Lindsey Bos, a second grade teacher at Oakwood Elementary School and a St. Patrick School alum, recently completed a bicycle trip across the entire lower peninsula of Michigan.
Bos participated in Pedal Across Lower Michigan, better known as PALM. Established back in 1982, PALM is focused on riders of all experience levels, especially families and novice riders. They organize an annual bicycle tour across the state, including overnight camps at schools along the way. The riders are also supported by several volunteers driving SAG (support and gear) vehicles along the route.
The 2019 event started in South Haven on the shore of Lake Michigan on Saturday June 22nd. On Sunday they traveled to Lawton (49.6 miles), Monday to Union City (48.8 miles), Tuesday to Jonesville (44.8 miles), Wednesday to Adrian (53.4 miles), Thursday to Dundee (50.7 miles), and their final leg was on Friday the 28th with a 26.9 mile ride to Luna Pier on the shore of Lake Erie.
The total distance of the ride was 274.2 miles. Riders that opted into additional daily add on rides may have ridden up to 399.9 miles total.
This was Bos’ first time attempting the ride. She said, “I hadn’t even heard about the PALM until they rode through Portland last year. So, I looked up the ride and thought to myself - I can do that since it’s around 50 miles a day.”
She said, “It was hard finding time to get some ride time in this spring with all the rain. I was pretty nervous since this was all new to me, but the amount of love and support from friends and family was overwhelming. I’d read texts and posts when I was laying in my tent at night, which helped me push through each day.”
The experience also allowed Bos to meet some supportive new friends. “The age range for this ride was higher than I had expected - but was amazing to talk with people each day when you rode in and were waiting around to unload the trucks. I had a couple people who I’d talk to each day, and would set up camp near. They almost “checked in on me” each day. We’d grab lunch together and chat. They even reached out via email after the ride was over.”
Bos added, “This was a fun experience for me. Maybe something to do each year. I’m currently looking into a century ride (100miles) at the end of this month. We will see what happens.”
Map from www.palmbiketour.org. Other images courtesy of Lindsey Bos.