Tom Petzold 

As a teenager I was drawn to cycling in large part out of a desire to explore and discover new places, at a time well before smartphones, digital mapping and automated navigation. Figuring out optimal routes with the least traffic to remote destinations was a big part of the fascination I was developing for the sport. In my 30’s I began exploring the routes from my home in metropolitan Detroit to Petoskey. I did this ride several times, typically once per year, but never the same route twice – each time I sought to improve upon it. My design of the Split The Mitt route incorporates much of the knowledge gained from these rides but enhanced considerably thanks to the influence of my Traverse City-based Less Cancer teammates. The finish in Traverse City enables us to takes advantage of glorious roads and bike paths cut through the national forests along the western third of the lower peninsula. Point-to-point riding with an ever-changing landscape is so rewarding, but made more so by the camaraderie of the dynamic group of enthusiasts that make up Team Less Cancer. I encourage others to join the team and discover parts of Pure Michigan that most people have no idea even exist.