The 100-mile Coast Loop gravel grinder, like its big brother Coast to Coast, is a challenging, roller coaster ride on gravel (more packed dirt than gravel), two-track roads, and a little pavement when you need a breather!
- Date: Saturday, June 24, 2023
- Start and Finish: Stearns Park Beach, Ludington, MI
- Route: Ludington-Manistee National Forest 100-mile loop
- Portion in Manistee National Forest: 40%!
- Percentage of gravel: 85%+ (even a bit of gravel-bike friendly singletrack)
- Elevation Gain: approx. 2,600 ft (Strava/Ride with GPS are inaccurate)
- Support: Self-supported. A support crew can meet you at the official checkpoint if desired. You must have someone who can drive you back if you drop out.
We’ve teamed up with top Midwest endurance racer Matt Acker, co-course designer, who knows Michigan’s gravel roads and gravel racing better than anyone, to create a course you will be sure to love, highlighted by gravel and challenging, scenic seasonal roads. It covers an incredible 40+ miles of Manistee National Forest gravel and two-tracks and shares the last 45 miles with the 210-mile race.
After a fast, flat start out of Ludington, at mile 28 you enter the Manistee National Forest and its forest service roads that set both Coast races apart from almost all other gravel grinders. Twisty, rolling, so much fun. At your checkpoint at Big M Rec Area you meet up with the 210 route, and then tackle a little gravel-friendly singletrack and beautiful Big M gravel roads. After climbing out of the Little Manistee River drainage, it’s a subtle but decidedly downhill trend to the finish in Ludington. You’ve earned it.
100 miles is a major achievement. With a start and finish in Ludington, it’s a great option if you don’t have a support crew, aren’t ready for the 210, or want to race and then cheer on a friend or family member finishing their 210. Because the route both leaves and returns to Ludington, you’ll have about 7-9 miles of flat pavement at both the start and finish which will make the race more doable. Finish your race in one of the great outdoor towns in the country, Ludington, touching the waters of Lake Michigan and completing your amazing adventure.
Our design philosophy is to provide the best combination of scenery, dirt surfaces, safe roads and fun riding while minimizing sandy sections and paved and/or higher traffic riding (you’ll see very few vehicles on the course). We will do our best in the weeks leading up to the race to alert you to road surface conditions as they can change fairly considerably depending on recent weeks of rain or drought before the race. When in doubt, go with wider tires and bring extra water. Riders never regret this.
I arrive at the finish a better person. – Rebecca Rusch, world champion mountain biker (and gravel road lover)
Ludington provides an ideal finish town with restaurants, breweries, lodging, an amazing state park and maybe the best sunset in the U.S. Some of you will be able to get home Saturday night, but staying in Ludington would be a well-deserved reward!
Finish Rates (2018-2022)
- 210: 146 of 255, 57% (2021: 150 of 316, 42%; 2019: 320 of 375, 85%; 2018: 199 of 238, 84%)
- 100: 149 of 176 (2021: 179 of 200, 90%; 2019: 139 of 152, 91%; 2018: 124 of 135, 92%)
- All racers registering a week or more before the race will receive either the race shirt OR SockGuy 5″ SGX race socks, along with an Orange Mud neck gaiter/buff.
- All 100-mile finishers will receive a 100-mile sticker.
- See the top finisher prizes page for podium awards.
Support & Aid
- This race is unsupported/self-supported.
- You may meet a support crew at the Big M Rec Area checkpoint if you wish but at no other point (unless you are withdrawing).
- You may NOT swap a bike or wheel at the checkpoint.
- The Coast Loop does not require a support vehicle but you must have a “rescue” vehicle to get back to the finish if you drop out.
- With a 2000 feet (0.3 mile) detour – less than 90 seconds of biking – you can get water (spigot or purchase) and food in Dublin at mile 53, at either the Dublin General Store or Marathon Gas Station.
- We will do our very best to have water for those riding unsupported but it is NOT GUARANTEED. There is no water source at the checkpoint and requires a 25-30 minute round trip to get more. So if you need water, get it in Dublin.
- Course directions are via gpx file (Garmin, Strava, etc.) and cue sheets under Routes page. ALL riders must have at least cue sheets.
- There will NOT be signs on the course (except posts in the forest road sections). See the Route page for details.
Endurance is all about heart. — Bear Grylls
Schedule for Saturday, June 24
- Check-in: Stearns Park Beach, 420 N Lakeshore Dr, Ludington, 6:30-7:45 am
- Start: 8 am, Stearns Park
- Checkpoint: Big M Recreation Area, mile 63.4
- Finish: before 3 a.m. 🙂 Stearns Park
- Awards will be giving out as podiums fill. If you missed your award, come find us at the finish line.
- We will provide a really tasty Q Smokehouse pulled pork & pasta & cheese boxed meal. My favorite BBQ and sauce! Food is also available at the concession store right next to the finish. Or, lots of great options downtown, just 1 mile away.
- Stearns Park Beach, Ludington (north side, enter from north)
- Touch Lake Michigan to start and finish your quest!
- Cartier Park Campground has sites for as low as $25/night, just 1 mile north of the start/finish.
- Ludington State Park camping. Book your site up to 6 months in advance.
- Ludington East/Pere Marquette River KOA
- Other options in the Ludington area.
- If you are headed south after the race (or north on Friday before the race), consider searching in Pentwater, Hart, Grand Rapids, Muskegon, etc.
Logo shirts and extra race shirts and socks will be available for purchase online; pick up at the race. We will have limited quantities available at check-in and finish.
- Extra shirt or socks, $15. Order online with registration to guarantee availability.
- Jersey, bib, and cap available on BikeReg registration site through the Borah store in the spring. Open for a few weeks then. 2022 design to come.
Community Facebook Group
Join the racer forum to connect with other riders, seek support crew, transportation to/from the start, and to have questions answered from veteran endurance riders.