2014 Huron Mountain Crusher – the rollout

 

It was asked at the ride, “Who is the Huron Mountain Crusher?”

You are all crushers.

See you in 2015.

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Course Marking Photo Dump!

Crusher fires up SUNDAY 10 AM AUG 24th 2014

The HURON MOUNTAIN CRUSHER gets grinding TOMORROW, Sunday, 10 AM. 55 miles. B.Y.O. & be prepared, it’s your ride. Active county gravel highways with mining and logging traffic mixed in with some of the worst terrain the U.P. can throw at a biker. Ride aware, ride with care. And, If you somehow can’t make it Sunday, here’s a preview of the 2015 poster to

temper your ‘feed the wildlife’ impulses.

 

2015 POSTER PREVIEW. Hope to see you there!

The BETA

   “Ya, I rode all over this back in the eighties with hybrid tires on a cheap piece of gaspipe I got for free buying a stereo from American of Marquette. This ride ain’t that tough. It’s going to challenge some people, but there’s a lot of miles of fast gravel too. An expert rider could do most of it on a road bike with 28c rubber, so long as they were up for pushing a few miles. Rode it a month ago sitting bolt upright on a vintage Stumpie with British handlebars. Psssya.” -ride review by a jaded old Yooper out on the course a few weeks ago.

Onto the Mulligan Plains

Onto the Mulligan Plains

The Huron Mountain Crusher is a 55+ mile gravel grinder bicycle ride across portions of the Huron Mountains in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Most of the Crusher is along unpaved county highways with active mining and logging traffic (RIDE AWARE – RIDE WITH CARE). much of the route is fast and packed gravel but riders will encounter the full gamut of road conditions found in the UP, from stellar to subhuman. The Crusher route includes both one of the best, and one of the worst, gravel road descents in Michigan.

The ride is about 10 percent pavement,

60 percent gravel

Pristine Gravel on 510

Pristine Gravel on 510

 

15 percent sand

Steep Sandy Hike-a-bike

Steep Sandy Hike-a-bike

and about 15 percent doubletrack,

with 3,000 feet of cumulative elevation gain. If you want to preview some of the course, scroll down to the videos below or watch them at you tube .

It is remote, there are no stores, stops, bathrooms or amenities of any kind. Cell phone coverage is spotty. There are NO shortcuts off the course once you are riding it – other than turning around less than halfway, there is no bailout.

The Crusher is an “ALL-ROAD” event. Aside from several optional workarounds to avoid mudholes

Mid-ride Swimming Hole

Mid-ride Swimming Hole

low lying areas

IMG_20140611_120944

 

or challenging rock gardens

 

Chunky Descending

Chunky Descending

at no point does the Crusher route use singletrack trails. While sections of the Crusher call out for a wider tire, riders could complete the course on a wide variety of bikes.

The Yooper may have been sandbagging the ride a bit, but his stories checked out. He’s obviously enjoyed the Crusher – will you?

Huron Mountain Crusher. Sunday Aug 24. 10 AM. Old 510 Bridge. Marquette County. Michigan.

One week to the Crusher – RIDER CALLOUT

Next Sunday – Aug. 24th, 2014, 10 AM at the Old 510 Bridge, Marquette County Michigan, the Huron Mountain Crusher -a 55 mile all-road gravel grinder – gets fired up and running. Mulligan

With one week to go, this is a rider callout  – If you’re going to ride the Crusher, send an email with your name, hometown, and style of bike being ridden to: huroncrusher@gmail.com 

Riders are, of course, welcome to join the ride at any time up to 10AM Sunday morning. HOWEVER,

letting us know in advance gets you: a ride souvenir,crusherbuttons2

a beverage mid course (Riders with their hat in the ring get a gatorade with your name on it at mile 30),    refreshments at the finish, and a record of their elapsed time scribbled out on a brown paper bag. Riders not stating their advance intent are welcome to enjoy any water on course they can drink. (Non-potable without treatment).

Up to crush some of the Midwest’s most beautiful terrain on a  bike ride next Sunday? Won’t you come join us? Send an email to    huroncrusher@gmail.com    We hope to see you next weekend!

