STRAIGHT TALK: Building a cycling community

Shoreline Cycling Club offers way to get active

MANISTEE — With about three dozen members in two coastal counties, the Shoreline Cycling Club’s goal is to promote bicycling in Manistee and Mason counties.

The members occasionally take group rides, help to build trails and establish a foundation for bikers to enjoy the region’s natural resources by bike.

The group also publishes a magazine titled DIRTroad.

The Manistee News Advocate spoke with the group’s founder Dave Maclean about the origins of the group and its progress in the two counties.

The Shoreline Cycling Club occasionally conducts group rides on various trails and roads in Manistee and Mason counties. (Courtesy Photo)

The Shoreline Cycling Club occasionally conducts group rides on various trails and roads in Manistee and Mason counties. (Courtesy Photo)

MNA: How was the Shoreline Cycling Club formed? 

DAVE MACLEAN

DAVE MACLEAN

MACLEAN: About five years ago, I went to a mountain bike summit and got an idea to build some trails in Ludington. Ludington has an area called the school forest (on) some property that the Ludington school system owns. I got an idea to build some trails in there called gateway trails (which are) a stepping stone for kids and beginners to get into mountain biking. They’re a relatively easy trail and nothing too difficult so it’s a good way for people to learn how to mountain bike.

That was an ideal location for a trail like that, so I approached the school system and they said that there needed to be some type of organization behind it. They were for something like that, but they needed a structured organization. That’s when I formed the bike club.

 

MNA: How has the club grown since then?

MACLEAN: It expanded up into Manistee. It started out as a Ludington thing, and then I got into contact (with Manistee residents). There’s a pretty strong biking community in Manistee. I talked to some friends up there, and they were all about having a club that they could be part of because there was projects up there were under a similar situation.

 

MNA: How many members does the club have? Where are they from?

MACLEAN: We’ve got probably 35 members split up 50 percent from the Ludington area and 50 percent from the Manistee area. I’d say it ranges from Pentwater to Arcadia.

Shoreline Cycling Club members complete a variety of rides through the terrain in Manistee and Mason counties. (Courtesy Photo)

Shoreline Cycling Club members complete a variety of rides through the terrain in Manistee and Mason counties. (Courtesy Photo)

 

MNA: What activities does the group do?

MACLEAN: There’s occasional group rides, trail building projects and meetings once or twice a year. We do some activities for Special Olympics. We were involved from the ground up with the Manistee non-motorized trail park (on M-55).

 

MNA: Can you tell me about the group’s publication?

MACLEAN: That was an idea that came up at a meeting about three years ago. There’s other areas that do that, and everybody thought it’d be cool to do for our area to get the word out that we’ve got great bike riding in our area. There was a small committee formed to spearhead the publication. This year’s publication is our second edition, and it’ll probably have a two-year shelf life before we do anything else.

 

MNA: Why do club members believe cycling is important?

MACLEAN: We’re obviously all cycling advocates and just want to promote cycling in general and try to make our area a little more of a cycling destination. It’s happening in other communities. Everything is getting to be (about) walkability (and) bikeability, and we just want to make sure that we’re right there with that trend and trying to promote better trails and access. It’s not just mountain biking. (We’re) trying to do stuff with bike paths, encouraged more paved shoulders. Ludington and Manistee are big for bike tours coming through our area, so we are trying to promote them and make it more friendly for all of the touring bikers.

 

MNA: Is there anything else you’d like to add?

MACLEAN: We’d love to boost our membership and get other people that are interested in cycling involved.

 

MNA: How can prospective members join?

MACLEAN: It’s a $20 membership for an individual, and the best thing is to go to shorelinecyclingclub.org.

avatar

Posted by Eric Sagonowsky

Leave a Reply