By MICKEY ALVARADO
Bicyclists from all over the country joined the 29th annual Pedal Across Lower Michigan (PALM), from June 19-25, and Macon Grocery was one of the stops on the tour.
The routes used during the six-day tour are different every year and normally follow scenic, paved back roads for novice and intermediate riders. The ride can be as relaxing or as exhilarating as participants like with PALM emphasizing on the social and recreational aspects of bicycling. The group travels between 35 to 60 miles a day and there is no time limit to get from point A to point B.
This year’s group of 700 cyclists stopped for a break in Lenawee County instead of camping. Back in 2008, PALM stayed overnight in Tecumseh at the high school. After leaving Macon, the bikers rode on to Milan High School and stayed for the evening.
This year’s route began in South Haven, stopped in Otsego (46 miles), Hastings (43), Eaton Rapids (47), Grass Lake (44), Milan (40) and ended in Gibraltar (33).
John Rossi, of Maryland, talked his wife and son into joining the ride and they were having a great time eating watermelon in Macon. He said they were having a lot of fun even though it stormed the night before. A tornado warning was issued and a siren sounded in Grass Lake.
“Everyone cleared the streets right away,” said John. “It was kind of scary. We thought it was a drill.”
Despite the crazy weather of Michigan, the Rossis and many others return annually for the PALM rides. Many say it’s because of the beauty and friendliness of the people.
Gina Gray and her husband Rick are the owners of Macon Grocery and they were very pleased the group asked if their store could be a stop on the tour. The Grays were busy greeting PALM’s riders between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 24.
Macon Grocery provided a cool place for cyclists to stop and rest between PALM’s ride from Grass Lake to Milan. Bike riders came and went throughout most of the day. Photo by Mickey Alvarado