We have a new format for the 2018 race, one that very few in this region of the country have seen before. We can’t give much away at this point but a couple teasers *might* be:
- The fastest/strongest riders aren’t necessarily the ones who will win. Ever wanted to beat those folks that always podium but figured it’d never happen? This may be your best chance to stand a step above the elites!
- You may need a partner.
- You can probably leave your GPS at home for once, but know how to read a map. Or not.
- Are you good at physical tasks not involving a bike? You may have an edge…
We are looking at dates which is an ever growing difficult task as the calendar fills up with great events. We’re looking at a few Saturdays in July and will confirm ASAHFP. Keep us in mind as you plan your 2018 calendar!
I’ll be organizing two events this year, as well as hosting a number of casual group rides during the summer, perhaps weekly if enough folks are interested.
Event #1 – Sunday July 10th, 2016 – 32/74/153 Mile routes
Event #2 – Sunday October 9th, 2016 – 3 distances, to be decided, may differ from Event #1 routes depending on feedback.
Routes for Event #1 may change as I explore the back country again this spring but so far I have mapped these out:
- 32 Mile route will leave from Marquette and loop north along Forestville Rd to Harlow Lake, over to 510 via a big nasty climb, and back to Marquette via a cut-through from Najee Rd. It’s a 2.5-3.5hr ride for those who don’t want to bite off a bigger ride but still want 3,500+ ft of climbing and nice scenery.
- 74 Mile route follows the short route but goes north on 510 to loop back via the Original HMC route through the Mulligan Plains, south and east along Red Rd to 510 where it rejoins the short route. I expect this to be a 5-8hr ride, includes the famous Mosquito Gulch section we love so much (ask 2015 riders how fun it was after a huge morning thunderstorm), a bit of deep sand, and 6,600+ ft of climbing.
- 153 Mile route is for the truly adventurous and self-sufficient. It follows the mid-length route but instead of heading south to the Mulligan Plains it heads north along Northwestern Rd and other roads all the way to the top of Mt Arvon, comes off the back of Mt Arvon for the biggest descent in the U.P. (unofficially) and returns to Marquette via the Peshekee Grade, Dishno Rd, CR 595, it rejoins both shorter routes at Triple A. For the riders willing to test their mettle with this behemoth, I’d predict somewhere between 12-16hrs to complete. The Mosquito Gulch section adn the sand of Red Rd welcome you at mile 118. This is a serious route for serious folks. Expect 13,500+ ft of climbing and some of the best views and scenery Marquette County has to offer.
More details to follow on routes, start/finish location (within Marquette), and group rides in the coming months. And of course, I’m open to any and all feedback.
Thanks to the 9 folks who came out today and braved the elements. It rained just before we hit the trails so we delayed about 45 minutes. It made for wet and soft roads/trails which sapped everyone’s energy. Despite the weather it seemed like everyone had fun and enjoyed seeing the new routes.
Michele Basal, coming off of her success at Ore To Shore, decided to go for the mid length route solo and killed it in 5:27.
Topher Chase out-sprinted Brian Geshel to the line for a photo finish of the short route in 3:01.
Full results are posted on the Roster page. Good luck to Luke getting his fork warrantied after a freak “JRA” occurrence!
Because it has been asked a couple times, please check the blog for location of the start on Triple A. We are NOT starting at the bridge like last year.
NOTICE: We’ve had a small change to the GPX files for Short and Mid length routes and have updated the links on the GPX page with the new files (we will have updated cues printed for tomorrow as well). One of the trails we were hoping to use about 10 miles into the ride has become overgrown in the last month to the point of literally not being able to see it. If you cannot update your file before tomorrow don’t worry as we’ve marked it with tape and will talk through everyone tomorrow morning on the change. Ultimately the new route is better as it’s easier to follow and very flowy.
We have the chance of a little rain tomorrow depending on who you ask. It has changed from early morning to midday in the past 24 hours and we’ve got our fingers crossed for nothing but sun. We will be out there to administer a ride regardless of weather and will ride out with the group. We hope you feel the same about such adventures. HTFU right?
We have 13 riders confirmed (roster is updated) and hope we see some fence sitters tomorrow.
According to the USGS, the Yellow Dog River where we will cross it is running lower (but colder) than last year. I’m also hopeful that means the mud holes through Mosquito Gulch are a bit more tame than last year too. Or not.
If that doesn’t turn a few “Maybes” into “Yeses” perhaps beer at the finish will? Roster has been updated here. Quite a few Veterans with a couple Rookies to make it interesting. Not sure which route a couple folks on FB are going for but we can nail it down Sunday. Tell your friends and bring some company. Safety and FUN in numbers!
Yellow Dog Panorama
We’re happy to see some more riders joining up for his weekend.
To answer a few common questions –
– Start/finish on Triple A, 9.5 miles from 550 intersection, which is a 35 minute drive from Tourist park
– 124 mile route will leave at 8am (nobody has officially committed to that one yet), we expect a ride time of 7-12 hours, avg 10 hrs.
– 57 mile route will leave at 10am, expect a ride time of 3.5-6 hours, avg 5 hrs.
– 33 mile route will leave at 10am, expect a ride time of 2-4 hours, avg 3 hrs.
Chunky gravel on Wolf Lake Rd
7 days until we head out into the wilderness again. Are you ready? Are you “In”?
We’ve updated the GPX page with cues for each route.
We’ve updated the Roster with confirmed riders (have more emails without final confirmation).
We’ve had a handful of folks sign up which means everyone else is either sitting on their hands or doing something even cooler (what could be cooler than the Crusher?). If you’re “In” let us know this week, the sooner the better. If you’re “Out” let us know what we can change next year to better interest you.
Routes have been finalized and set in stone. See the other pages for recent updates on Details, Start Location, GPX Files, and teaser shots of the routes this year. Over the next couple days we will be posting maps, elevations, cues, etc. To sign up for the adventure email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, hometown, and route choice. Tell your friends and enjoy some company while exploring the remote reaches of beautiful Marquette County.
See below the maps and elevation profiles of the three proposed routes (click on pictures for full size versions). The last picture shows all three routes on the same map for reference. We will finalize these routes in the next few weeks and repost final data upon completion.
Short 2015 Route
Elevation Profile for Short Route – 2,733 Feet
2015 Long Route
Elevation Profile Long Route – 4,193 Feet
2015 Monster Route
Elevation Profile Monster Route – 7,395 Feet
Combined Map with Three Routes
Yes, we’re already brainstorming the routes for 2015! And yes, we said “routes”. Likely expect a shorter version for more recreational riders (bring your mom!), the same route we ran this year with perhaps a couple tweaks, and a longer routee for those who want to challenge themselves for some serious distance.
It’ll be a long winter of weighing options, and a busy spring getting stuck on back country roads acquiring first hand beta in fleshing out the best routes. If you have suggestions on route ideas, best weekends, best day (Saturday vs Sunday), leave us some comments and we’ll keep it all in mind.
And for the teaser – here’s an example of an 111 mile “long option” (click to enlarge). Notice it runs the opposite direction through the “Crusher” section of this year’s route at mile ~23.