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.
Fallasburg bike tour 2016 registration with Tina Siciliano Cadwallader & Devon Siciliano.
Lunch stop at the Misner House museum.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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 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.
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.”
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.
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.
Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour takes to the road on July 10.
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.
Pedal through the beautiful countryside at your own pace
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Lowell, MI- The 22nd annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour is set for Sunday, July 10th with registration in person at the one-room schoolhouse from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.
Pre- registration online is at http://www.fallasburg.org or at the Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour page for $25 per individual, $35 for family before July 6th. After the deadline and in person, there will be an additional $5 charge.
There are several tour options ranging from 12 miles to 100 miles.
The most traveled route is the 28-mile route to Ada and back from the Fallasburg Covered Bridge to the Ada Covered Bridge , according to Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) president Ken Tamke,“It is a reasonably flat and easy ride for families and casual riders,” said Tamke.
The second most popular route is the South 50, which travels along rivers and streams through beautiful farmland.
Although the main reason to bike any of the routes is fitness, the camaraderie and feeling of accomplishment and adventure of a bicycle tour with friends or family is even better.
“It is exhilarating and exciting to set out on a journey and successfully attain your goal, whether it be 12 miles, 28 miles, 50 miles or 100,” said Tamke.
The Covered Bridge Bike Tour has grown from just a handful of registrants to 253 registrants last year. But, 250 registrants means 300 plus riders as family registrations can cover multiple riders.
“We’ve had modest gains, with more people joining the fun each year,” said Tamke.
The riders can select the distance they wish to ride from 12 miles to 100. They can also combine routes to get some variety. The 12-mile route climbs up Covered Bridge Road, over MacPherson to Sayles, then along the Flat River into Lowell and back to the village via Lincoln Lake.
The 28-mile route travels into Lowell along Lincoln Lake, then west along Grand River to Ada Park. The half-way point and rest stop is at the Ada Covered Bridge. The route follows the same path back to Fallasburg.
The 50-mile route south follows the same route as the 28, but turns south at Buttrick and heads down to 100th, then back east to Alden Nash and back up to Lowell and Lincoln Lake.
The 50-mile north route follows briefly the same path as the 12, but continues on into Ionia with a rest stop at the Blanchard House, then on to Saranac and back to Lowell along Riverside and eventually to the Fallasburg Village.
Last year approximately 20 riders completed the 100. They do the South 50 in the morning and the North 50 in the afternoon.
All proceeds from the bike tour go for the continued preservation of Fallasburg Village. The historical society uses the funds to maintain properties and implement educational programs. Fallasburg Historical Society is an all-volunteer organization so monies collected don’t pay a salary, but pay to fix things and teach people about Fallasburg history.
All routes begin and end in Fallasburg Village. The Misner House is the command center and serves as an outdoor lunchroom.
Dorothy “Dottie” Blain cooks a country-style Italian spaghetti and meatball feast and its vegetarian version with garlic bread and strawberry shortcake for dessert.
“Our riders absolutely rave about our food,” said Tamke. Additionally, all routes offer home-baked goodies, fruit and water or Gatorade at rest stops along the way. Each route has a rest stop.
Late Priscilla Lussmeyer came up with the idea of having a bike ride as a fundraiser for the society 22 years ago. She enlisted the help of one of her many friends who was into biking as a means to raise money for the society. It has grown steadily from there.
Tamke is hoping for 275 registrants and over 300 riders, 75 degrees, sunny and no humidity or wind – a perfect West Michigan day.
“I hope no one gets hurt, everyone has a fantastic time and tell all their friends about it so they can participate in the 23rd annual Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour,” said Tamke.
Tour options (in miles): 12, 28, 40, 50, 62, 78 or 100.
Registration fee: $25 for individuals / $35 for families.
For more information, call Ken Tamke at 616-682-0785 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions to Fallasburg
From Lowell: North approximately 3 miles to Fallasburg Park Drive.
Right to entrance of park. Angle right on Covered Bridge Road.
Over covered bridge to schoolhouse. Park in field across the street.
There will be county road signs on Lincoln Lake Road and Fallasburg Park Drive, alerting you to Park/Bridge/Historic Village.
Follow FHS and the Fallasburg Covered Bridge Bike Tour on twitter @fallasburg #fallasburg #fallasburgbiketour #fallasburghistory #fallas and other social media.
Copyright (c) 2016. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
Visit FHS booth no.129 at the 20th Lowell Expo this Saturday
By Emma Palova
Lowell, MI- The FHS booth no. 129 will be located in the Cafe at the Lowell High School.
For FHS, this is a unique opportunity to showcase happenings at the Fallasburg historic village located three miles northeast of Lowell, Michigan.
The events and activities that are coming up include the Spring into the Past museum tour on April 30 and May 1, the Covered Bridge bike tour on July 13, the Fallasburg village bazaar on Sept. 17 & Sept.18 during the Fallasburg Fall Fest and Christmas in Fallasburg on Dec. 10th.
The bike tour and the Christmas party are the biggest fundraisers for the FHS, according to president Ken Tamke. Mark your calendars today.
Overall there are four main exhibit sections plus the middle hall and the hallway. The flow of traffic starts at the main hall to gym A, to gym B and to the cafeteria. There are also two hallway sections.
The venue gets congested so be sure to pick up a map at the entrance.
This is the 20th year for the expo which each year presents local businesses, organizations and churches. There will be 40 new businesses at the expo. Annually, the expo features programming and a full menu.
Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.