS loaner if requested, paper turn by turn directions.

  • Double Occupancy - Sharing a hotel room $1,475

  • Single Occupancy - Private hotel room $1,800