History of PALM
As told by Doris West, Mail Granny Emeritus
Thomas Pendelton, City of Ann Arbor Bicycle Coordinator, Peter Lagerway, and Sally Janacek were driving home from a professional bicycling conference in Wisconsin and were discussing the fact that there should be a ride similar to RAGBRAI across the state of Michigan. This kind of ride would be good for cycling and good for Michigan. They brainstormed a ride name: PALM (Pedal Across Lower Michigan) and decided to plan a ride. As Doris says "Tom has a big personality and is a good idea man that people are willing to follow."
The idea of the ride was to be open to all cyclists especially novice riders and families. The first annual ride was June 20 through June 25th, 1982 and was sponsored by the Great Lakes Bicycle Council with the assistance of Metropolitan Detroit Council of AYH; Southwestern Michigan Regional Planning Commission, South-Central Michigan Planning Council and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
In the "Background" paragraph from the first registration form it stated:
Michigan is considered by many to be the prime vacation/recreation state in the Midwest. Bicycling is an unsurpassed way to experience the pleasures of such a state. We hope that by involving up to 500 people in bicycle touring, they may think about using bicycles more in their everyday lives.
At the same time, thousands of Michigan citizens will encounter PALM participants during the tour. We hope that this will increase their consciousness about safe bicycling too.
As you can see from our current application, we haven't strayed far from the original goals.
Standing committees for PALM have been: Registration, Routing, Site Coordination, SAG Service, Transportation, Repairs, Mile Post Booklet, Publicity and Education.
A group of dedicated volunteers lead the steering committee for PALM and meet monthly beginning in September to review the previous year's ride and begin the planning for the next year. Since the beginning, the staff of PALM has always been a volunteer group. The cooperation among the diverse members has been extraordinary. PALM continues to attract riders of all ages and abilities not only from Michigan but many other states and countries.
1982 - Berrien Springs, Dowagiac, Kalamazoo, Marshall, Michigan Center, Ann Arbor, Detroit
1983 - Grand Haven, Grand Rapids, Ionia, DeWitt, Grand Blanc, Memphis, Port Huron
1984 - South Haven, Kalamazoo, Colon, Concord, Pinckney, Rochester, Mt. Clemens
1985 - Holland, Allegan, Hastings, Eaton Rapids, Dexter, New Boston, Grosse Isle
1986 - Muskegon, Sparta, Lake Odessa, Olivet, Jonesville, Dundee, Monroe
1987 - Pentwater, Montague-Whitehall, Newaygo, Stanton, St. Charles, Vassar, Yale, Port Huron
1988 - Bridgman, Cassopolis, Schoolcraft, Coldwater, Hudson, Blissfield, Luna Pier
1989 - North: South Haven, Otsego, Hastings, Mason, Fenton, Romeo, Marine City
South: Bridgman, Cassopolis, Schoolcraft, Coldwater, Hudson, Blissfield, Luna Pier
(The South Route Was The First Time A Ride Was A Duplicate Of A Prior Year)
1990 - North: Montague, Fremont, Lakeview, Breckenridge, Frankenmuth, Yale, Port Huron
South: St. Joseph, Dowagiac, Colon, Jonesville, Brooklyn, Milan, Monroe
1991 - North: Pentwater, Manistee, Cadillac, Big Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, Sanford, Pinconning
South: Grand Haven, Sparta, Greenville, St. Johns, Chesaning, Sanford, Pinconning
1992 - North: South Haven, Parchment, Olivet, Leslie, Dexter, Tecumseh, Monroe
South: South Haven, Comstock, Marshall, Michigan Center, Chelsea, Tecumseh, Monroe
1993 - North: Fruitport, Grant, Stanton, St. Charles, Caro, Pigeon/Elkton, Harbor Beach
South: Fruitport, Cedar Springs, Carson City, Chesaning, Mayville, Deckerville, Harbor Beach
1994 - North: Saugatuck, Caledonia, Pewamo-Westphalia, Chesaning, Millington, Brown City, Lexington
South: Saugatuck, Middleville, Holt, Owosso, Lapeer, Brown City, Lexington
1995 - Bridgman, Cassopolis, Colon, Jonesville, Onsted, Dundee, Monroe
1996 - Fruitport, Rockford, Carson City, Owosso, Millington, Brown City, Lexington
1997 - Whitehall, Freemont, Big Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, St. Charles, Caro, Bad Axe, Harbor Beach
1998 - New Buffalo, Brandywine, Three Rivers, Coldwater, Addison, Dundee, Luna Pier
1999 - Grand Haven, Rockford, Carson City, Owosso, Otisville, Almont, St. Clair
2000 - South Haven, Otsego, Battle Creek, Leslie, Dexter, Dundee, Luna Pier
2001 - Muskegon, Grant, Lakeview, St. Louis, Montrose, Marlette, Lexington
2002 - Stevensville, Cassopolis, Three Rivers, Coldwater, Addison, Dundee, Luna Pier
2003 - Montague, Newaygo, Big Rapids, Mt. Pleasant, St. Charles, Marlette, Lexington
2004 - Holland, Allegan, Hastings, Eaton Rapids, Chelsea, Tecumseh, Monroe
2005 - Pentwater, Montague, Fremont, Big Rapids, Clare, Midland, Pinconning
2006 - South Haven, Plainwell, Battle Creek, Leslie, Chelsea, Dundee, Luna Pier
2007 - Spring Lake, Rockford, Carson City, Owosso, Millington, Almont, St. Clair
2008 - New Buffalo, Dowagiac, Sturgis, Coldwater, Hudson, Tecumseh, Monroe
2009 - Whitehall, Grant, Stanton, St. Charles, Vassar, Marlette, Lexington
2010 - South Haven, Otsego, Hastings, Eaton Rapids, Grass Lake, Milan, Gibraltar
2011 - Ludington, Hesperia, Big Rapids, Clare, Bay City, Bad Axe, Harbor Beach
2012 - St. Joseph, Paw Paw, Battle Creek, Leslie, Perry, Ortonville, New Baltimore
If you have an idea for a route you would like the staff to consider, please send us an email with the suggested cities and approximate mileage between them.