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Cycling is a great sport for all ages

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Michigan is one of the top states in the country for cycling enthusiasts. Our miles of scenic bike routes include cycling along any of our Great Lakes shorelines, through vast forest areas, by quaint towns, orchards and vineyards. And the Mackinaw Bridge connects both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas’ bike trails for every level and skill of cyclists. But biking can also be enjoyed in your own neighborhood, around a vacation lake and local parks.

In the Flint area there are several very good kid-friendly places to bike with your family. The Flint River Bike Path at Bluebell Beach is a paved .8 mile trail that is a good start for young children.

The Buell Lake County Park in Clio offers a scenic mile long loop that partly trails by Buell Lake. Another mile long loop is located at Flushing County Park in Flushing. This trail also connects to the Flint Riverview Trail (see below).

In Linden on Byram Lake you can find a scenic 1½ mile bike path at Linden County Park. For something a bit longer, the Bluegill Bike/Trail Path is two miles of paved trail along Mott Lake. There is also a two mile loop in Davidson at the Richfield County Park and BMX Track.

The Flint Riverview Trail is a linear park that follows the Flint River from downtown Flint north to the Genesee County Recreation Area — approximately a 12 mile round trip. The trail can be easily accessed by bicycle from many neighborhoods in Flint.

And if you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, try out the Holly-Holdridge Mountain Bike Trail in Holly. Designed and maintained by the Michigan Mountain Biking Association (MMBA), these trails are some of the best in southeastern Michigan. 25 miles of trail is broken into various loops that accommodate all age and skill level of riders, from beginner to expert.

Frankenmuth is the place to be for bikers and biking enthusiasts of all ages this Memorial Day weekend. Last year almost 600 bikers participated in the Tour de Frankenmuth and Gran Fondo di Thumb road ride. This 3-day event kicks off Friday May 25th and continues through to Sunday May 27th.

Designated as a Lance Armstrong (LAJRS) race, the Tour de Frankenmuth 2012 is a collection of cycling races in various categories. There will be several men’s and women categories, a junior category and a free kid’s race. All events take place starting at 8 am Saturday, with the awards ceremony at 1 pm.

There will be a Bike Swap and Expo from 8 am to 3 pm on Saturday in Zehnder’s Park overlooking the race course. With free admission, vendors will be on hand to sell and swap road bikes, balloon tire bikes, custom bikes, muscle bikes, bike parts, and all bicycling related items.

The Gran Fondo di Thumb, presented by Louis Garneau, is not a race, but a long distance, mass participation bike event. Starting is 8 am Sunday morning at Zehnder’s Park, the Gran Fondo features a tour of Michigan’s Thumb with routes for beginners and expert riders, covering 40-mile, 65-mile and the extreme 130-mile long distance.

For complete information for any or all events, visit tourdefrankenmuth.com

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