Happy mountain bike couple outdoors have fun together on a summer afternoon sunset.

Cycling Through Trying Times Together


While national “Ride Your Bike To Work Day” is likely to be met with many puzzled brows during a time of being asked to stay home to protect ourselves and others against COVID-19, cycling is an excellent means of exercise that can be practiced locally while maintaining social distancing.

Living in the top-rated state in the nation for bicycle trails, with over 2,700 miles of rails-to-trails converted paths, we are in a special position to embrace the bicycle as a means for exercise, escape, and family-friendly fun.

Something For Everyone
Whether you intend to hit the wooded trails and log some challenging mileage or take a leisurely trip with the family for some fresh air, there are many options to choose from. Find the nearest trail accessible to you by reviewing this multi-use trail map provided by the Michigan Trails & Greenways Alliance.

Pick a trail or route that comes with a reward. Perhaps there is a beautiful panoramic view at the end of your trail or an opportunity for the kids to splash through a stream that runs along the path. Set weekly goals of the number of trips made or track progress and shoot for special distance milestones. Keep it fun and make the best of your time outside!

Tips For Your Next Ride
With access to paved and unpaved trails, sidewalks, and parks all around us, it is important to stay local and use open spaces near your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily.

Keep these biking etiquette rules in mind on your next outings:

  • Stay to the right on the trail.
  • Bicyclists should always yield to hikers and runners.
  • Downhill traffic should yield to uphill traffic.
  • When approaching others from behind, let them know you are approaching. For example, runners and cyclists commonly say “on your left” when passing.

We can still enjoy being outside. Push yourself to be as responsible as possible—which includes being respectful of the great outdoors and also being mindful of social distancing and hand sanitizing guidelines recommendations.

Switching Gears
We have reached a challenging section of trail during these trying times and have needed to switch gears to stay the course. While you and your family navigate the path ahead, remember that GLE is a partner and resource to all of its members. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve worked to support families and businesses throughout our community. We are all in this together and will reach the finish line much more quickly by keeping safe and being mindful of others. #PowerOnTogether

Did you know?
GLE members have donated more than 3.7 million dollars back to their communities through a grant funding program called the ‘People Fund’. People Fund grants are funded with “extra change” donated by members who have their Great Lakes Energy bill rounded up to the next dollar. Some even opt for more! Many of these grants have been awarded to promote activity and use of facilities that would get our members outside and active. Initiatives the People Fund has supported include the upkeep or production of trail systems, construction of pavilions, tree planting within recreational areas, and much more. Interested in keeping the community pedaling? Visit our People Fund page to learn more.

A rider stops alongside a paved trail to use a map made possible by a 2019 $5,000 People Fund grant to Petoskey’s Top of Michigan Trails Council.

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