Why is this ride called the Huron Mountain CRUSHER?

crushermachine  “A crusher is a machine designed to reduce large rocks into smaller rocks, gravel, or rock dust.” (wikipedia)

Crush (verb) 4) a :to suppress or overwhelm as if by pressure or weight b: to oppress or burden grievously C: to subdue completely. (Webster’s)

Interested riders may wonder why this gravel grinder is called the Huron Mountain Crusher. Without any exaggeration, there’s a portion of the route that: a) could use a mining crusher to pulverize the gravel to more rideable conditions, and b) provides soul crushingly stout terrain about two thirds of the way in.

Chunky Descending

Looking for a line down a section of the Crusher

Riding it for the first time, the name just made sense. “Crusher” was a natural choice.

This ride cuts across the Huron Mountain highlands and down a screamingly, crushingly fast (and frequently well graded) downhill on County Road 510. The ride then rolls up and over a spine of the Huron Mountains for a second, less well maintained descent.

The most challenging section of the ride is about three miles of rough road loaded with serious terrain features, sometimes over aggregate the size of footballs (and larger!), in the middle of the Huron Mountains.

Be forewarned – the Crusher route includes a section with: gnarly gravel, on steep grades, mixed in with sand, mud, swampy gulches and brushy workarounds if a rider doesn’t want to get their feet wet.

Steep Sandy Hike-a-bike

Uphill into the Crusher- observe the scale of the rider at top of photo

We feel some riders may even enjoy it – Will you? Ride the Huron Mountain Crusher, Sunday, Aug. 24 Marquette County Michigan.

Two week countdown – Rider callout

Check out those handlebars! Matt at the Swimming Hole, Yellow Dog River.

Check out those handlebars!
Matt at the Swimming Hole, Yellow Dog River.

Hope everyone had a great Ore2Shore weekend and developed a thirst for a ride with a wilder side – the Crusher’s coming up quick! Sunday August 24th, 10AM, Old 510 Bridge in Marquette County, Michigan.

With two weeks to go, now’s the time to start the rider callout-

Please, send us an email if you’re thinking of joining the ride.

We’re trying our best at getting some race swag together for riders who signup in advance and complete the ride.  No promises, but we’re trying our best on our no-budget budget.

Getting your name on the pre-ride roster is EASY – JUST SEND AN EMAIL TO THE CRUSHER.

email         huroncrusher@gmail.com             with your name and hometown.

Advance signups will  make the pre-ride cluster a lot more manageable and get everyone out the gate on time, and get riders a little something if they finish.

If you’re thinking of riding, please send us an email, and let us know you’re up for riding the Crusher. Thanks!

Large Aggregate Upper Peninsula Gravel

Large Aggregate Gravel

Into the Crusher

 In the Upper Peninsula, it’s rugged. Sometimes REALLY rugged.  A back road bicyclist encounters a wide variety of conditions – from stellar to subhuman – and is sometimes forced to take what they can get.

The Crusher route rides the full range of road conditions found here in the UP.

 Here’s Matt riding through a section of the larger aggregate gravel on one of the old roads the Huron Mountain Crusher route follows. Luckily, most of the mileage on the Huron Mountain Crusher isn’t as stout as this section.

Official Route Pre-Ride Complete!

Fellow adventurers – We had a great day riding the complete route today! We verified all of the turns for cues, did some trail work, tested the waters of the Yellow Dog River, and soaked up a good helping of the Great Outdoors. And we may have even seen one of you out there?!

Official route is just over 55 miles, approximately 3000 ft of elevation gain depending on what you use to measure it. We rode it half-casually and recorded 4:45 in riding time. With fresh legs I’d imagine 20 minutes being shaved off of that pretty easily (I’m a 3.5 hr Hard Rock finisher for reference – aka mid-packer). For those of you who like to geek out on the numbers – we averaged 12.4 mph for the first half, 5.7 mph for the red section on the profile below (teaser pics to follow), and 11.6 for the last half (sand sand sand).

We’re getting a lot of which-bike-to-ride questions. Today I rode my 29er MTB with 1×10 drivetrain (32 x 11-36) and while a smaller ring would have been nice in a couple spots it’s certainly doable with less and/or with more fitness. We even spoke to a couple guys at the end of our ride who are entertaining coming out on singlespeeds! Spinning!