Our course is situated in Barry County, Michigan, central to Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Battle Creek. Barry County is unique in its terrain and rural nature. There are no freeways in Barry County, instead we have the picturesque Thornapple River. Traffic counts are low. You will see plenty of lakes and rolling hills.
The course consists of two loops, all on paved roads, with very few stretches of state highway.
The Day Loop, ridden at least two times, begins at Thornapple-Kellogg High School in Middleville. It’s 48.5 miles long and traverses the south-west corner of the county. It has a total of 1,350 feet of climbing, in the form of rolling countryside. The outlying checkpoint at Delton Kellogg High School provides water, fruit, rest and repair services.
After completing the Day Loop two or more times, riders switch to the Night Loop, a 7.6 mile route on relatively flat country roads just west of Middleville. Riders who have completed two Day Loops may begin Night Loops anytime after 5:00pm. This loop stays open through 8:00 am Sunday morning. All the corners are lighted and Sheriff’s officers are stationed at each one to keep you safe. It has 118 feet of climbing, but several riders have reported that it has an Escher-like quality of seeming like it’s all downhill!
Each time you complete a loop, the facilities of the Thornapple Kellogg Schools are available. Many riders bring a support person or team to help them cope with the rigors of ultra cycling.
The ride concludes at 8:00 am on Sunday. Before the awards ceremony at 8:30, there’s the free breakfast for riders and a door prize drawing. By about 10:00am, everyone has departed for a well-earned rest.