On Saturday, August 3, bicycle enthusiasts will have a unique opportunity to combine their love for cycling with taking a spin on GM’s Milford Proving Grounds.

Riders can choose a self-guided 68 mile, 32 mile or a 25 mile ride on country roads around Brighton and Milford, Michigan. Food and refreshments are available at several aid stations along the routes.

All rides begin with a 4 mile family loop on the GM Proving Grounds Milford Road Course! (Or if you’re not up to riding 25 miles, you can just ride the 4 mile loop a few times.) The 68 mile ride includes about five miles on the Brake Test Loop and the high speed straight at the west end of the Proving Grounds.

Tickets are $20 for adults; kids 12 and under are free. On-site registration begins at 7:00 a.m.; the ride starts at 7:30 a.m. Proceeds go to benefit Special Olympics of Michigan.

More information can be found in this article; you can pre-register by following the links.

Engine Song Changes to Freewheels Spinning

Sponsored by the GM Foundation, GM’s Jumpstart community service group of younger employees, several cycling suppliers and other companies, this ride will silence the music of engines and car tires in part of the Proving Grounds for a day.

Spinning of bike wheels and conversation between riders will replace it as GM partners with other organizations to promote healthy lifestyles.

GM’s Milford Road Course

The Milford Road Course was built in 2004 for testing ride and handling of GM’s cars, which provide transportation for people to go to work, shopping and on family vacations.

It’s a 2.9-mile road course that uses the infield of a 2.0-mile oval that had been used for truck durability testing.

You can watch this video of a Corvettebeing tested on the MRC, nicknamed the “Lutz Ring” after retired GM executive Bob Lutz, who pushed hard for its construction.

Car enthusiasts can learn more of the story behind the track in this Car & Driverarticle.

Brake Test Loop

The seven mile Brake Test Loop (which has some steep banked corners on the ends) is part of the 68 mile route; riders can also add it to the 32 mile route if they wish.

The Milford Road Course and Brake Test Loop offer some challenging terrain and scenic views. This is a great opportunity for the public to ride their bikes on GM’s test tracks; few people even get to drive on them!

USA Melting Pot Club Promoted the Ride

Leaders of the USA Melting Potclub donated three tickets that were given away at GM Powertrain’s July 26 Pontiac Family Picnic and Car Show while I was on the Little Fingers of Michiganbicycle camping trip.

Hopefully some of the hundreds of picnic attendees will bicycle in the August 3 MPG Dream Ride.

Bicycling

Bicycling is a recreational hobby that can be enjoyed by all ages. Michigan has the most Rails to Trailsmileage of any state and has organized rides every weekend throughout the summer. Details can be found at local bike shops or on-line.

Popular week-long tours including the PALM rideand the Michigander Rails to Trails tour.

An increasing number of cyclists ride to work, as Beaumont Hospitalpublished tips for cycling safety and highlighted one of their employees who rides to work year round.

 

Tour deTroitsponsors several events which raise money for bike lanes in the city of Detroit. Novice cyclists can ride in the 30 mile ride on September 21 which is more like a parade than a normal bike tour; the streets are closed to cars by the police.

More experienced riders can do the self-guided metric century (100 km, or 62 miles). Last year both groups took a lap of Belle Isle and enjoyed refreshments there. Afterwards food vendors supplied a hearty lunch to riders.

Conclusion

A few years ago I had the pleasure of a bus tour of the Proving Grounds after a reception for FIRST Roboticsvolunteers at Milford. Our tour guide said the bus driver holds the lap record for the Milford Road Course in a bus. (Thankfully he was going slower that day.)

When I first learned about this ride, I was excited about riding a bike on the MRC. However, my head is still healingfrom recent surgery and I can’t wear a bike helmet yet.

Hope to see you there – you may be in publicity photos for next year’s MPG Dream Ride!