Several Rockford residents are preparing to ride in the 45th annual Dick Allen Lansing to Mackinaw (DALMAC) bicycle tour early next month. You can be one. The DALMAC riders include locals, including Linda Doran who, last year completed her tenth trip to this destination on DALMAC. Also are Andrew Hahn, in his seventh year, Randy Reed and Daniel VanStensel both in their fifth year. Curt Bruxvort and Bill Lefebre are on their third year and Kyle Janes is a repeat rider, last year completing his first DALMAC ride. Beginning their first trip on the event are Lauren Lefebre, Linda Momber and Rylee Reed. Founded in 1971 by former State Sen. Dick Allen, DALMAC offers riders a choice of four routes beginning on either Wed., Sept. 2, or Thurs., Sept. 3, and ending on Sun., Sept. 6, in either Mackinaw City or Sault Ste. Marie, depending on the route chosen. This year’s routes range in distance from 295 to 511 miles. Over 1,600 riders are expected to participate in the 2015 tour. DALMAC aims to develop an appreciation of bicycling as both recreation and transportation, to promote a bicycle-friendly environment in Michigan, and to demonstrate how bicycles and other vehicles can safely share our state roads. It is a recreational tour open to all capable, interested bicyclists, and is endorsed by the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health and Sports. DALMAC was honored earlier this year by the Governor’s Fitness Awards program with the Extraordinary Event Award presented by the Michigan Fitness Foundation. Proceeds from the tour have enabled The DALMAC Fund to grant over $1.3 million to bicycling-related organizations and causes since 1985. Programs benefiting from these grants represent a variety of purposes, from trail projects to public safety to extending bicycling opportunities to those with disabilities. DALMAC is hosted by the Lansing-based Tri-County Bicycle Association (TCBA), the largest local bicycling organization in Michigan, with approximately 1,000 members. The year-around efforts of TCBA volunteers make it possible to offer a high quality tour at a reasonable price and to raise money in support of numerous bicycling programs without asking riders to collect pledges. Bicyclists interested in participating in next year’s DALMAC tour may view the club’s web site at biketcba.org.
Sports news from Rockford Public Schools
This summer, many athletes of all ages have taken advantage of Rockford Rowing’s summer programs and have experienced the thrill of small boat rowing, spending most of their days on the river. Coach Tim Vallier (Head Coach of Rockford Rowing) has offered summer rowing programs over the last few years, to both student athletes from Rockford, as well as the surrounding schools who do not have a rowing program. Coach Tim, along with his associate Coach Dilan Itter, has also recently expanded the rowing program into the adult community, where it is starting to thrive. Adults from the surrounding communities are getting the opportunity to engage in this fun and adventurous water sport, even competing at the Meijer State Games where they medaled in their event. Although the summer adult and youth rowing programs are coming to an end, the fall season is just around the corner. The fall youth programs are open to athletes starting in 6th grade and go all the way through grade 12. Athletes do NOT need prior rowing experience to start this sport and can join at any grade! Adults can also participate in this great sport of rowing through the adult fall rowing programs. For more information on registration and costs please visit regattacentral.com The fall rowing program is a club sport and is open to not just Rockford student athletes, but anyone within driving distance of the boathouse (located at West River Drive west of Jupiter). If you live within a reasonable distance to Rockford and your school (or community) does not have a rowing program you can participate. The official sport of rowing takes place in the spring through Rockford High School and due to the year round programs that Coach Tim started and maintained, the athletes that do go on to participate in the school sport have done exceptionally well over the last few years. Last May one of the men’s varsity boats placed 2nd in the Nation when they competed at the National Scholastic Rowing Championships in New Jersey. In addition, many athletes over the last few years have gone on to row in college and many, girls in particular, have been able to obtain athletic scholarships through Title IX funding as colleges are beginning […]
