Online registration started January 1, 2015!
Hosted by Crystal Mountain Resort & Spa in Thompsonville, this is our 7th annual one-day biking event providing challenges for riders of all abilities. As usual, this year's ride will feature great food stops offering regional snacks, including the area's nationally-famous cherry pie. Picturesque routes pass by Benzie County's farms, orchards and lakes. This year's event is dedicated to Tim Krause, who founded Bike Benzie and worked tirelessly for its success until his untimely death on March 6.
In addition to 30, 62 and 100-mile Tour and Fondo rides, there is a special "Yes We Can" event for riders with challenged abilities. This ride is offered at no cost to participants with major support from the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Anyone interested in participating in this event as a rider or sponsor is encouraged to contact "Yes We Can" coordinator Sonny Rodriguez by email or by phone at (989) 493-1747.
Other riders can choose the Tour, a recreational social ride, or the Fondo, an option to challenge their riding ability. Fondo participants will choose how they will ride (Individual Rider, Start a Team, Join a Team), noting that with this year's "team registration" 5 people can register in the same event as a team for the price of 4. Then they will choose their distance of 30, 62 or 100 miles:
The 30-mile route is an out-and-back ride from Crystal Mountain through Beulah on the east shore of beautiful Crystal Lake. The route is mostly flat with a long, easy climb out of Beulah on the way back.
The Metric Century (62 miles) features some of the area's best biking roads. The route heads north from Crystal Mountain for about 9 miles of mostly flat roads. And then--are you ready for a 40+ mph downhill?--your first taste of a Benzie County downhill. Crossing US-31 you'll experience winding roads and hills, eventually meeting M-22, passing by the northwest corner of Crystal Lake and coming through Frankfort and Elberta on the way back to Crystal Mountain.
The 100-mile route challenges experienced riders. It follows most of the 62-mile route with an added bonus of some of Leelanau County's best hills. New this year is team competition, giving 5-person male, female or coed teams the opportunity to compete for a traveling trophy.