Michigan is really two states, a fact not much changed by the building of the great Mackinac Bridge. North of the bridge is the Upper Peninsula, sitting like a cocked hat on the state of Wisconsin. People in the UP are called Yoopers- U Pers, get it? The Lower Peninsula, where almost all of the people live, is called the mitten, because it's shaped like a mitten. The rounded peninsula north of Detroit is called the thumb, and that's how the Thumbs Up Bicycle Club and the Thumbs Up Bicycle Tour got their names. Scenery you'll have on this tour. Nearly half of the total distance is along lakeshore. From Port Austin you'll get the first dose as you roll along the flat shoreline of Saginaw Bay.
Forests line the inland side of the road, and you'll pass two state parks and a state game area. Expect a seasonal tailwind along this stretch in the spring and a headwind in the summer. There are several swimming beaches along the road, but the best one is at the town park in Caseville. Turning inland the scenery will change to farmland, with crops of beans, wheat, corn and barley. Herds of dairy cows dot the farmyards. The little crossroads towns you pass through are there to serve the farmers, and the small cafes have a rural character. In Pinnebog you can get a sandwich at Coon's Farm Market.
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