One year delayed: DALMAC to mark 50 year anniversary

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — This morning, more than one thousand cyclists will be leaving MSU’s Pavilion and riding up to the Mackinac bridge. 

It’s for the Dick Allen Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge ride, also known the DALMAC.

The bike ride began in 1971, founded by former State Rep. Dick Allen, whose goal was to gain acceptance for bicyclists on the road.

“We never envisioned that 50 years later the ride inspired by our motley 1971 crew would still be going strong,” said Allen, who recently marked his 88th birthday and plans to join riders heading north again this year.

Last year’s ride was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic.

A record number of riders had filled all openings when registration opened in January 2020. So the excitement for this four-day ride is higher than ever.

Over the years, the DALMAC become known as Michigan’s epic annual, end-of-summer bicycle camping tour. This year, it has over 1,200 riders, from 32 different states. Approximately 259 of those people are first-time riders.

Those participating in the DALMAC this year are a wide variety of people, ranging from ages 8 to 93.

There are multiple routes offered, and riders do pay a registration fee.

The annual ride led to the creation to the DALMAC Fund, which has raised more than $1.5 million in ride proceeds to things like bicycle safety education, trails, signage and other worthy bike-related programs and projects.

Now along the way, many riders will camp in school yards, where local organizations will provide food in the school cafeteria. 

Officials say some of the best parts of this ride are enjoying Michigan’s country roads and quaint small towns.

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