Zoo de Mack: Riders ready for 51 miles of biking bliss
Nearly 4000 cyclists from all over the country are expected to ride the scenic 51-mile Zoo de Mack on Saturday, May 18. (News-Review file photo / May 10, 2013)
The 24th annual Zoo de Mack bicycle tour leaves Saturday morning from Boyne Highlands and winds its way through the scenic Tunnel of Trees, forests full of trillium, beaches, and bluff views of Lake Michigan and the Mackinac Bridge. The ride along Lake Michigan on Lake Shore Drive has been called one of the “top 50 scenic drives in the country” by National Geographic Traveler Magazine.
According to organizer Greg Drawbaugh, the Zoo de Mack isn’t a race. Rather it is a gathering of outdoor enthusiasts. The ride will take about six to seven hours, with a stop halfway at the Legs Inn in Cross Village for a leisurely lunch.
Cyclists wishing to do only half the miles can opt to do the Zoo de Legs, from Boyne Highlands to the Legs Inn or the Legs de Mack, a flatter course from Legs Inn to Mackinaw City. Organizers have arranged transportation for those who want to choose this option.
More than a bike tour, Zoo de Mack kicks off with a party in the Zoo Bar at Boyne Highlands on Friday, May 17. Bikers can register in the lobby below the Zoo Bar from 8 p.m.-midnight on Friday, or from 7:30-10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The ride has a staggered start on Saturday, where cyclists may start any time between 8-11 a.m. At the end of the race, cyclists take Arnold Ferry to Mackinac Island where there are several after parties scheduled at local bars and hotel rates are discounted. Or, those who would prefer more inexpensive accommodations, can party on Mackinac Island and take a return ferry to stay in Mackinaw City for the night.
The registration fee of $70 includes the pre-ride party Friday night at the Zoo Bar at Boyne Highlands, luggage transportation to Mackinaw City on Saturday, lunch at the Legs Inn on Saturday, finish line party in Mackinaw City, round trip ferry transportation to and from Mackinac Island on Arnold Ferry and post-ride parties on Saturday afternoon at The Crossing in Mackinaw City, as well as evening parties on Mackinac Island.
On Sunday, participants may take advantage of an eight mile bike ride or roller blade or run around Mackinac Island, as well as some mountain biking trails.
Organizers have made arrangements for bike storage, luggage transportation and shuttles, as well as discounts on accommodations from Petoskey to Mackinac Island.
More detailed information about the race can be found on the Zoo de Mack website at www.zoo-de-mack.com.