Rules

Riders are responsible for themselves. Riders should understand that they are undertaking a difficult task and as such are exposed to risk. YOU are responsible for YOUR own SAFETY at all times! It is not the promoters’ responsibility to rescue you; this is what the support crew is for (and your own sound judgment and care). Be safe, have fun and don’t be a jerk!

SUPPORT CREWS

Support crews should support no more than three riders. We may allow exceptions for large crew vans or other arrangements. Contact us.

Support vehicles must stay off the race course. You may not follow along your biker or meet them at any point during the race except at the three designated checkpoints. You must take other roads to reach each checkpoint and the finish line. We assure you that the course is NOT the fastest way between checkpoints!

Keep in mind that your rider’s pace will very likely be quicker to CP 1 and 2 than their overall average expected pace. Plan to arrive at these checkpoints a little earlier.

Bring your GPS device to help with navigation. In general, programming a route from one checkpoint to another via GPS will avoid the race course. Exception: you may travel on the race route within the towns of Gladwin, Marion, Dublin and Lakeshore Drive in Ludington in order to access the checkpoint locations.

Support can be provided ONLY at the designated checkpoints by support crews. Support crews may NOT leave gear/food drops for riders along the course except at the three checkpoints. If a support vehicle is seen on the course before or during the race, their rider(s) will be disqualified. This is in keeping with the spirit of self-supported racing.

In the event that a rider requires assistance of their support crew between checkpoints this will be considered a DNF for that rider.

If you break down between checkpoints and the checkpoint you already visited is closer, you may return to that CP for help from your crew but only by your own power.

NEUTRAL/OTHER SUPPORT

You may access “neutral area” support such as convenience stores, gas stations, or public water access.

You may also receive racer or resident help, but only if not preplanned and available to all racers.

There is reasonable cell phone coverage along almost the entire route to communicate between racer and support crew. There are gaps in the Manistee National Forest and possibly elsewhere. Ask other riders if they can call your crew if needed, move to another location for coverage or seek help from a local business or residence in an emergency.

Racers may provide assistance to other racers at any time during the event. If you are involved in a rescue that prohibits you from finishing the race, you will be provided a full credit for next year’s race.

Drafting is allowed. Tow ropes are not allowed.


CHECKPOINTS

You must LEAVE designated checkpoints by the cut-off times listed under Race Details and in pre-race communications. If you arrive at the checkpoint before the cut-off but are not able to leave by the cut-off time, you’ll be required to end your race there. Your crew can drive you to the finish or head home.

Make sure you cross the timing mat or pass by the timing sensor at each checkpoint. Look for signs and/or cones to guide you to the chute. If you went through the designate chute but there was no mat, a sensor/scanner was used so you are set. You will be chip timed at each checkpoint and at the finish and your progress will be posted online during and after the race including a location based on your average (not actual) pace. Spectators and crew can find this at www.epicracetiming.com.

The volunteers/staff may ask to check your front and rear lights. Note that a front light is only required during dark hours but a rear light is mandatory for the entirety of the race.


EQUIPMENT

See page 6 for the full list. Bike swaps are NOT allowed. You must finish on the same frame that you started on. Therefore, if you have a situation where your frame is unfit to continue then you would have to accept a DNF if you can’t get yourself and your bike across the line before the cutoff.

We are NOT allowing wheel OR tire swaps just for the sake of adjusting your setup during the race (i.e. switch from wheels w/gravel tires to wheels w/MTB tires, or swapping different tires onto the same wheels). This is in keeping as much as possible with a self-supported ethos. If you should encounter a mechanical between checkpoints where your wheels/tires are irreparably damaged (i.e. huge sidewall tear, massive puncture, freehub breaks, broken spokes, massive wheel dent, etc…) then you must get you and your bike to the next (or previous) checkpoint on your own power and may replace the broken items there if need be (i.e. replace a tire that has been booted with GU energy packs, or repair/replace a broken wheel). Our goal isn’t to be fun police but keep things as much in the spirit of self-supported gravel racing while still allowing a crew to assist you at checkpoints.

Tri or aero bars are allowed.

Lock up your bikes when you will not be with them. We are not responsible for damaged or stolen bikes.

All riders must carry the printed cue sheet at a minimum as well as a method for tracking distance covered. A GPS cycling computer is recommended as well. All riders using a cycling computer should carry a back-up battery (don’t forget cord; hook it up at the start).

