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Race Updates & Guide

I attribute my performance to great preparation, a little bit of luck and a whole lot of suffering. – Rebecca Rusch

Rider’s Guide
Rider’s Guide – version 1. For all 210-mile and 100-mile riders and their support crews.

Race Updates
Race Update #1
Thank you for being part of the inaugural 210-mile Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder and 100-mile Coast Loop! Racing point to point, from one Great Lake to another, mostly on dirt seems to have “captured (the) imagination” of many of you (as fellow C2C rider and writer Selene Yeager puts it). Maybe there’s something primal in this type of adventure – it’s a modern version of our ancestors’ migration across distant lands. If that’s a load of bull, maybe it’s just damn fun to challenge yourself to an epic adventure by bike, in a beautiful place, with other like-minded crazies. Either way, we’re honored to create this adventure for you and will do everything possible to make it a memorable experience this year and for many years to come.

There are always bumps in the first year of a race; to help smooth out as many as possible, we will be communicating fairly often and in detail via these race updates – so much detail that some of you will be fast asleep before the end… but that’s how I roll and it beats missing key info. This update has been sent to both 210 and 100-mile racers because many of the items apply to all of you. Some future updates may go only to racers of one or the other race. I’ve also included volunteers so they can understand the race better.

As of March 13, 265 of you are tackling the 210-miler and 74 are taking on the 100. If you have friends on the fence, here are the upcoming deadlines:
Capacity: won’t reach 700 so no worries
Salsa water bottle: first 500 registrants (combined 210 and 100)
Complimentary shirt or socks for 210-milers: May 4

Community Forum
Consider asking questions, looking for a support vehicle, etc. on our closed community forum. For BikeReg changes, see below. For questions unique to you, email me.

Training & TrainerRoad

  • #FakeSpring has come and gone for much of the Midwest so many of you will be putting in even more miles on your trainer. As part of their sponsorship, we are giving away three annual $99 subscriptions to TrainerRoad.
  • If you’d like to be entered into the raffle, please add your name and contact info here. We will contact you by email if you won.
  • For training guidance, go to Matt’s recent blog article on training strategies. If you are just starting on training, it’s pretty much the highly acclaimed RLH (ride like hell) program for you (but with proper recovery of course).

April 14 Group Pre-Ride

  • What: 68-mile pre-ride of some “interesting” parts of the 210-mile course
  • Why: Good miles, good company and a look at some potentially sandy sections, how your tires handle it
  • Where: Start/finish in Cadillac, preview miles 131-163, west to checkpoint 3 in Dublin, loop back, eat at Lakeside Charlies
  • When: April 14
  • Who: Anyone. Friends and family do not have to be registered for the race. We will NOT have a sweeper/support vehicle but I will hang near the back as needed.
  • How: Route, details, RSVP are on the Facebook event page.
  • Alternate training ride: If you are looking for a longer training ride and/or one that’s in the Clare County area (more mid/east side of Michigan), check out the 170 mile “Dirty Kranza” training ride that Roy Kranz is putting on the same day. Message him to RSVP.
  • Additional preview routes: Matt has put together five other preview loops for you to try out on your own before the race.

Route Info

  • Route: We reserve the right to make changes, but at this point both the 210 route and 100 route are “tentatively final,” to allow an oxymoron.
  • Maps and links to GPX and TPX files: On the website under their respective Route pages, both on Strava and Ride with GPS sites.
  • Cue sheets: Mandatory for all riders. In design stage. Will have mileages and be highly vetted.
  • Signage: While the vast majority of the route will NOT be signed, we will add blue sprinkler-head type flags at intersections where clarity would be helpful, such as snowmobile trail and two-track entrances and exits. Signs that shout “bike race” are at risk of being stolen.
  • GPS bike computer: It’s not required, but we do recommend one for ease of use, accuracy, and audio cues to alert you when you are off route. Make sure you test gpx file and usage before the race, especially if it’s new; have battery back-up and cord (I forgot cord at Marji Gesick – oops)
  • Sand and such. We’ll communicate what we know about sand and other road conditions as race day approaches. Our goal for course design is to minimize sand, not maximize it, but not to shy away from short portions of sand if they occur within sections of spectacular riding and/or scenery.

Rider’s Guide
The Rider’s Guide is now on the website under the Race Updates & Guide page. It contains lots of details to help you and your support crew get ready. We hope to update it infrequently but we will let you know when we do.

