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 3 loops, all on paved roads, and with very few stretches of state highway.
Loop One, ridden once, is a little over 120 miles long and circles the whole county. It has a total of 3,360 feet of climbing, in the form of rolling countryside. Three outlying checkpoints provide water, fruit, rest and repair services. Two broom wagons pick up any stragglers.
On completing Loop One, you will ride the 24-mile-long Loop Two at least once, and as many more times as you choose until 7:15 pm, when the night loop opens. There is one checkpoint on Loop Two, with water and fruit, but no repair service. Loop Two features a rolling 575 feet of climbing.
Loop Three, the night loop, is 7.6 miles long, and 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 Thornapple Kellogg Middle School, 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. You will turn in your back-tags for scoring, followed by a free breakfast from Subway, a door prize drawing, and our awards ceremony. Before noon, everyone has departed for a well-earned rest.