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This series highlights some really cool locals who ride bikes and ride bikes often.

Full name: Christopher Benson

Nickname(s): Reverend, CB

Favorite bike(s) you have ever owned: My 80's era BMX bike, which I completely pieced together and built myself, had a Roger DeCoster frame & fork, Redline handlebars, Skyway Tuff Wheels, and too many other customizations I can recall. More recently I loved my 2013 Cannondale Scalpel - it was a super fast & fun XC race bike which I retired in 2020.

How long have you been riding bikes? 50+ years (since my first tricycle)

What is your favorite style of riding? Mountain biking on XC single track

What was the craziest thing you have ever done while riding a bicycle? My first thought goes back to when I was 9 or 10 years old staying at a friends house north of Harbor Springs. I convinced 2 buddies I could navigate from his house back to my house on two-tracks, country roads, and through the woods. We basically just took off, didn't tell our parents, and I got us there. Parents were NOT happy. Reviewing the route, it was probably 6+ miles with no maps or support...pretty ballsy for a kid in the 3rd or 4th grade. 

The other crazy thing would have to be a fat bike ride on the ice from Sturgeon Bay Beach out to Grays Reef Lighthouse which is 11 miles from the shore. I rode with Pedro (Pete Gurney) and that was not our original plan or destination. We had never really done any ice riding but it had been a very cold, snowy winter and we thought we were just going to explore around Waugoshance Point. When we started out it was a balmy 6 degrees but it was a beautiful, bluebird day and the riding conditions were amazing. After we were riding for a little bit, we noticed a lighthouse on the horizon and decided to keep pedalling towards it. About half way there, we noticed Waugoshance Lighthouse to our north (which we rode out to the following week) but kept on until we reached Grays. We got some great pics of the LH then headed back. When we got home, the wives were less than impressed that we would ride out there without anyone knowing where we were...still worth it ;) 

List the best thing(s) you have seen while riding a bicycle: Grays Reef Lighthouse (in winter); Waugoshance Lighthouse (in winter); the peace, quiet, and everchanging scenery of Northern Michigan's wooded landscape by trail.

What do you love to eat/drink after a cycling adventure? One of my favorites after a group ride is a Plath's Cheesy Hot Dog (maybe grilled trailside) and a cold Pale Ale (or IPA).

What is your favorite piece of cycling gear not including your bicycle?  I really love my GPS bike computer. It is great to see where I have ridden after each ride as well as all of the associated stats.

How have you given back to your local community, either on a bike or not?  Yes, in two ways. 1. After being hit from behind by a fast-moving vehicle in 2007, and recovering from serious injuries, I learned about about the Ride of Silence ( and hosted my first local Ride of Silence-Harbor Springs in 2008. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event which advocates for cyclists who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways and asks everyone to share the road. Email for more info.  

2. I joined the board of Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association (TOMMBA) in 2015 to help spearhead the development of new mountain bike trails in the area. Since TOMMBA's founding in 2012, nearly 40 miles of TOMMBA trails (both volunteer and professionally built) can now be found in East Jordan, Boyne City, Petoskey, and soon to be open at the Viewlands in Harbor Springs. Plus we are working to protect and legitimize 25+ miles of trails and develop an official trailhead in Harbor Springs at Big Foot road.

What does your next big dream adventure on a bicycle look like?  I love the variety and ever expanding trails in Copper Harbor, MI but I would like to return to Bentonville, AR and surrounding area trails.

Any parting wisdom for other aspiring cyclists? Mountain biking offers more fun and opportunies (IMO) to enjoy the great outdoors. Find a few like-minded friends or join a weekly group ride to keep you motivated. Keep riding at least a couple of times a week. The hills won't get easier, you'll just get faster. Enjoy the views from the top knowing you get to go downhill!