Bikes, Chops & Hops

Our premium tour is focused on the finer ways to bicycle across Michigan with dinner at some of the finest chop houses, tastings from the states vintners and brewers and a layover day at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

Tour Info

 

Beginning in South Haven on the shores of Lake Michigan and finishing at the Thomas Edison Museum on the shore of Lake Huron the tour averages a little over 40 miles of riding a day during September when daytime temps average in the mid 70's. The perfect distance to get in a few hours of riding and time to explore, sightsee and relax. Participants can park in either Kalamazoo or Port Huron. Those who park in Kalamazoo will ride the Amtrak Blue Water back from Port Huron at the finish. Those who park in Port Huron, will ride the Amtrak Blue Water to Kalamazoo at the start. Please review the train schedules to determine which better suits your needs.

 

Check In - As you arrive in our team will be waiting to check you in, collect your bike and gear so you can explore the city. Check-In is in the lobby of the hotel, followed by an evening reception from 6-8 pm to meet your tour mates.

Day 4 - Ann Arbor to Jackson. Enjoy miles of quiet groomed 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 out! In Hell enjoy some ice water, personal creamatory service (an ice cream shop), and of course the 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 where you can regale each other with tales of the day.

Day 1 - South Haven to Kalamazoo. After breakfast you'll be shuttled to South Beach where you'll dip your rear tire into Lake Michigan and head east on the scenic Kal-Haven Trail. Welcome to Kalamazoo, birthplace of Gibson Guitars, Checker Automobiles, Bell's Brewery, and longtime home to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Take a short walk from the hotel down to Bell's Brewery and enjoy some fine local hops. Or visit the Air Zoo museum which houses the famous Blackbird spy plane.

 

Day 2 - Kalamazoo to Battle Creek. After breakfast, pedal out on the scenic Kalamazoo Valley River Trail, take a tour of the Gilmore Car Museum, pay your respects at the Fort Custer National Cemetery and the Avenue of Flags, then head into Battle Creek on the Battle Creek Linear Park. Battle Creek was a hub for the Underground Railroad and today's route will pass a monument remembering the bravery of the people fleeing slavery and those who worked to help them find 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 3 - Battle Creek to Jackson. Today begins pedaling along country roads passing orchards, farmlands and small towns. In Marshall we'll stop to enjoy a country breakfast of steak and eggs at a local farm before pedaling through historic Marshall and enjoying 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 Sweet Seasons Orchard 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 4 - Layover in Dearborn. Participants can visit the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (included with registration), conduct an alternate activity, ride unsupported to our overnight lodging in Rochester, or journey homeward. 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 museum the TCP designed by Jack Nicklaus is just a short shuttle ride away. Reservations and fees at TCP are not included. Then at 4 pm we'll catch a shuttle to Rochester for our farewell dinner and prepare for our final and longest day of bicycling.

Day 5 - 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 the 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.

Day 6 - Island Lake to Rochester. After breakfast it's off to Island Lake Recreation Area to un-rack your now cool bike and continue your journey to Lake Huron. Our penultiment riding day is spent on several trails that sneak past suburban centers providing a full mix for the senses. In Island Lake Recreation Area you'll enjoy the smell of the forest, keep your ears open as you pass Woodpecker Lake in West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve, and of course enjoy the quiet hum of tires as you roll your way along the Huron Valley, Air Line, West Bloomfield and Clinton River Trails.

Day 7 - Rochester to Port Huron. The tour concludes with a perfect summary of the Port Haven Trail - a mix of multi-use rail trails and quiet country roads. You'll pedal through a mix of shady woodlands, farmlands, along the suburban Macomb Orchard Trail, and the lake hugging Blue Water Trail. Our tour concludes on the shores of Lake Huron at the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. Two distances are available today. The shorter 28 mile route ends in Richmond at the end of the Macomb Orchard Trail. The longer 56 mile route continues to Port Huron along paved and gravel roads until reaching the blue waters of Lake Huron and the Thomas Edison Depot Museum where Bikes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles concludes.

 

Itinerary

Check In -

 

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 aka Cereal City on the Battle Creek Linear Park. Battle Creek was a hub for the Underground Railroad and today's route will pass a monument remembering the bravery of the people fleeing slavery and those who worked to help them find freedom. From there you have the option to shuttle to the hotel or pedal the final 11 miles to the hotel through OTT Biological Preserve and Historic Bridge Park. 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 before pedaling through historic Marshall and enjoying 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

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 the 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.

Day 4 - Layover in Dearborn. Your free to enjoy the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, Greenfield Village (included with registration) or embark on a private journey. At Greenfield Village 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. 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 5 - Island Lake to Rochester. After breakfast it's off to Island Lake Recreation Area to un-rack your now cool bike and continue your journey to Lake Huron. Our penultiment riding day is spent on several trails that sneak past suburban centers providing a full mix for the senses. In Island Lake Recreation Area you'll enjoy the smell of the forest, keep your ears open as you pass Woodpecker Lake in West Bloomfield Woods Nature Preserve, and of course enjoy the quiet hum of tires as you roll your way along the Huron Valley, Air Line, West Bloomfield and Clinton River Trails. Tonight is our last dinner together and we'll celebrate the week with a night of food, awards and laughs!

Day 6 - Rochester to Port Huron. The tour concludes with a perfect summary of the Port Haven Trail - a mix of multi-use rail trails and quiet country roads. You'll pedal through a mix of shady woodlands, farmlands, along the suburban Macomb Orchard Trail, and the lake hugging Blue Water Trail. Our tour concludes on the shores of Lake Huron at the Thomas Edison Depot Museum. Two distances are available today. The shorter 28 mile route ends in Richmond at the end of the Macomb Orchard Trail. The longer 56 mile route continues to Port Huron along paved and gravel roads until reaching the blue waters of Lake Huron and the Thomas Edison Depot Museum where Bikes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles concludes.

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.

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-day SAG stop. On each tour 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 will 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 and the last day, breakfast and dinner are provided each day. 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. On the final day of the tour, only breakfast and mid-route SAG stop are provided.

Lodging

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 and the start.

  • Train transportation is provided from Port Huron to Kalamazoo on check-In day for those who wish to ride back to their vehicles. At the finish in Port Huron a train the following morning provides transportation from Port Huron to Kalamazoo. 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 line shuttles will transport you, your bike and gear to the long term parking lot or your hotel in Port Huron. Those who choose to take the next day train from Port Huron will need to arrange their own transportation to the train station.

  • Kalamazoo's international airport is a short ride share from the hotel. We recommend flying into Kalamazoo and using the train to return at the end.

 

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, Dearborn, Pontiac, and Port Huron. We will facilitate transportation for participants to join or leave the tour at any of these stations. Currently bike transport is allowed on the Wolverine and Blue Water.

Private Vehicles -

  • Riders who want to bring a vehicle 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, SAG support, bike and bike box storage and transport, secured overnight bike storage, a train ticket from Port Huron to Kalamazoo, museum tickets to the Gilmore and Henry Ford, SAG support, shuttle, GPS rental, paper turn by turn directions.

  • Double Occupancy - Sharing a hotel room $1,850

  • Single Occupancy - Private hotel room $2,300