The Dick Allen Lansing to MACkinaw Bicycle Tour takes riders from the Michigan state capital through the countryside to “The Bridge” over 4 to 5 days. Mathew Fyie rides a Cruzbike Vendetta V20 performance recumbent road bike and shares his experience on the 2019 DALMAC ride below. Enjoy!
Just after 7 o’clock the parking lot at Michigan State University Pavilion was filling up and riders were trickling out onto the road. I joined in with others going through Lansing. The roads around the university are excellent, beyond they become dangerous with potholes ready to end your ride should you look around. Fortunately the the roads get much better outside the city.
Today’s ride had several stops, the first at a church in Dewitt where members have prepared a spread of food and drinks.
Next stop at Liquid Ag, a fertilizer company. They have a museum/education building. Dioramas of Squanto’s Gift, Potash making, origin of BonFire, a poster explaining the process of ammonia production, John Deer tractors, and much more. Here I met up with another recumbent rider who suggested we ride together. It’s good to be challenged by a rider who’s going a bit faster than I’m used to. Also, the drafting is much better - especially when the route turns into the brisk headwind.
Maple Rapids had an old gas station with someone selling baked goods. We skipped the stop in Perrinton. Enough with the baked goods! As you can see in the photo, Tigger loves to ride the Vendetta V20 as much as I do.
A final stop in Alma where the chamber of commerce provides water, fresh fruits & veggies, and (you guessed it) baked goods. I only had three of the BEST brownies.
From there it’s only ten miles to camp, but there’s a 15-20 mph demoralizing headwind. At Vestaburg I helped unload the luggage trucks before setting up my tent. I was pleasantly surprised to meet up with some fellow Cruzbikers with their new S40 recumbent road bikes.
I held off leaving this morning until the temperature reached 52°. The best thing about leaving later is passing people. It really stokes the ego.
I was able to enjoy smelling the dairy air of the farmland, glad they’re not moving manure from feedlots to the fields like last time. Breathing the brown dust for hours is unpleasant.
Fortunately the farmlands give way to woods, marshes, curvy roads. This is the “Up North” I remember. Cattails, birds, deer and wild turkeys can be enjoyed. There was an Amish farm with the children playing outside. It would make a nice photo, but that’s rude.
Anyway, I intended to just hit a couple stops today. The Lake George Campground has been a favorite food stop like, forever.
Follow that up with the ice cream stop held by a local cross country team, but no students serving now. It seems Michigan has been starting school earlier now. Back-in-the-day they waited until after Labor Day.
Riding off from that stop, I see a recumbent rider pulling up behind me. It was Connor on his gray S40 who wanted to chat a bit. It’s fun to share the passion of a superior bike. He had to break off to wait for his friends to catch up while I hurried to set up camp before the rain.
This day’s ride is one for traditions. The Cookie Stop has been a staple of DALMAC for years. Later, I was compelled to stop at the church for pies and such, then stand in a long line for the portables. Some things never change.
Downtown Kalkaska has a big fish (National Trout Memorial) that requires another photo.
Before arriving at Elk Rapids it’s selfie time along Torch Lake. It looks inviting with the boaters moored along a sandbar.
I’ve sparked a lot of interest with my bike. People were beginning to feel the discomfort of the traditional upright frame and are impressed with the efficiency of the Cruzbike as I pass them. I’ve been handing out brochures I created with my Z-Code on it. There may be some new converts next year.
Another wonderful day on tour. Starting with a ride along Torch Lake with inviting homes, each one having their daily sunrise. Then heading north on the rolling hills of ancient sand dunes I was nearly passed by a trio of riders on electric powered trikes who have been passing everyone. Well, I couldn’t let that happen. I powered up to keep ahead on into Charlevoix.
This port city is a favorite stopping point. I enjoyed a crepe from The French Place where I met up with a fellow recumbent rider. We ride together along the Lake Michigan bike trail on into Petoskey. First I have to stop at some plaques. Yes, I’m like that guy from the insurance commercial.
The final evening’s tour meeting had a group of riders singing a parody song (“Obla-Di, Obla-Da” converted to “I Love D, I love A, I love DALMAC.) Then there was a raffle for some swag, with the grand prize being a free registration for next year’s 50th anniversary - the Golden DALMAC. That would be sweet.
The final day of these rides is always early. At about 5:30 the noise of hundreds of tent zippers and people chatting makes it impossible to sleep in. That’s okay, more time to spend in Mackinaw before bussing back to Lansing. First a ride along the lakeshore, dreaming of living in one of the Harbor Springs mansions.
Then we rode through the Tunnel of Trees to Good Hart’s stop where the sign admonishes to not feed the dog, no matter how pitiful he looks.
The route turns away from the lake at Cross Village after a quick picture of Leggs Inn.
One more photo, this time at Bliss. Not much there to justify the name.
We went past Carp Lake which recently had a name change to Paradise. That sounds like a wise decision.
I was riding along with John on his M5 recumbent. He always presses on the speed.
Finally we arrived at Mackinaw where I get a photo, buy some fudge, get cleaned up, and load up for the return. Thinking about the next time. Here’s a bit of video from my bike cameras.
More about DALMAC:
Mathew has been writing about and sharing videos from his adventures on the Cruzbike since he got his V20 in 2016. You can check out all of his posts on the forum here.