June 5, 2016
Route: Holland, MI to South Haven, MI and back
Distance: 67 miles
Bikes: Soma Stanyan & Soma Grand Randonneur
Start Wolters Woods
The first Sunday in June looked to be a great day for a ride. My brother and I loaded up our bikes in Grand Rapids and headed over to Holland, MI. From there we would make our way south to South Haven following roads and trails along Lake Michigan. This section of the coast is quite familiar to us, since we have ridden it on multiple occasions. As we departed from Holland, we made use of the Beeline trail which weaves its way south to Saugatuck. The recent rain fall had left parts of the trail wet but still navigable. However, rain storms also tend to wash debris onto trails which can cause sharp, tire puncturing objects to litter the pavement. Unfortunately my tire managed to pick up a small piece of glass and left me with a flat tire (only 10 miles into the days ride!). Luckily we replaced the tube and were back on the road in no time. After hopping off the trail, we rolled into Saugatuck. The downtown section had some neat sights including this harbor.
A tradition of ours has been to stop at a small park in the heart of downtown Saugatuck. It was at this spot on our first ever self supported bike tour (summer 2013) that our GPS died and left us questioning weather we could finish the last three days of the tour with paper maps. Since then, we’ve made a point of stopping at this park when ever we ride through this part of Michigan.
Our ride continued from the bench towards South Haven. With sun shining bright, we were kept warm and dry, making for a pleasant day to be on the road. Since we have ridden this route multiple times, it is filled with familiar sights and rest stops. Another tradition of ours is to visit West Side Park which is our final stop before reaching South Haven. This park is situated on a bluff that over looks Lake Michigan. A great place to relax and take in great views of the lake.
From here we stopped for lunch in South Haven and began to work our way north towards Holland. To make the return trip different, we took the Kal-Haven trail out of South Haven. Riding this trail is always a welcomed experience. One of the best spots along it is the covered bridge near the trail head in South Haven.
After connecting back up with surface roads, we made our way back to Holland. The days ride was going to be the furthest of the year so far. As we neared our start point, we could definitely tell this had been a long ride. While both of us were tired, the ride was a great way to spend a beautiful Sunday in June. The ride also helped us get back into the mindset of longer distance riding and motivated us to keep training for even longer rides throughout the summer.