March 13 2013 12:00 AM

42nd annual DALMAC bicycle tour leaves from East Lansing starting Wednesday

Friday, Aug. 24 — Ah, Labor Day weekend. Time to drag the lid over the pool, fire up the barbecue one last time, or maybe clip into your bicycle and pump the pedals several hundred miles for five straight days. If you find that last part a little extreme, there are about 1,700 bicycling enthusiasts rolling through town next week who can show you how it’s done.

On Wednesday, the Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) bike tour starts its mass migration from Michigan State University to the top of the Mitten, just like it’s done at the end of every summer for the last 42 years.

Riders have a choice of four routes that leave from the MSU Pavilion to either Mackinaw City or Sault Ste. Marie, with courses ranging in distance from 286 miles for the four-day route to 404 miles for the five-day version.Heats will be spread over two days, with departures starting at 7 a.m. on Wednesday.

Organizers say it’s a “recreational tour open to all capable, interested bicyclists,” but you have to be pretty capable and mighty interested to take on this beast.

Proceeds from the tour have donated over $1 million to bike-related organizations, including trail projects and public safety measures.This year’s awards totaled nearly $75,000. One of the DALMAC’S more recent projects is contributing $10,000 to the reconstruction of Moores River Drive in Lansing, which involves removing the seawall on the Grand River and re-contouring the riverbank. The project also includes adding bike paths along Waverly Road and Lansing Road.

This year’s registration is already closed, but if you’re interested in participating in next year’s DALMAC tour, you can get more information at or