Bikes, Planes, Trains & Automobiles
An easy paced bicycle exploration of the American can-do spirit in Michigan. Lodging, meals, SAG support are of course included.
Bikes, Trains, Planes & Automobiles averages a little over 40 miles of riding a day. 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 Dearborn. Those who park in Kalamazoo will ride the Amtrak Wolverine back from Dearborn at the finish. Those who park in Dearborn, will ride the Amtrak Wolverine from Dearborn to Kalamazoo at the start. Please review the train schedules to determine which better suits your needs.
Check In - We meet in Kalamazoo, birthplace of Gibson Guitars, Checker Automobiles, Bell's Brewery, and longtime home to Pfizer Pharmaceuticals. Come early and spend the day visiting the Air Zoo which houses the famous Blackbird spy plane. Check-In begins at 3 pm in the lobby of the Radisson Hotel followed by an evening reception from 6-8 pm to meet your tour mates.
Day 1 - Kalamazoo to Battle Creek. Pedal out on the scenic Kalamazoo Valley River Trail, the route includes a visit to the Gilmore Car Museum (included with registration), pay your respects at the Fort Custer National Cemetery and enter Battle Creek aka Cereal City on the Battle Creek Linear Park. Battle Creek was a hub for the Underground Railroad and the day ends at 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 ride the final 11 miles. 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 begins pedaling along quiet country roads passing orchards, farmlands and small towns. In Marshall we'll stop 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 along those quiet roads through the small college town of Albion to enjoy fresh pressed apple cider and donuts before we finish the day riding the trails into the downtown Jackson where we'll stop at the YMCA for a quick shower and then enjoy an early meal before heading to the train station and depart to our hotel in Dearborn.
Day 3 - Jackson to Whitmore Lake. Enjoy miles of quiet trails along the Mike Levine Lakeland Trail, take a short detour on the road to Hell and back, and then continue on the trail to Whitmore Lake. In Hell you can enjoy ice water, crematory (ice cream shop) and of course a saloon. You'll want to mail out a postcard from here because how often can you get a postmark from Hell? You'll enjoy a hearty dinner and regale each other with tales of the day.
Day 4 - Whitmore Lake to Dearborn. Our final riding day is spent on several trails that sneak past suburban centers providing a full mix for the senses. Begin in quiet Island Lake Recreation Area and ride your final miles at Dearborn Station. Between those two points you'll experience a mix of woodlands and lakes, the Huron Valley Trail, Air Line Trail, I-275 Metro Trail and the Rouge Gateway Trail. This is our last dinner together and we'll celebrate the week with a night of food, awards and laughs! Get plenty of rest tonight because tomorrow is filled with wonder and steps!
Day 5 - Layover in Dearborn. Participants can visit the museum, conduct an alternate activity or journey homeward. Today is filled with the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation (included with registration). 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. You responsible for reservations and fees. Don't stay up too late because the train back to Kalamazoo leaves the Dearborn station early.
Day 6 - Return to Kalamazoo.
Our family friendly tour includes visiting the Wright Cycle Shop (yes, THE Wright brothers), WWII bombers still taking to the air, the Blackbird spy plane, acre after acre of car history and a ride on the Amtrak Wolverine. All Aboard! Registration details coming soon.