Founders Brewing Co.
Founders Brewing Co. (click for website) is considered the flagship brewery of Grand Rapids, and is one of the largest and fastest growing craft breweries in the country! It occupies a full city block in downtown Grand Rapids and is a hotspot for live music and great food.
~3.5 miles (one way)
Flat, slight downhill. Riding on roadways in bike lanes nearly the whole way.
Unlock your bike from the rack, get your helmet on. You'll be riding in the road (in marked bike lanes) for this route, so review your hand signals and turn on those lights!
Facing the street (Plainfield Avenue) start heading south - to your right - in the bike lane. Remember, when you're on public roadways you need to follow the same rules as cars, so stop for stop lights and yield to pedestrians! Head south on Plainfield about 2 miles. Note that there's a section where the bike lane ends and sharrows begin - you have rights to use the road like a car... but if you're not comfortable hop up on the sidewalk. Just remember... if you're on the sidewalk, act more like a pedestrian as far as your speed.
You'll arrive at a pretty big intersection - Leonard Street - with a railway cutting right through the middle. Wait for your turn with the light and cross Leonard. At the flashing light up ahead (Coldbrook Street) turn right. Follow Coldbrook as it turns to the left past the next light, becoming Monroe Avenue.
Alternative route: If you're not so keen on riding on bike lanes in the road, jump over to your right on to the trails along the river once you make the turn onto Monroe. This is the "River Edges" trail and continues most of the way, although you'll need to walk your bike across a couple of streets.
Continue in the bike lane on Monroe Avenue all the way into the heart of downtown. Stay in the right lane, keep your lights on and be assertive! Bike slowly on the sidewalk (or on the River Edges trail) if you're not as comfortable on the street... it's OK!
When you get down to Fulton Street (if on the River Edges trail, this is the end of the trail, go left on Fulton to the light), Monroe Ave. turns into Market Ave. Head south on Market Ave. just one block, to Weston Street on the left. Turn LEFT on Weston, then almost immediately RIGHT onto Grandville Avenue.
Continue south on Grandville Avenue past the highway underpass. Founders Brewing is ahead on your right... you can't miss it!
Lock your bike up on the rack and enjoy a beer at with that amazing White Pine discount of yours!
NOTE: If you go a little bit overboard at Founders - it happens - remember, you have time to spare to sober up! Take your time. Have a sandwich. If you're not comfortable getting back on your bike, don't do it! Remember, buzzed biking is drunk biking, and just as dangerous as drunk driving! There's a giant bus station right across the street, with a bus route - Route 11 - that can take you straight back to the bike racks. The bus costs $1.75 and you can put the bike right on the front of the bus for no extra charge. Biking to Founders and taking the bus back is a fairly popular route for our riders. Check out the bus system and routes at this page: https://www.ridetherapid.org/howtoride/bicycles-on-the-rapid. Keep in mind that, while Route 11 runs until past midnight on weeknights, the schedule is a little more limited on weekends. Tell the driver you want to get off at Eleanor Street, it's just past the Knapp Avenue stop.