In August, cyclist John Pugh adventured with his wife Dona Busco to ride the seven-day Michigan Shoreline West Tour for their second time. The ride was as lovely as their first time, but this year was a bit different.
They took Karoo with them.
Day 1 of the tour: John sports his Karoo on his bike on a sunny day at the beach.
“My Karoo performed flawlessly on our Michigan Shoreline West Bicycle Tour,” John wrote in his post recounting the tour. “I was especially impressed with its rerouting ability when I decided to go off course for a little exploring!”
17.4 miles into the first ride of the tour, John and his wife encountered a waterfall — a great start to the trip!
On day 1, the couple rode from Montague to Ludington, enjoying a ride rife with ample stops to make and sites to see along the way. “The first rest stop was at Claybanks pottery studio, which had a beautiful garden with works of art on display. We rode just a few miles to our next rest stop at Cherry Point Market, where we got some delicious cherry muffins and turnovers.”
Cherry Point Farm Market marked the 26-mile point on the couple’s first day.
John wrote about a whole day of sights, smells, and sounds which the Karoo seamlessly guided them through. “This was a very full day and we didn’t get back to camp until after dark!”
Day 2, with a beautiful view!
On day 2, John’s Karoo was especially helpful with creating a route to restaurants in areas that he and his wife were not familiar with. They rode from Ludington to Frankfort, a route that is mostly flat with three hill climbs towards the end of the journey. These climbs are known as the “Three Sisters”.
Day 2, mile 56, and everyone is still smiling!
“We stopped at a lemonade-and-cookie stand. The girls at the stand were raising money for college,” John explained. “A great business!”
The lemonade stand welcomed cyclists to stop for a rest and a drink during their tour.
A bit further down the road, the two riders stopped for lunch in Onekama at the Yellow Dog Cafe. “We remembered it from our tour 2 years ago, and it was as good as we remembered.”
Then came the Three Sisters. “The second ‘Sister’ is called Watermelon Hill and is the hardest of the three. It was ½ mile long with a 12 percent grade. The reward for this climb was fresh watermelon! That was a real treat!”
John’s wife enjoying a well-deserved slice of watermelon.
Another day filled with exciting sights and places, but at the end of the day a storm had them taking shelter back at their campsite. Not ones to be discouraged, they retreated to their campsite, doubly excited for day 3’s adventures.
Day 3 took the cyclists from Frankfort to Traverse City. “We also opted to ride the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive through Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park,” John wrote. “This added about 7.5 miles to the route for a total of 73.6 miles.”
A view from the scenic route on day 3.
John and Dona made use of the Karoo once again. “When connected to my phone’s WiFi hotspot, I could search for a restaurant or brewery by name and my Karoo would quickly create a bike-friendly route there. Awesome! The battery life was also very good, lasting pretty much all day, I never had to worry!”
All carefree, joyous smiles when the Karoo is leading the way!
John described the roads inside the national park. “This was one of the most scenic roads on the entire trip. But it was also the most difficult because of the many steep hills.”
“Cyclists definitely had the advantage because we could get through the overflowing parking areas at the scenic overlooks and ride right to the view. And the views of the dunes were amazing!” -John
John and Dona were able to relax a bit after the hills in the national park. “The second half of the route to Traverse City was mostly flat with a few rolling hills, except one lung-bursting hill about 10 miles from the end. This was the most difficult day of the tour, but it was also one of the most beautiful!”
On day 3, lunch at the Boondocks in Glen Arbor was followed by dessert at Cherry Republic.
Day 4 was a rest day on the tour, but John and Dona were ready to keep going, so they rode for the optional route on the Old Mission Peninsula using a downloaded file for turn-by-turn directions. Since it was a rest day, the couple moved at a leisurely pace and took in the scenery.
16 miles in — pit stop! John and Dona dug into some homemade cherry pie at this general store.
“On the way back, we climbed to the highest point of the peninsula to visit the Chateau Chantal Winery for a glass of wine, eat our cherries and enjoy the magnificent view from their high vantage point.”
There’s always time for a glass of wine…
…especially when this is the view!
John wrote: “I am so happy to have had my Karoo guiding me on this tour. It worked perfectly every day! I never had to worry about missing a turn!”
From Traverse City to Charlevoix, then to Harbor Springs, Mackinaw City and one last day on Mackinaw Island, Karoo helped the couple ride smoothly without missing a single pit stop, cafe, or ocean view over seven days.
Day 6: A group photo after lunch with Twin Cities Bicycling Club friends.
Their last ride in Mackinaw Island was peaceful and beautiful. “It’s one of the few places in the country where cars and trucks aren’t allowed on the roads. Bikes and horses are the kings here!” John and his wife highly recommend this lovely little cycling oasis to any riders who find themselves in the area.
Karoo helped the riders navigate the trails on Mackinaw Island at the end of their 7-day journey.
Throughout the journey, John and Dona were able to thoroughly enjoy the views, the food, and the people around them. It was their second time doing this tour, and it was a huge success!
To get to Mackinaw Island, John and Dona took a ferry just after finishing their seventh day of the tour.
And finally, they sat back and drank a beer to celebrate the end of a week of exploration and adventure. Cheers!
John smiling with a drink at the end of a successful journey.
The photographs in this article and the original story were shared with us by John Pugh.Check out https://www.lmb.org/ride-calendar/shoreline-west-2019/ for more details on the routes in these photos.
Where is Karoo taking you on your next adventure? If you have a story to share, please tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter, or email us at email@example.com.