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Column: Delta County Century Ride drawing near

ESCANABA — It’s hard to believe that it is again time for the seasons to change. Our kids are getting back into the swing of things at school, pumpkins spice everything is filling the grocery store shelves and we are preparing for sweater weather and the changing color of leaves.

A reminder of the changing season for me is always the return of the annual Delta County Century Ride. Not being a biker myself, I enjoy taking in the sites from my mini van as we tour the route to make sure everything is as it should be before our over 200 participants arrive.

Each of the four routes designed for the novice biker, all the way up to the seasoned road cyclist, take participants though the beautiful countryside that Delta County has to offer. With route lengths of 13K, 40K, 78K and 100K, it truly is a cycling tour for the entire family!

We have rest stops with food, beverages and entertainment along the routes. This will be a wonderful day for families, friends, and team members to get outdoors in the beautiful Upper Peninsula and enjoy an afternoon of exercise, food, fun, and sun.

One of my favorite parts of the event, aside from the delicious food served at each of our three rest stops, is the Team Competition. Every year we have family groups, business colleagues, churches and organizations form teams and participate in our friendly team competition. Team members simply sign the team roster when arriving and record their final distances when completing their chosen route. The much sought-after traveling trophy will be awarded to the team with the longest cumulative distance. In addition to the traveling trophy, new this year to the ride is the keepsake medal that will be awarded to participants who compete the 100k or Century.

Major sponsors for this fun-filled family cycling tour are Delta County Chamber of Commerce, Bink’s Coca-Cola Bottling Co., Visit Escanaba and OSF Healthcare St. Francis Hospital and Medical Group. Other past milepost supporters include: Bosk Paint & Sandblast, Check and Cash, Rotary Club of Escanaba, Stewart Manufacturing, LLC., Taylor, Lord & Hughes Inc., The Family Inn, and Viau’s Market

If you are looking for something fun to do on Sunday, Sept. 22, I encourage you to come on out and participate in the Delta County Century Ride, where the only thing better than the view is the FOOD! Registration is available at deltami.org. $20 for Adults, Kids 12 and under $12. Breakfast and Saturday nights Croatian chicken dinner are $5 each for participants with all other food offerings being included in the registration fee. A limited number of long sleeve event t-shirts will be available for $15.

If you are unable to participate, we do ask that with riders traveling our Delta County roads, please remember to drive with care throughout the day, slow down and give the bicyclists room to ride. Riders will be near the West Gladstone Bridge and the Days River area, along with the Gladstone High School and Sports Park and Flat Rock and Shaffer areas

Registration details:

Saturday, Sept. 21, is the early ride registration, packet pick-up and Elmer’s Croatian chicken dinner at the Besse Sports Park concession stand from 5 to 7 p.m. This allows the teams and individuals to start the Sunday ride without any delays. This can be a time saver for those attending Sunday worship services.

On Sunday, the pre-ride registration is from 7 to 10 a.m. for those who could not make the Saturday evening registration.

The scheduled start times are between 8 to 10 a.m.

Long range weather forecast states it’s going to be a great day for a ride. I hope you will consider coming out and celebrating the changing seasons at the Delta County Century Ride on Sunday, Sept. 22.

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Sheila Krueger is the assistant director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce

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