Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sites for PALM 2013

Saturday, June 22, Norton Shores:
Mona Shores Middle School, 1700 Woodside Road, Norton Shores, MI 49441

Sunday, June 23, Grandville:
Grandville Middle School, 3535 Wilson Avenue, Granville, MI 49418

Monday, June 24, Lake Odessa:
Lake Wood High School, 7223 Velte Road, Lake Odessa, MI 48849

Tuesday, June 25, Dansville:
Dansville High School, 1264 Adams Street, Dansville, MI 48819

Wednesday, June 26, Manchester:
Manchester High School, 20500 Dutch Drive, Manchester, MI 48158

Thursday, June 27, Petersburg
Summerfield High School, 17555 Ida West Road, Petersburg, MI 49270

Friday, June 28, Luna Pier:
Mason Middle School, 2400 Mason Eagles Drive, Erie, MI 48133.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Registering Groups For PALM

In the past 5 years PALM has filled quickly: in 2008 PALM filled in 10 days. It filled in 9 days in 2009, 7 days in 2010, 4 days in 2011, and 2 days in 2012. If you want to register a group of riders, you can still do it but it takes some strategy. First include the applications for everyone in your group in the same envelope. We use postmarks to determine the ride cutoff (and round up. Everybody who has the same postmark as the 700th rider is on the ride.) If everybody is in the same envelope, they all have the same postmark so everybody in the group is on PALM or nobody in the group is on PALM.

But what if some members of the group live far away? If PALM fills in 2 days like it did last year, how can the applications for these remote members be included in the same envelope in time?

Solution: include an application for the remote members (it will be missing signatures)  and include it in the envelope with the rest of the (signed) applications. Include a note saying that their completed signed application will be sent separately (and include their registration fee). Have the remote members download and mail in their completed, signed applications with a note saying that their unsigned application has already been submitted and who submitted it. We'll join them together at PALM headquarters.

Remember to get the earliest possible postmark, go to a post office and have the postal clerk postmark or round date the envelope with all the applications in it and mail it 1st class. You do not have to priority mail the envelope. We go by postmark, not delivery date. It could take days to actually get to us, but you'll be on the ride if the postmark is right. But do this as quickly as you can: say Monday January 14.

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 PALM Applications

Once again the only way to get a PALM application for 2013 will be to download it from the PALM website. Opps, I mean websites: the application will be on both the old website and the new website The application will be posted on both sites on Sunday January 13 by 12:00 noon.

We are doing this so that everybody will have access to the PALM application at the same time no matter where they live. Mailing them first class didn't come close to achieving this.

Last year, PALM filled in two days. The year before PALM filled in four days. We use the postmark on the envelope, not the day we receive the application, to determine the cutoff. You don't have to spend the money to mail your application by priority mail: 1st class mail will work just as well no matter how many days it takes us to actually receive it. We are posting the application on Sunday to give you a whole day to download and fill out your applications before the post offices open.

The best way to get the earliest postmark possible is to go to an actual post office and ask the clerk there to postmark or round date the envelope as you mail it first class.

Best of luck to everyone who wants to be on PALM this year.  Be sure to let everyone you know that is interested in PALM that the application will be on the PALM websites on Sunday January 13 by 12:00 noon too.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

May 15 Deadline for Registration Changes

Please remember that if you want to cancel, or add meals and/or bus rides, we need to receive your requests by May 15.  if you need to cancel, please send us a signed request by regular mail, including a stamped self-addressed envelope so that we can send you your refund. The easiest way to order meals and/or bus rides is to print out a copy of the first page of the application.  There is a link on the left side of our home page.  Then just fill in your name, indicate the meals or bus rides you want, and send the order and your check to PALM, PO Box 7161, Ann Arbor MI 48107.  Please include another stamped self-addressed envelope so that we can send you a new, corrected confirmation.  We need to receive your request by May 15.  Thanks.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

What to Bring on PALM

First, please pack in duffels; they pack well on the luggage trucks.  Be sure that each duffel weighs less than 50 pounds.  It is advisable to put all gear and clothing in plastic bags.  We try to keep the luggage dry when we unload on rainy days, but we can't make any guarantees.  Some riders put each day's outfit in a separate ziplock bag.  Be sure to put your sleeping bag in a waterproof bag or stuff sack.

