We spent a lot of time in Northern Michigan this past July – partly because we accompanied Mr. Ding as he crewed for a couple sailboat races around the Great Lakes. One weekend was the Ugotta Regatta up in Harbor Springs Michigan. Since there were two days of racing planned, LD and I thought we’d bring the Yuba up with us and bike around. It was too cold to hit the beach while we were there (bummer) but that just meant we spent more time biking around, which really wasn’t so bad.
The town of Harbor Springs (population 1,200) sits along the shore of Little Traverse Bay – around the corner, so to speak, from Petosky Michigan. The downtown area and most of the town is fairly flat, with the rest of the town climbing up the hills behind and around it, which makes for easy biking. Even in high summer season, on a regatta weekend, traffic wasn’t that bad. They don’t have bike lanes, but the streets are narrow and the speed limits low, so motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists all played nice and got along.
And.. they have bike racks all over town!
Bike parking at the boat shop and marina..
Bike parking near the yacht club.
And I think almost everyone must ride their bike to church.
While I enjoyed cruising around town on the Yuba , and doing a little shopping (earrings for me, yo-yos for LD)..
I think LD liked biking to the dock to greet his Dad and the boats returning from the race, the best.
So if we all like walkable, bike-friendly vacation spots – and it certainly seems like many of the touristy lake towns in Northern Michigan have figured that out – why isn’t it easier for municipalities to add more bike-friendly infrastructure in the cities and towns we live in during the rest of the year?