You must have a support crew in your general vicinity throughout the race. They do NOT need to be present when you arrive at the three checkpoints. Why a support crew? Let’s say there’s unexpected severe weather and 50-100 bikers need to quickly be removed from a dangerous situation. Or it’s a day of record heat and 30 bikers need to drop out. How do they get to Ludington? That’s the job of the support crews. If you cannot find your own, you can pay to have a shuttle & support service.
Most riders use their support crew as their means of getting to the start at Au Gres but any means is ok as long as you have a way to get back to Ludington if you drop out or the race is cancelled.
- We will have a sweeper vehicle to close down checkpoints as all racers get through them but that vehicle will not be picking up racers unless there’s a major emergency where the support crew is not present.
- Can the crew support multiple riders? Yes. Our recommendation is that racers be of performance levels at least somewhat similar with each other so the crew can stay in close proximity to all. Or have a support vehicle stationary at each checkpoint if you have a large group.
- You’ll likely drive together to the check-in and start so that no vehicles will be left at the start, but it’s not required.
- Support crew must be with you at the pre-race meeting Friday evening. Exceptions may be allowed as long as the support crew connects with race organizers in advance regarding logistics, rules, etc.
- Your crew must use different routes than the official race course (the only exception is crews should stay close to riders who leave Big M after 10 pm for safety reasons). They can simply use a map program like Google Maps and type in Gladwin, Marion and Big M Rec Area, which will keep them on the main roads between checkpoints. This route is not only legal but is fastest for them. If they reach you in between checkpoints for any reason, you will be required to drop out of the race. If you are able and safe, you must make it to the next (or previous) checkpoint to receive aid or seek it from another racer or someone along the course (unplanned).
- You are allowed to check in at checkpoints without your support crew and re-supply at convenience stores, gas stations, etc. in checkpoint towns or anywhere else, as long as you return to the point at which you exited the course to access aid.
- Your support team should meet you at the Lake Michigan shore and celebrate with you as you touch the water of a Great Lake for the second time that day, under your own power.
- For additional information, consult the Rider’s Guide and Rules pages.