Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour survey

FHS seeks input on annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour in a survey

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

The enclosed link to the survey will help improve the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) signature event. That is the annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour  (FCBBT) held mostly on the Sunday following the July 4th holiday.

 

The routes have been designed for all riders regardless the level of experience. The shorter 12 & 28 mile routes are great for families. The 12-mile route is a loop around the beautiful Fallasburg Park located in northeast Kent County. The 28-mile route goes from the Fallasburg Covered Bridge to the Ada Covered Bridge. All routes are on paved roads and they include public bathroom stops.

The FHS makes every effort to assist riders in need with SAG (supportandgear) aka broom wagon.

Mark your calendars for the next FHS event. The 2nd annual Fallasburg Village Bazaar will be held on Sept.17 & 18 in the historic village of Fallasburg. So, come and explore our house museums: the one room schoolhouse, the Fallass House & the Misner House.

Don’t forget to stop by the Fallassburgh Field to see the vintage Fallassburgh Flats base ball team play the game without gloves on Sept. 17.

Follow us on twitter @fallasburg, #fallasburg, #puremichigan, and on other social media.

Please fill out the survey by clicking on the link. The survey is a public document for anyone to see.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSd2syXCoI0o4_wSfIRs5nn4ghPURS7s8vdMMaxbvZrPdqTwCw/viewform

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Advertisements

Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour 2016

Bike tour 2016 pedals to success

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI- Bicycle riders from all over Michigan flocked to the historic village of Fallasburg nestled on the banks of the Flat River three miles northeast of Lowell on Sunday last week.

It was a perfect day. Not too hot, not too cold. A mild breeze curled the water in the Flat River. The trees bowed their crowns over the Fallasburg museum buildings and the banks of the river. The sun, already high up at 8:30 am, cast its golden rays in between the leaves of oaks and maples.

Fallasburg bike tour 2016 registration with Tina Siciliano Cadwallader & Devon Siciliano.
Fallasburg bike tour 2016 registration with Tina Siciliano Cadwallader & Devon Siciliano.

Several bikers ahead of me pedaled through the Fallasburg Covered Bridge much like the early settlers rode on their horses and in coaches.

 

The atmosphere hasn’t changed. You hear the wheels hitting the wooden deck of the bridge and rolling slowly, no more than five miles an hour, over the planks.

You emerge on the other side of the river in full morning light. And a new day is born.

Fallasburg Covered Bridge connects to the past.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge connects to the past.

The bikers registered for the 22nd annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour (CBBT) at the one-room schoolhouse museum. The bike tour is the signature fundraising event for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS).

Registrar Tina Siciliano Cadwallader with niece Devon Siciliano were ready sitting behind the school teacher’s desk with an antique lamp.

They had already launched 62 riders with more streaming in by the minute.Outside the schoolhouse, FHS treasurer Alan Rumbaugh handed out route maps.

According to Rumbaugh, the most popular ride was the 50-mile route.

“Yes, I am the map guy,” he said. “You might as well go 50 rather than just 28. It’s a pretty day to do this.”

For Lisa Pohlad of Grand Rapids this was the third year on the Fallasburg CBBT. Pohlad, who was riding solo, decided for the 50-mile route to Coldwater and back to Fallasburg. However, even some tandem bikers picked the 50 route.

Bikers register at the schoolhouse.
Bikers register at the schoolhouse.

“I am doing the 50 route again,” she said. “It’s a great ride.”

Pohlad didn’t think anything needed to be improved with the event.

“It’s good as it is,” she said.

Most registering bikers asked about root beer which was the paired beverage to the Italian lunch. According to volunteers, the root beer is the jewel of the ride.

“Come early or we run out,” said FHS president Ken Tamke.

Tamke said he was worried about how many riders will participate.

“It’s like having a party and nobody shows up,” he joked.

Tamke along with Frank Brechbiel do the SAG (Support and Gear) aka broom wagon ride assisting bikers who need help en route. They sweep the routes for riders who are unable to continue or those who have technical difficulties.

