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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
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    1,375

    What is the Midland, MI area like?

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    Thinking of applying for a job in Midland, MI. Does anyone have any bike-specific or general impressions of the area?
    I'm a mid-small town girl, grew up in Santa Fe NM and now live in the extreme SE corner of WA state. I like small(er), I like to camp, cycle, bird watch...
    I hated NC the 5 years I was there were the worst, despite having some of the best friends I've ever had, I just hated the climate and all those darned trees blocking my view.
    thanks,
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    California
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    I grew up in small town Michigan, and then spent several more years in Ann Arbor. If you don't like the climate in North Carolina, then you probably won't like Michigan either. Summers will be hot and humid - 90 degrees and 90% humidity - and lots of bugs - probably not dissimilar to NC. Winters will be cold and snowy - much more miserable than NC.

    The terrain will be mostly flat with some small rolling hills. There will be lots of shortish trees - except on land cleared for farming.

    In terms of cycling: Michigan is covered by a grid of roads. Back when the state was originally surveyed, it was divided up into 1 square mile squares. There are almost always roads at those boundaries. Sometimes the grid is divided further, and of course there are also roads that follow geographic features. This means that outside of towns, you can zig-zag around on "back" streets making whatever length cycling route you want.

    I think zoom-zoom could give a more up to date details...
    Laura

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,221
    On the other hand, Midland is only an hour away from vistas like these.

    http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showt...ichigan&page=4

    Martha
    who just spent 2 weeks in northern MI, including Mackinac Island, the Upper Peninsula, and Taquemenon State Park (before the fire).
    Last edited by withm; 06-01-2012 at 08:24 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,056
    I live about 20 miles east of Midland, Michigan(in Bay City). This area is pretty flat, some rolling hills up north. We have tons of camping, skiing, cross country skiing, abundence of bird watching, art shows, there are casinos close by. Midland isn't 'big city', the downtown has coffee shops, local restaurants. Midland is pretty central located in Michigan. There are also 2 cycling clubs in the area. Hope this helps some.
    2011 Specialized Secteur Elite Comp
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by laura* View Post
    I grew up in small town Michigan, and then spent several more years in Ann Arbor. If you don't like the climate in North Carolina, then you probably won't like Michigan either. Summers will be hot and humid - 90 degrees and 90% humidity - and lots of bugs - probably not dissimilar to NC. Winters will be cold and snowy - much more miserable than NC.

    The terrain will be mostly flat with some small rolling hills. There will be lots of shortish trees - except on land cleared for farming.

    In terms of cycling: Michigan is covered by a grid of roads. Back when the state was originally surveyed, it was divided up into 1 square mile squares. There are almost always roads at those boundaries. Sometimes the grid is divided further, and of course there are also roads that follow geographic features. This means that outside of towns, you can zig-zag around on "back" streets making whatever length cycling route you want.

    I think zoom-zoom could give a more up to date details...
    That sounds about right! I don't know the Midland area real well, aside from having ridden my bike out that way as part of the One Day Ride Across MI. I'm doing it again, this year (I'm one of the organizers, too).

    The Southern portion of MI is fairly flat, though there are more hills as you head north and west (it's been years since I was in the UP, but I recall that area having some pretty big hills, too). We are just at the southern edge of where some good hilly counties start on the western side of the state. The Midland area seems pretty flat, from what I saw of it.

    The League of Michigan Bicyclists site has some good info. on various tours and events around the state, too.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
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    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,056
    laura*, I don't know about having alot of bugs and the winters being miserable with lots of snow. Last year we hardly got any snow. As far as being 90 degrees and 90% humidity - maybe a few days, just like we have days in the single digits in the winter. I guess I'm biased, having lived here all my 56 years. One thing for sure the traffic isn't like 'big cities' - you won't sit in 'bumper to bumper' on the freeway trying to get home.
    2011 Specialized Secteur Elite Comp
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    DE
    Posts
    1,221
    I just came back from 2 glorious weeks in northern Michigan. We participated in Tawas Bird Festival, getting up at 5:30 am to go out on field trips to look for birds. We went to Charity Island, some trails at Eagle Run area along the Au Sable, Tuttle Marsh, and finally to the Pine River Kirtland Warbler refuge, where we did indeed spot some endangered Kirtland Warblers. As a neophyte when it comes to birding, I did not see nearly as many (nor did I have a prayer of identifying them) as others, but en masse the group reported around 175 different species.

    Then we took a day trip up to Mackinac Island, where every bend in the ring road around the island revealed an even more beautiful vista than the last. The fact that the island is car free was so refreshing! Now you did have to be a little careful not to ride through horse stuff, but there were regular clean up (all done by bicycle) so it really was not a problem.

    Then onward to the UP, and the bird observatory, and the shipwreck museums at Whitefish Point. Put my hands into Lake Superior (brr cold), walked along the beach ("I can see Canada from here!"), and just enjoyed the beautiful crisp, clean air that is not found in the big city, or anywhere on the east coast for that matter.

    Finally a stop to see lower and upper falls at Taquemenon Falls State Park. We were actually there when the big forest fire started last week, but it was a few miles away from us and we did not see any signs of it at all.

    Then the long drive back to Tawas, and a few days later, back to Delaware.

    I love visiting Michigan, and as soon as I can retire, I plan to live there around 6 months each year, and I can't wait.