By John Raffel Fishing in the Rockford area has been slow, but observers like Chris Herman of the Riverbound Fly Fishing Co. of Rockford are hoping it picks up soon. “It’s kind of slow now,” he said. “Mornings are better. Trout were doing pretty good Saturday. We were out there (below the dam the Rogue River) about 7 in the morning. They’re doing good on nymphs. Streamers are working too for bass and bike. There are steelhead in the river. About after 10 in the morning, everything shuts down. The sun comes out and it gets too hot. They can try streamers for bass and pike. Trout and steelhead are pretty much done by 10.” Herman is hopeful of better fortunes ahead. “If we get some rain, then possibly some salmon,” he said. “I hear of people getting some salmon on the Pere Marquette, which is kind of weird. I’m not sure what’s going on at the Manistee River. It’s supposed to be a good salmon run. The lake is full of salmon. If we’d get some rain, that would be good.” The Flat River, northeast of Rockford, is producing fish for those using streamers for bass and pike. Live bait always works, worms and minnow,” he said. The DNR reports that those fishing the smaller inland lakes and rivers are catching bass, bluegills, pike, walleye and a good number of catfish. The DNR added that in the Grand River at Grand Rapids, just one summer steelhead was caught recently but the catfish action is profitable, adding that channel and flathead have been caught on crawlers, live or cut bluegills fished off the wall or below the dam. Smallmouth bass were hitting on jigs and live bait in the same area, the DNR indicated noting that some keeper size walleye were caught below the dam. The DNR added that bluegills were hitting on crawlers fished off the wall. The following tip is courtesy of the DNR and Michigan Outdoor News: “Most lakes, sometime during the summer, will develop a thermocline. Understanding how the thermocline works and what it means for your fishing tactics, is important to having a successful day on the water. “Here are a few simple things to keep in mind in relation to the […]
By John Raffel It was a special day at Art Van Sports Complex on Saturday. It was Special Olympics Softball tournament day at the facility. Nick Caudle, manager of sports and training for Special Olympics Michigan, said there were about 25 teams and 350 athletes at the one-day event. “They’re mainly from the southwest region,” Caudle said. “But we do have one team from Ypsilanti.” Others were basically from the Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Newaygo, Kalkaska, Holland and Allegan areas. “Typically it’s four-team divisions,” he said. “We have a few three-team divisions and we have unified divisions which is athlete with or without disabilities playing together. We have one coach-pitch division and the rest are what we call our traditional divisions. If it’s three teams it’s a round robin. If you do four teams, winners and losers play after the first game.” A skills competition was also conducted. “We give medals based on skills of hitting, throwing, fielding and baserunning,” Caudle said. “This is the first time we’ve done it in Rockford but we do the regional every year. Last year, it was in Holland. The year before that it was in Kalamazoo. It’s a perfect facility for it.” It was a hot day but that didn’t spoil the event. “There’s a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of fun,” Caudle said. “Everyone is here, they don’t really care about the medals. They’re here to play, meet some new people form new teams. They’re just being out there to have a good time.” Caudle said the Southwest Regional offices are in Byron Center.
On Friday, August 14, the Rockford Men’s Varsity Water Polo team traveled to eastern Michigan to play in the Ann Arbor Pioneer Tournament. The Rams won all four games and the championship, beating Dexter 8-0, St. Charles (OH) 13-11, Ann Arbor Skyline 11-9, and Upper Arlington 8-6. Leaders in team stats for the weekend were seniors Sam Sikkema with 13 goals, Jake Vickery with 10 assists and 14 steals, and goalie Christian Williams with 23 saves. Senior Captain Chad Greenberg shared his thoughts, “I’m proud of the guys going 4-0 this past weekend. Everybody had a role to play and got the job done. I am excited to see what the rest of the season brings.” The next opportunities to see Rams Water Polo action will be the Rockford Varsity Invitational August 21 and 22 at Rockford High School. The Junior Varsity team will play their first games at a Jenison tournament this weekend, as well.