RIDE THE PEDAL AND WHINE BIKE TOUR
Participants in this year’s Pedal and Whine Bike Tour will begin their day by parking at the East Jackson Elementary School on Walz Road, which runs north from Brills Lake Road. From the school riders will pedal just ¼ mile north on Walz Rd. to the entrance to Sandhill Crane Vineyards. Sandhill Crane Vineyards is where all riders will need to check in, see if they have won a prize for pre-registering, and receive their maps before setting out on the route of their choosing. To help our riders get started on the “right foot”, all riders may enjoy a complimentary cup of freshly made Zingermans Roadhouse blend coffee along with a light breakfast of fruit and bagels.
Riders leaving Sandhill Crane Vineyards will begin their route by travelling either north or south on Walz Road. South will take riders on the 8, 36 or 65 mile routes, while north is the direction to begin the 16 mile route. All routes are on paved, lightly travelled roads, and since this is a Saturday ride, traffic will be even lighter than on weekdays. Riders please note that helmets are required for our riders’ safety.
Since this ride is in rural Jackson county, riders can expect to see farms with horses, cattle and other livestock along the way. Forested lanes are common, providing some welcome shade on what is typically a warm summer day. On the 16 mile route riders will pass the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary on Seymour road, which is a nice place to stop to take a break and look out over the waters of Eagle Lake. This sanctuary is a nesting area for many pairs of Sandhill Cranes, and a pleasant spot for viewing is at the Harold Wing Observation Hill, located a short distance east of the parking lot. Riders will want to remember this spot in the fall, where thousands of Sandhill Cranes will be in view as they gather before taking flight to start their fall migration.
Both of the longer routes will pass the Pleasant Lake County Park on Styles Road, where we will have a rest and refreshment stop for our Pedal and Whine participants. Riders will be welcomed with cold drinks and tasty treats and plenty of shade if they would like to take a break from the sun. Our refreshments will be located under a pavilion at the park, with plenty of picnic tables for seating, and just a short walk away from the park’s snack shop, where ice cream will be available for purchase. Just beyond the snack shop our riders will find modern men’s and women’s restroom facilities.
All of the routes end at Sandhill Crane Vineyards, where riders can choose to enjoy their lunch indoors in the dining room, on the porch that wraps around the north and east sides of the winery, or at one of the shaded picnic tables scattered around the grounds. Riders will enjoy the stunning views from the porch, overlooking the vineyards with acres of grapes ripening under the August sun.
This is a wonderful summer ride for bicyclists of all ages. Individuals, couples and families will all enjoy the pleasant pace of riding in rural Jackson county, and at the end, relaxing with a delicious meal provided by Sandhill Crane Vineyeards consisting of mufaletta sandwich, soup, and ice cream with a fruit crisp. It is no wonder that many of our riders finish their day by making plans to attend this ride the following year!
Author Bio: Mike Woizeschke
Mike Woizeschke is president of the Cascades Cycling Club and is a lifelong bicycle enthusiast. He enjoys bicycling on the Falling Waters Trail, on the mountain bike trails of Ella Sharp Park, and on the paved and unpaved roads of rural Jackson county. Mike promotes bicycling every chance he gets, including personally volunteering as ride leader or ride sweeper for all of the Tour de Troit rides, and through his club’s sponsorship of the Pedal and Whine Bike Tour.