Frankenmuth is Michigan's ?Little Bavaria,? the home of the world's largest Christmas store and all-you-can-eat chicken dinners and the most popular tourist destination in the state. It might be the last place you?d think of for a relaxing bike ride. But the Frankenmuth Ramble circles the strip where the tourist trappings are concentrated, avoiding the crowds. You?ll follow a most pleasant, quiet route through Saginaw County farmland. The ride is mostly flat, with a few pulls and glides ? nothing big enough to be called a climb or descent. Still, postride, you?ll be able to justify second helpings at Zehnder's or the Bavarian Inn. This route is a modified version of the Frankenmuth Fahrrad, a fundraising ride held by the city's Optimist Club. But fahrrad, German for ?cycling,? isn?t what most people associate with Michigan's ?Little Bavaria,? as the community bills itself. The town is renowned for three things: its German heritage, displayed in everything from architecture to food; Bronner's Christmas Wonderland, which crams Christmas items into a building on the outskirts of town bigger than five football fields; and all-you-can-eat chicken dinners at the twin giant restaurants owned by members of the same family. After riding the Frankenmuth Ramble, however, riders will be able to add fahrrad to the list. With some of the historical monuments it passes, the ramble allows you to appreciate not only Frankenmuth's German heritage but its Native American roots. You?ll enjoy quiet country roads and return to Frankenmuth having earned one of the two million chicken dinners Zehnder's and the Bavarian Inn will serve this year. Terrain: Mostly flat.
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