Hundreds of cyclists participate in Ride Around Torch

Hundreds of cyclists participate in Ride Around Torch

ANTRIM COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Close to 1,000 cyclists participated in the 31st Annual Ride Around Torch bike tour on Sunday.

Cyclist could ride in the 26, 40, 63 or 100-mile tour around Torch Lake.

Ride Around Torch was no race, though - organizers say the event is meant to be enjoyed for every skill level.

“Everybody should do it,” said Joanna Vanraaphorst. “If you can breathe you should do it. It's not a race it's not a competition. It's just fun.”

Groups from across Michigan and even the country attended the event.

The money from the tour all goes towards funding biking trails and positive biking efforts in the Grand Traverse area.

The tour invites anyone and any age. Whether you are a serious cyclists or just a group of girlfriends looking for something fun to do.

One of the many groups at the tour was the 'Fun, Fabulous, Fifties' meet-up group from Traverse City.

“The motivation is really to finish,” said group member, Lisa Greutman. “Especially at our age and next year we will do longer.”

Other groups say that this tour has become a tradition. Some even custom made their own outfits.

“We kind of like eating pop tarts before we start. That's our pre-race meal, it's a tradition. They make fun of us, so she decided she would make shirts for us,” said Clift Montague and Gus LaRuffa, members of Team Pop-Tart cycling group.

Work colleagues have also formed their own cycling groups, including Munson Health Care.

Ride Around Torch was the group’s first official event.

“It's nice to see all the bikers come out together and everyone is really friendly,” said Munson Health Care group member, Kim Garlington. “Also, representing whoever you work for or whatever team you're on, everybody likes to be on a team. It has been a lot of fun.”
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