Touring Bicyclists to Make a Stop at Ferris State University

logoTwo bicycling tours will feature stops at Ferris State University and in the Big Rapids community this summer as part of their travels.

Participants from the 30th annual Pedal Across Lower Michigan bike tour will visit Big Rapids on Monday, June 20. PALM bicyclists begin their journey in Ludington on Saturday, June 18 before they stop in Hesperia on Sunday, June 19. The ride continues to Big Rapids on Monday, June 20 before stops in Clare, Bay City, Bad Axe and finally Harbor Beach to finish the tour on Friday, June 24. Later this summer, the 24th annual Wish-A-Mile 300 Bicycle Tour will stop at Ferris on Friday, July 29.

“Wish-A-Mile is a great cause and a great benefit to our university community as we welcome the bikers, have them experience our campus and have them interact with our students in one of our dining centers,” said Daniel Burcham, vice president for Student Affairs at Ferris. “To have so many visitors from WAM and PALM coming to our campus and interacting with our students, faculty, staff and summer campers is going to be a great experience and one that has us all excited.”

PALM is a six-day bicycle ride through Michigan. Approximately 870 participants will be involved in the tour. The daily distance spans between 35 to 60 miles for the bikers. PALM features routes suited for novice and intermediate riders as well as a route that is appropriate for more experienced riders. The emphasis is on the social and recreational aspects of bicycling. Bikers typically set up camp at schools on the tour. Routes for the tour alternate from year to year.

WAM is a three-day bike tour that features approximately 900 bicyclers who will make a stop at Ferris as part of an effort to raise funds and awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Michigan. The tour begins on Thursday, July 28 and concludes on Sunday, July 31. As a result of last year’s efforts, the tour was able to use contributions to grant wishes to more than 200 children in Michigan who are facing life-threatening medical conditions. This year, the goal is to make the wishes of 250 children come true.

WAM bicyclists will have the opportunity to spend time on campus with students, faculty, staff and summer campers. Some bikers will eat meals in university dining facilities as part of the overnight stay in Big Rapids. Some participants will stay overnight on campus while others will sleep in local hotels. Community members are planning to support the WAM bicyclists by hanging banners, signs and balloons to salute the efforts of the participants. Local organizers also are encouraging community members to cheer the bikers as they make progress along their route through Big Rapids.

“We are excited to have these bike groups coming to Big Rapids this summer. First is the PALM which will be here on Monday, June 20, and staying at the Big Rapids Middle School,” said Connie Koepke, executive director of the Mecosta County Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The other tour is the WAM bike group for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. They have approximately 900 people and will staying at area hotels and on campus, at Ferris, on Friday, July 29.”

For more information about the PALM bike tour, visit:

To learn more about Michigan Make-A-Wish go to

18 June, 2011