When: Oct 9th-11th 2009 Where: Marilla Trail Head (Beers Rd) to Baldwin via the NCT (one dirt/paved road bypass near High Bridge approx 8 miles long). Total distance is about 78 miles with a bail out option at the halfway point.
Plan: Meet at the Pere Marquette Lodge in Baldwin on Friday evening. Everyone attends a debreifing meeting Friday at 9pm, PM Lodge
Saturday we rise early for continental breakfast. PM Lodge shuttles us to the Marilla Trail Head and then waits for us at the Freesoil Rd Trailhead (approx half way) with a catered lunch of P&J, snacks, fruit etc. After the trailside lunch the big ride will finish the southern portion of the trip to Bowman Lake Trail Head, then the 8 mile paved road to PM Lodge where a keg of Founders Ale and a gourmet dinner await us. (While this may start as a group ride, riders are encouraged to ride at the pace that they desire and therefore eliminate the sensitivity to large groups of cyclists on the NCT). We will have a sweeper rider to see that everyone gets through the ride. Riders must carry their own tools and water to get them to the 1/2 way point or the full length. The trail is very well marked but maps will be provided. Some of the dirt road sections can become tricky to follow.
Options: Riders may choose to start or finish at Freesoil Rd if desired, eliminating half of the miles. Tip: the section from Beers Road to Freesoil Road is the best section with greater variety of terrain but it is also the hilliest portion. If you prefer flatter terrain and a shorter distance, ride Freesoil South or skip the early shuttle and ride from PM Lodge north to lunch at Freesoil, then return via the shuttle. It would also be possible for someone to go for a hike from the Freesoil Trailhead while others are riding. Perfect for that non-riding spouse.
We have room for 34 people. The room scenarios are all a bit different.
7 double rooms with two double beds in each room equals 28 people. 3 single rooms with one double bed equals 6 people. The Lodge is within walking distance to the Pere Marquette River, and sleeps a maximum of 34 people in 10 rooms. All rooms have air conditioning and whirlpool tubs with a shower. A double room features two double beds and a kitchenette, which feature a small refrigerator, a two-burner stovetop, and sink and dishes. A single room features a double bed with a whirlpool tub next to it. Cable TV and wireless Internet is available in all rooms and in the large central living room area. Room #15 is handicap accessible. The attached dining room is a great place to gather and enjoy the dinner provided. A grill and campfire area is located behind the lodge as well. We will all convene in the main lodge or at a bonfire each night.
Please check this closely. My hopes are that everyone will choose the four to a double room or 2 to a single room so that we can accommodate all 34 of us that wish to go. In other words, if everyone were to book two in a double and one in a single we would only have a group of 17 people. I think we have enough interest to use all 34 spots. We encourage friends to bunk together, 2 couples to share a room. There is a chance a few cabins could open up for us as well, providing additional beds if the interest is there.
Each person gets lodging Fri and Sat night Oct 9th and 10th 2009, continental breakfast, the shuttle, route map, trailside lunch, a very nice dinner (request vegetarian with Frank when making reservations if desired) and Founders beer for the recovery party Saturday night. New this year, we will have a covered truck or trailer to haul the bikes and 2 busses if need be. We will also have a PM Staff member wait with a bus for the absolute last rider at the half way point. These two items are responsible for the slightly higher fee this year.
We cannot split these amenities up. It is all or nothing. No camping option, no shuttle elimination etc.
Cost is $145 per person for the weekend
Excluding 6% sales tax.
Pere Marquette Lodge supports the MMBA and therefore has already discounted these rates by 15% for MMBA members. Please sign up for a MMBA membership if you are not a member. A MMBA membership is tax deductible.
All reservations need to be made with Frank or Josh at the Pere Marquette Lodge (231-745-3972) by July 1st 2009. First come first served. Please mention Western MMBA event.
* All cancellations must be in writing to PM Lodge
* Reservations canceled within 14 days of reservation date will be charged in full
* Reservations canceled within 30 days of reservation date will result in lost deposit