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This Leelanau Wine Route Bike Tour is an easy day trip adventure

By on March 23, 2021 0

SUTTONS BAY, MI – Grand Traverse Bike Tours has long been a favorite for bike rentals and guided bike tours in this waterfront corner of the Leelanau Peninsula. But this summer, when many people are looking for outdoor adventures that come with a side of social distancing, staff have designed a flexible two-wheeled wine cellar day trip that lets people to choose themselves which stops to visit and how long to drive.

And it’s all backed up by a behind-the-scenes support team who will deliver your catered lunch, pick up any bottles of wine you buy along the way, or just be on call in case you get stuck in a traffic jam.

“Our guests are loving this tour this year,” said Nick Wierzba, owner of the travel agency with Suttons Bay Bikes. “It’s the perfect post-quarantine activity. Lots of fresh air, sunshine and some wine!”

The self-guided Leelanau Wine Route Bike Tour is an easy-to-follow mapped route that allows riders to choose from seven different award-winning wineries. They can pedal up to whoever they choose and get off their bike for pre-arranged tasting appointments, all of which are set up for them in advance.

The route’s main corridor is a large section of the flat, paved Leelanau Trail, which stretches from Traverse City north to Suttons Bay.

Along the route are wineries with outdoor tasting options like Shady Lane Cellars, Mawby Vineyards and Winery, Black Star Farms, and Ciccone Vineyard and Winery.

The Leelanau Trail connects Traverse City to Suttons Bay. Photo courtesy of Grand Traverse Bike Tours and Two Twisted Trees Photography LLC

“You can soak up the scenery of orchards and vineyards safely along the paved Leelanau trail, then take detours to the vineyards just off the trail,” Wierzba said. “Our staff prearranges all tasting appointments for your visit, as well as tailoring an itinerary tailored to your level of adventure. Bike 12-15 miles for the day, visiting wineries along the way, usually 3-4 miles apart. Even better, we pick up all the wine purchases and bring you lunch to enjoy the view of the vineyards.”

If the route turns out to be a little more difficult than you thought, or if the day slips away and you need a ride back, you’ll have a support van on hand to help you. Although most runners don’t need it, it’s nice to know it’s there.

The tourist site’s website describes it best: “We provide service for flat tires, mechanical breakdowns, loss of path, bad weather rescue, transportation of wine purchases and just about anything that comes up. . Think of us as a remote command center helping you pursue your own perfect day.

Bike tours on the Grande Traverse

Stop for a water break at a northern Michigan vineyard. Photo courtesy of Grand Traverse Bike Tours and Two Twisted Trees Photography LLC.

What is included in the self-guided tour:

  • Rental of Bianchi hybrid bikes and helmets (options to upgrade to e-bikes or carbon road bikes are available)
  • Route planning guidance provided the morning of your tour
  • Map showing routes and destinations
  • Delivery of catered deli boxes (*special dietary needs can be accommodated)
  • Van assistance (picking up wine purchases!)
  • Roadside assistance
  • Souvenir water/water bottle

The cost is $69 per person. Tasting fees are not included.

The bike tour company also offers a few newer perks for customers that focus on convenience.

The first is a selection of e-bikes. These have been sought after so far this season. For some, they like the ease of use. Others like to be able to cover a few extra miles during the day trip, perhaps even allowing them to add an extra winery to their itinerary.

The second is the company’s contactless pickup. This is available for both his bike rentals and tours. When booking a bike or tour online, people can pre-select contactless pickup. It’s also a good way to streamline the check-in process.

“Contactless pickup is super easy,” Wierzba said. ‘Select the ‘Contactless Pickup’ option when booking. Then collect your bikes from the back, pre-booked and ready to roll. No need to enter our store! Please call when you arrive at our store and our mask-wearing rental staff will meet you with your pre-sanitized bikes”

For more details on Grand Traverse Bike Tours and information on availability and reservations, check the website.

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