What to bring:

Helmet.  A rearview mirror is advisable, either helmet or handlebar mounted.
A small pump for carrying on the bike (the repair shops have regular pumps)
Extra tube and tire levers.  Good to also have other simple tools, like a bike multitool or the correct sized hex wrenches for your bike.
Some way to carry stuff (jacket, snack, tools) while biking -- either a handlebar bag or a back rack and straps.  Much better than wearing a backpack while cycling.
One (preferably two) water bottles for the bike
Lock (and cable) for securing bike
Sleeping bag and some sort of sleeping pad
Small pillow, if desired
Tent, rainfly (usually comes with the tent) and stakes.  Ground cloth under tent is good.  Small mallet for pounding stakes into hard ground is helpful.

Toiletries and medicines
 Sun block, lip balm
mosquito repellent
Towel, washcloth (some participants use the quick dry camping towels)
Shower Thongs
Flashlight, batteries
Earplugs, if a light sleeper
clothes line and pins
Small packages kleenex
t-shirts and/or biking jerseys (one for each day or plan to wash out at night)
Cycling shorts (make for a much more enjoyable week -- at least two pair so that you can wash one at night)
Cycling tights if prediction is for cool weather
Regular shorts for warm evenings.
long sleeved shirt and long pants/sweats if days or nights will be cool
Rain gear -- at least a rain jacket for cycling.
Cycling gloves (with padding)
Camera, if desired
Cell phone and charger, if desired (some schools no longer have pay phones)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Preparing for PALM

For those of you who have never participated in a multi-day ride, you may be asking yourself: How do I get physically ready?

PALM is geared toward families and beginners and the daily mileages reflect that. However, how easy the ride will be for you, and especially how much you enjoy yourself, is directly proportional to how well you prepare.

The first thing you should do is to be sure your bike is in good working order. If you don’t work on your own bike, take it to the local bike shop. While there, ask them to see if the bike is properly setup for you. Have them look at the seat position, as well as the handlebar position to be sure everything is set up properly for you when you sit on the bike. Remember that these are starting points and as you ride you may want to make additional adjustments. Ask the shop what adjustments affect what so you might be able to do them yourself.

Now that your bike is ready for you, you need to get ready for your bike. There is no magic involved here. It basically comes down to spending as much time in the saddle as possible. I hope you've already had a start riding in this great spring weather we've been having. Try to ride at least 3 times a week. How far for each ride is up to you, but in the beginning, try for at least 10 miles. After 2 weeks, add 5 to 10 miles to each ride. Again, after a few weeks add another 5 to 10 miles per ride. Continue this gradual building up until you get to at least one 50-mile ride each week right up to PALM.

The “secret” is to not only build up your muscles and aerobic capacity, but to become comfortable in the riding position and especially the saddle. Everyone, even the pro’s, gets a sore posterior. Remember, PALM is not a race. Take a “butt break” every 15 minutes or so while riding. Stand on the pedals and stretch. Get off the bike for a few minutes every 10 to 20 miles. Take in the sights along the way. Stop for lunch or to do some shopping.

Post back if you have any questions.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

2012 PALM sites

Here are the sites where we will be staying each night on PALM. Please realize that all plans are subject to change.

Saturday, June 23. Upton Middle School, 800 Maiden Lane, S. Joseph, MI 49085

Sunday, June 24: Paw Paw Middle School, 313 West Michigan Avenue, Paw Paw, MI 49079

Monday, June 25: Harper Creek High School, 12677 Beadle Lake Rd, Battle Creek 49014

Tuesday, June 26: Leslie High School, 4141 Hull Road, Leslie 49251

Wednesday, June 27: Perry High School, 2555 W. Britton Rd, Perry 48822

Thursday, June 28: Brandon High School, 1025 S Ortonville Rd, Ortonville 48462

Friday, June 29 (ending site): Anchor Bay Middle School North, 52805 Ashley St., New Baltimore 48047