Fundraiser

Our Traverse City Trails Festival Tips

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Ready to race or tour this weekend? After a few big recon rides, we’ve got a few tips to make this Saturday’s Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing as fun as possible. 

In just its third year, the TCTF has grown into one of the can’t-miss, won’t-miss events of the season. With a wide range of distances and the choice to race or tour, it’s a way to enjoy the trails while you support them! It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, which means every race entry goes right back into creating and maintaining a world-class trail experiences in Traverse City and beyond. 

Whether you’re racing or touring, a few things remain the same. After getting out to pre-ride the course a few times, we’ve collected a handful of tips worth considering before Saturday that will make things more fun and, just maybe, a little faster, too. 

Low Ain’t Slow. Nearly every single one of us stopped to lower our tire pressure over the course of one or more of these pre-rides. Seriously. With so much singletrack, traction is vitally important. Not only did dumping a little air help us with more grip, it also did a lot to make some of the roughest sections of trail feel a bit smoother. 

Adjust Your Fork (And Shock). The bike for the day is definitely full suspension, but even if you’re on a hardtail, it’s worth making a few adjustments. If you can hit the woods this week, use the O-ring on your stanchion to see how much of your travel you’re using. The goal should be to use all of it, with the O-ring being pushed all the way up the stanchion to within a few millimeters of the top of the fork leg. If you ride full suspension, do the same on your rear shock, too. If you need help getting set-up, make sure you stop by and ask Nate for some tips and learn how to make smart changes to get the most out of your travel. 

Bring Water (And Snacks). The 25 mile route is a big effort; the 40 miler, even tougher. Bring enough water to stay hydrated and make sure you have a way to get to it. It’s a great race to use a hydration pack so you can quickly take sips in the singletrack without having to reach for a bottle, ride on handed, and stab the bottle back to the cage in tight turns. The same goes for food. Try to unwrap your gels, bars, and food so you can get to them quickly if you plan on eating on the move. There are a few aid stations, but it’s always smart to plan on being self-sufficient, just in case. Plan on one bottle of water per hour of riding, and try to eat between 40 and 60 grams of carbs per hour as well. Race day isn’t a good time to experiment, so stick to drinks and snacks you’ve had before. 

Look At The Map. Try to identify specific sections of trail to use as landmarks throughout the race. Use wider sections to eat and drink; parts of the Muncie Lake Pathway, Vasa Pathway, and some more open singletrack are the best spots to fuel up. Use mile markers or familiar sections of traill as reminders to eat or drink, check in on how you’re feeling, and see how far into the race you are. NMMBA has route files that you can upload to a Wahoo Elmnt or Garmin Forerunner right here.

Online registration closes Wednesday night, and you can save yourself $10 by getting signed up.

We’ll see you at Ranch Rudolf Saturday for one of the most enjoyable days of the summer!

The Perfect Cycling Weekend In Northern Michigan....

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The ultimate cycling weekend in Northern Michigan is coming up quick! 

This July, there’s one weekend that offers riders of all abilities a chance to get out and experience the diverse offerings for cyclists in our region. On July 19, 20, and 21, you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to amazing cycling events. 

It all starts on Friday with the Tour de TART. It’s one of the biggest fundraisers of the year for Traverse Area Recreational Trails, an organization that’s dedicated to offering paved rail-to-trail routes, advocate for non-motorized transportation, and get moving! The ride is a one-way, 17 mile adventure along the Leelanau Trail. Make the most of the numerous food stops, meet new friends, and stick around for a treat at the end before getting a ride home. Proceeds go to support TART programs and projects like the proposed trail to Elk Rapids. 

Save a little something for Saturday, though. Saturday cranks that adventure up to eleven with the Traverse City Trails Festival presented by Short’s Brewing. As we’ve mentioned, it’s a really unique event that offers 40, 25, and 15 mile race routes, as well as the option to tour the 25 and 15 mile courses at your own pace with all your friends. All proceeds go to Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association to support their mission to build, maintain, and protect mountain bike trails across the region. The 40 and 25 mile routes utilize miles of unmarked trails; this is the only day of the year you’ll find them marked and easy to follow! Add new singletrack to your repertoire the rest of the year by learning it on July 20! 

If you can’t make it Saturday or if you’re looking for a fun ride to spin out the legs. Sunday is the Cherry Capital Cycling Club’s Ride Around Torch, one of the most beautiful rides on the Midwest. Take in views of Torch Lake and choose from 20, 40, 60, and 100 mile distances and don’t ride past those food stations; if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you won’t want to pedal by! The ride offers a great mix of flat roads on the 20, 40, and 60 mile routes, with the 100 mile option tying in a few fun climbs to the north and east of Torch Lake. 


Do one, do two, or tackle all three rides and make experience the full menu of riding we have to enjoy here in Northern Michigan. Each event supports programs that help our cycling community thrive, and we all benefit from these organization’s hardwork.