Riders must have a red taillight on during the entirety of the race. Please carry a spare taillight or have your crew bring one to any checkpoint if you think it won’t last the entire event. Flash mode recommended.

Riders must have a fully charged front handlebar light and/or headlamp on at dusk. During dark hours we recommend using both handlebar light and headlamp at the same time as they illuminate different space, especially on turns.

Number plates must be handlebar mounted via twist ties (not zip ties) with the number visible to staff in front of the bike. Not on your back, hydration pack, pocket, etc.

Do not trim, fold, cut holes in, or bend number plates. This may result in your chip not recording your time and you could be disqualified.

Please carefully dispose of wrappers and other trash, especially while riding. Use a pocket or gear bag that is designated just for trash so that you’re not trying to pull unwrapped food from where the trash is. We are guests in this beautiful area and we’d like to leave it as nice or better than when we visited!


COURSE VIOLATIONS & DISPUTES

Racers should hold each other accountable for following the course and report any violations to race staff. If a racer reappears ahead of others, they should be informed of their mistake. Racers going off course must determine where they left the course and must return to that point or they will be disqualified.

Race staff reserve the right to assign penalties or disqualifications. Penalties can be assigned in amounts much greater than any time savings gained from unintentionally following an incorrect route to ensure that there is no benefit gained.

When results are posted riders will have 30 minutes to contest or dispute results. After that results are final.


SAFETY

Roads will not be closed for the race. You are responsible for obeying the Michigan Vehicle Code as it applies to bicycles (e.g. you must obey all stop signs, riders no more than two abreast, etc…).

Always ride as far right as is reasonably safe. Do not cross the yellow line!

Music via headphones/earbuds is not allowed.

Any physical altercations will result in disqualification.

In the case of severe weather such as lightning/thunderstorms, please take shelter in a vehicle or building until it has passed. Do not shelter under trees. If you have no choice, choose a forest rather than an open field or near a large body of water.

Because there may be severe weather in one part of the course while some racers are in another part, the clock will continue to run. If there are long delays, we will consider extending the final cut-off time to encourage riders to take shelter in severe weather. When facing an emergency, first call 911 and then call your support crew. Do not neglect getting help from your crew if there’s a medical emergency.

Race officials reserve the right to delay the start if unsafe weather conditions are present. We may or may not have a sweeper vehicle for anyone that might get missed by their support crew. Either way, we will check chip readings from the start to finish to track riders and sweep if necessary.

If you decide to drop out of the race, please inform or have your support crew inform us at the number on the back of your number plate.

Last, but certainly not least, riders should conduct themselves in a proper manner at all times. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. This adventure is intended for you to test yourself and you have decided to do so on your own volition. Be kind to one another and please assist any riders in need as you are able to.

While the three checkpoints represent ideal places for riders to end their day early, we encourage you to call for pick-up/rescue short of a checkpoint if you are hitting a wall. No shame in that. In particular, riders who are struggling should NOT attempt the Pine River Ridge two track from mile 154-161. Although it’s only 6 miles, it’s equal to about 20 miles of gravel road riding. Riders should wait for pick up at M-37/Grandview at mile 154 or bike up the road to the Corner Express/Marathon for hydration, food and restrooms.

SUPPORT CREW RULES

Support crews may support up to three riders. We may allow exceptions for large crew vans or other arrangements. Contact us.

Support vehicles must stay off the race course. You may not follow along your biker or meet them at any point during the race except at the three designated checkpoints. You must take other roads to reach each checkpoint and the finish line. We assure you that the course is NOT the fastest way between checkpoints!

Bring your GPS device to help with navigation. Typing in the checkpoint locations in GoogleMaps or similar will provide a legal, direct route for support crews. Exception: you may travel on the race route within the towns of Gladwin, Marion, Dublin and Lakeshore Drive in Ludington in order to access the checkpoint locations.

Support can be provided ONLY at the designated checkpoints by support crews. Support crews may NOT leave gear/food drops for riders along the course except at the three checkpoints. If a support vehicle is seen on the course before or during the race, their rider(s) will be disqualified. This is in keeping with the spirit of self-supported racing.

In the event that a rider requires assistance of their support crew between checkpoints this will be considered a DNF for that rider.

If you break down between checkpoints and the checkpoint you already visited is closer, you may return to that CP for help from your crew but only by your own power.