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Born to Ride: A Man’s Love for Biking

Bob Helmet

They say if you love something, let it go – or as Bob Downes says, let it roll!

Bob Downes, a cyclist and author, is no stranger to the trails in Northern Michigan. He says, “Michigan is the number one trail state in the country. We have more rail trails and more rail trail mileage than any state in the entire country.” And with his passion for the sport and knowledge of the area, being from Traverse City, he wrote Biking Northern Michigan. 

To him, biking isn’t just a hobby – its a lifestyle. He is part of the Cherry Capital Cycling Club in Traverse City, and even the Communications Director for them. Downes has also done quite the traveling, biking across much of Europe and across the entire United States from Seattle all the way to the tip of New Finland. Did I mention this sport is a lifestyle? “I try to do more than 100 miles every week,” Downes shared. If that isn’t dedication, I don’t know what is!

Besides the fact that he has more than three bikes to ride along many different kinds of trails, he’s also written six books. His book Biking Northern Michigan is packed with over 40 cycling routes, all ridden and researched by Downes. He highlights the region’s safest trails and includes history and dining recommendations to stop and take a riding break at. He also emphasizes safety precautions when riding a bike, and essential gear to pack with you for your ride. You can purchase Biking Northern Michigan on Bob’s website, local bookstores and cycle shops, and Amazon.

For more information, visit , where you can learn more about his travels and other books.

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