Rules, Support Vehicle
See the Rider’s Guide for a comprehensive list of rules. Clarification on two rules:

  • Bike/component swaps. To clarify/correct, you may not swap bikes/frames. You may ONLY swap wheels and tires in the case of irreparable damage (if you can make it to the checkpoint on your own). This is in keeping as much as possible with a self-supported ethos and challenge of determining the best set-up for varying conditions and surfaces.
  • Support vehicles. The intent is for a vehicle to be in the general area to rescue you in case of severe weather, medical issue or bike mechanical. For the 100 mile race, a support vehicle along the way is not required, but allowed at Dublin (the lone checkpoint for 100 mile riders). You must have some means of getting back to Ludington/home if you miss the 100-mile cut-off time or need to drop out.
  • There will not be an official support vehicle route. Roads 61, 115, 55, Freesoil/8 Mile, and US 31 are the main thoroughfares across the state near to the course.
  • For those of you still looking for a support vehicle, I will make some phone calls and inquire about whether any nonprofit groups want to organize support vehicles as a fundraiser. I’ll share any options on the Community Forum.

Drop downs, Transfers, Deferments

  • Edits: Change any of your contact or personal info via your BikeReg account. Easiest way is to find your confirmation email and click on Edit/Change/Transfer.
  • Drop downs: You may drop down from the 210 to the 100 at any time (just make sure you go to Ludington if you decide to do the 100 mile loop!). We will give you a credit so that you can cover at least your 100 entry fee.
  • Tandem/relay rider swaps: Free. You may swap riders if you are on a tandem or part of the two-person 210 relay. We just need to know in advance to collect waiver info, emergency contact info, etc.
  • Transfers: Free. Please use BikeReg to facilitate. Use your confirmation email or sign-in to your account.
  • Deferments: Contact me if you need to defer until next year. I will send you a code for a 50% credit off base fee. Most races keep all your money which seems draconian.

Travel, Lodging

  • Big Bend Campground (210-mile race). The campground has almost unlimited group tent space. They also have primitive non-group sites and sites with electric and water hookup. Use their campsite map to pick your spot in advance of the call. FYI: You may not hear back from Richelle for a while if you leave a message – this is off-season and she’s juggling family and business. Give it a day or two and then feel free to call back. If you simply need electric to charge your phone Friday evening, we’ll create “docking stations” at the community building or one or more sites with electric so you can save money by going primitive or group tent sites.
  • Standish and AuGres lodging (210 race). If you need a cushier bed the night before, search for area motels or other lodging. The key is to be close enough for the Friday check-in and pre-race meeting.
  • Holiday Inn Ludington (100-mile race on Friday night or either race on Saturday night). Call 231.845.7311 and let them know you (spectators and volunteers too) are associated with Coast to Coast for the discounted, refundable rate (online rate is a few bucks lower but non-refundable). For each room rented by someone associated with the race (via phone), a credit will go to helping us pay for the convention center where awards and post-race recovery and hang-out will be.

Post Race and Things to Do

  • Showers after the race. Lake Michigan is your closest shower. The hot water faucet is broken. Otherwise the Holiday Inn if you are staying there. I am not aware of any public showers.
  • See the website for a timeline of events. The post-race awards and celebration for both races is tentatively scheduled for 10:15 pm Saturday (sunset fades 9:30?)
  • For those with a little extra time for exploring, I’ve compiled a list of some favorite things to do  near the start or finish including Ludington, the Lake Huron coast near the start of the 210-miler, and Matt’s and my hometown of Grand Rapids (visit one brewery per day in the greater GR area and you’ll still be here deep into August).


  • Status: We’re doing well with checkpoint support thanks to our charity partner, Shoreline Cycling Club and to sponsors Ray’s Bike Shop and SpinDrift CycleSports.
  • Biggest need: sweeper vehicles who can follow behind the last rider to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind (knowing support vehicles will help with this but may be tied up with another rider). A sweeper vehicle could handle a sweep from one checkpoint to another or two sections, and then hand it off to another sweeper. If you know of someone who can’t help with the support vehicle timeframe but can help out for a 50-110 mile portion before heading home, please have them email me and then register on BikeReg under the 210-mile race.
  • We would still welcome support for all roles as there are a few gaps.

Bike jerseys: orders due by April 2; go to your BikeReg account to add to your order. Sorry, no returns but will help facilitate trades with another rider looking for your jersey size.

Share Your Story, Visuals

  • If you have a story that you would like to share about your experience/life journey that involves biking Coast to Coast, please email me. We’ll share it with media including author and Bicycling Magazine writer Selene Yeager who is joining us on this adventure and writing about it.
  • If you will be capturing video of your adventure, we would be interested in a few clips too (especially with stabilization such as GoPro Karma set-up). We may include them in a video to promote next year’s race.

More Info
Check out the FAQs or the Community Forum on Facebook if you have additional questions.

If you see anything here that contradicts the current version of the website or recent Facebook posts, let me know so we can correct or clarify.

Hope you’re getting out there (or at least down there to the trainer).

Looking forward to it!

Mark (Matt and Greg too)

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