    To get a good feel for the different areas in Michigan, I'd suggest looking at the Pure Michigan website. You can spend hours perusing that.

    http://www.michigan.org/

    The photos show us at the the Charity Island Lighthouse, the list of birds seen at the Eagle Run field trip (yeah, I know it's hard to read), the Upper Falls at TQ, an owl at the Live Birds of Prey demonstration, and finally the group looking everywhere for Kirtland Warblers (we found several) in the jack pines.

    If I lived in a place where I could do these sort of activities every weekend I would be happy.

    Another thing to consider, in the summertime it does not get dark until 9-10pm depending on where you are. Makes for nice evening bike rides with no traffic. Sweet!

    No, I don't work for Michigan tourism. Maybe I should look into that as a second, no make that third career?
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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by surgtech1956 View Post
    laura*, I don't know about having alot of bugs and the winters being miserable with lots of snow. Last year we hardly got any snow. As far as being 90 degrees and 90% humidity - maybe a few days, just like we have days in the single digits in the winter. I guess I'm biased, having lived here all my 56 years. One thing for sure the traffic isn't like 'big cities' - you won't sit in 'bumper to bumper' on the freeway trying to get home.
    Our average snowfall on this side of the state is 96", IIRC...a few Winters ago we hit 120". This past year I don't think we even had 3' total for the year. I never even used my Yaktrax once...it was surreal.

    I don't think Midland gets nearly as much snow as we do, though. I'd guess their average is maybe 60"/year...?
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,056
    withm, glad you enjoyed your trip to Michigan. Love the Lighthouse in Tawas(one of our favorite placed to camp). Next time you visit you should check out the 'thumb' area(Port Austin, Caseville, Harbor Beach).
    2011 Specialized Secteur Elite Comp
    2006 Trek 7100

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Middle of the mitten
    Posts
    109
    Get in touch with Jason (http://xxcmag.com/about xxcmag@gmail.com )
    He moved from SE PA to near Midland a bit less than two years ago. He bikes, puts together the mag linked to and would be able to give you a perspective of someone who moved to Michigan and near Midland.

    I'm a lifelong Michigan resident and there are some spectacular pluses to being here. Cost of living is reasonable compared to many parts of the country. Summer is great, spring and fall are superb and if you're into winter things it's another dimension. Corsair XC skiing isn't too far from Midland.
    Good kayak/canoeing abounds. Plus from anywhere in Michigan, you're always close to one of the Great Lakes.

    The area you're looking at has one large employer (Dow), some smaller ones. Not the vibe of Ann Arbor for sure but it's a much shorter drive to the upper half of the lower peninsula.

    For road riding, 'tis true, it's pretty much a grid. If you're into riding gravel roads it can get pretty and interesting too. Low traffic for the most part.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    1,375
    Thank you all. I am working on my resume right now... going to send it off today.
    It will be a big move for me - Totally different lifestyle, etc. But, why not?
    My SO says he'll go with me, not sure if that's a good thing, but that's for another thread
    My photoblog
    http://dragons-fly-peacefully.blogspot.com/
    Bacchetta Giro (recumbent commuter)
    Bacchetta Corsa (recumbent "fast" bike)
    Greespeed X3 (recumbent "just for fun" trike)
    Strada Velomobile
    I will never buy another bike!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Ann Arbor
    Posts
    42
    Go for it. I'm a So Cal transplant from 20 years ago. The humidity takes some getting used to, but it's nothing compared to many other areas. I'm so in love with Ann Arbor that I'd have a hard time living elsewhere. In Midland you'd be able to drive to anywhere in the Lower Peninsula in 2 1/2 hours.
    2010 Trek Madone 4.5
    2013 Velo Orange Campeur

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    870
    I'm a southern gal transplanted here for 24 years. Fall ,Spring and winter are gray gray gray gray, with a side order of gray. Midland is a happy town full of happy people though. I thought they were all very cheerful there when I did a century ride that was advertised to be the flattest century around. I like the western part of the state, which isn't a very far drive. There is an outlet mall nearby and an old style German village, Frankenmuth. Tri-city cycling club puts on some rides too.


    Not all who wander are lost

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    113
    Quote Originally Posted by surgtech1956 View Post
    withm, glad you enjoyed your trip to Michigan. Love the Lighthouse in Tawas(one of our favorite placed to camp). Next time you visit you should check out the 'thumb' area(Port Austin, Caseville, Harbor Beach).
    That's where I'm from! Detroit and port huron, before coming to Colorado.

    As someone from Michigan who is now in the mountain west, I can say that if you like sun, Michigan won't be your best friend. But, the humidity is good for your skin!!

    I never rode my bike in Michigan, but it can be a gorgeous state. Fall is amazing, spring is lovely, but the winters are grey and snowy, and summers are muggy. But there's tons of lakes, beaches, and in the mid/upper part of the state, people are pretty matter of fact and straightforward,which is nice.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Whitmore Lake, Michigan
    Posts
    930
    Quote Originally Posted by TsPoet View Post
    Thank you all. I am working on my resume right now... going to send it off today.
    It will be a big move for me - Totally different lifestyle, etc. But, why not?
    My SO says he'll go with me, not sure if that's a good thing, but that's for another thread
    Did the Midland job pan out? Just wondering. I'm from S.E. Michigan and have toured (not by bike) nearly every corner of the state and love them all. It's been a fun thread to read.
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