Back at the Misner House museum it started getting busy around noon with hungry bikers flocking to the porch. FHS volunteer Dottie Blain was manning the buffet station. Blain made her excellent meatballs that are also served at the annual Christmas party on the second Saturday in December.

FHS volunteer Dottie Blain serve signature meatballs at Misner House.
FHS volunteer Dottie Blain serve signature meatballs at Misner House.

FHS volunteer Patty Brechbiel was in charge of catering the meal for some 120 riders. This included 10 gallons of pasta sauce doctored up for taste with herbs and spices.

“That’s unacceptable to leave it just from the jars,” she said.

Brechbiel was stationed with her grill by the famous Sprecker’s root beer keg from Wisconsin.

“One year we didn’t have it and it was a big disappointment for riders,” she said.

Typically, the crew serves food until 4 p.m.

FHS volunteer Patty Brechbiel at the catering station.
FHS volunteer Patty Brechbiel at the catering station.

Enjoying his meatball & spaghetti meal after a 62-mile ride, Jim Steenwyk of Dorr was no newcomer to the tour. Steenwyk, 74, is a member of the Rapid Wheelman biking group. He’s been riding bicycles since he turned three.

“What about your knees,” I asked. “I had to stop riding because of my knees.”

Steenwyk shook his head and sighed.

“Most people are not trained properly to ride a bike,” he said. “You put torque on your knees. It’s all in shifting.”

Avid wheelman Jim Steenwyk explains how to avoid torque on the knees when biking.
Avid wheelman Jim Steenwyk explains how to avoid torque on the knees when biking.

Steenwyk has 27 gears on his Camden road bicycle.

And what’s the future for the tour?

According to Tamke, some routes may get revamped while staying local. The organizers are considering a new route to Whites Bridge with a kayaking option.

“We attract a niche of riders every year,” Tamke said. “Come and join us for the 23rd annual bike tour.”

The 23rd Fallasburg Covered Bridge bike tour will be held on Sunday, July 9th with registration from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the one-room schoolhouse museum.

 

Note: Help the FHS improve the bike tour. We are looking for your feedback. Fill out our survey. Thank you.

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

Fallasburg set for bike tour

Get ready for Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour

By Emma Palova

Fallasburg, MI- After months of anticipation, the biggest event of the year for the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) opens Sunday, July 10th at the Fallasburg historical village located three miles northeast of Lowell, Michigan.

On average 150 cyclists take to the paved roads on a variety of routes ranging from 12 miles to 100 miles. All the routes have been meticulously perfected and signed over the 22 years of the tour’s existence.

 

The registration starts at 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the one-room Fallasburg schoolhouse museum with the cost of $35 per person.

“We attract a niche of riders every year,” said FHS president Ken Tamke. “We wanted to do something active. We thought a bike ride would be cool.”

It is the plan to revamp the routes to include a route to the Whites Bridge that will be rebuilt this year. This would include a kayaking option on the Flat River.

“We want to keep it local,” said Tamke.

The historic village is a true hidden gem on the banks of the Flat River founded by John Fallass in 1839. It includes the Tower Farm, the Misner House, the Fallass House, the Fallasburg Covered Bridge and the baseball field with the Fallas Barn built in 1896.

The baseball field serves as home field for the Fallasburg Cubs Vintage Base Ball Club.

The Fallasburg covered bridge spanning 100 feet serves as a gateway to the sleepy village lost in time, that was once a bustling town with sawmills and hotels.

The most popular 28-mile route will take you from the Fallasburg bridge to the covered bridge in Ada and back. All the routes begin and end in Fallasburg.

The grand finale of all the tours is a home-made Italian spaghetti meal served in the yard of the Misner House with the help of eight to 10 volunteers.

“Come and join us this year, enjoy the country and our sleepy little village,” said Tamke.

The FHS donates $1 per rider to support the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB) program in memory of ambassador of the bike tour Larry Martin. Martin was hit and killed on the eve of the 17th annual bike tour while riding his bike.

LMB is a lobbying group dedicated to making Michigan a safe place to bike.

 

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.