Riders in the first Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder, presented by Salsa Cycles, will traverse 210 miles of fast gravel roads and signature two-tracks, spanning Michigan’s lower peninsula. The race, co-designed by Salsa-sponsored racer Matt Acker, will not be known for its gravel, ironically, but for everything that’s NOT gravel – the forest roads, the two-tracks, the snowmobile trails. It’s 100% rideable but a challenging, roller coaster ride.

Salsa-sponsored rider Matt Acker testing out the Pine River ridge two-track. Photo courtesy of Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

Salsa-sponsored rider Matt Acker testing out the Pine River ridge two-track. Photo courtesy of Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

Racers will start their day at the sunrise shores of Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, making one all-out push west, through Michigan farmlands and grasslands, the majestic Manistee National Forest, all the way to the sandy beaches of Lake Michigan at Ludington. They may see the glorious sunset over Lake Michigan or ride into the night to get to the finish line before the 3:00 a.m. cut-off.

The race requires a support vehicle which can meet racers at up to three checkpoints every 50-55 miles.

Too many miles? No support crew?

Choose the convenient 100-mile loop with a Ludington start and finish or two-person relay across the state (two segments of 50-55 miles each, split support crew duties).

Seasonal road in Manistee National Forest. Photo courtesy of Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

Seasonal road in Manistee National Forest. Photo courtesy of Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder Details

  • Date: May 12, 2018
  • Start: Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay, between Standish and Au Gres
  • Finish: Ludington on Lake Michigan (21-hour cut-off)
  • Distance: Currently 209 miles, but subject to small change
  • Cap: likely 700 male riders (no cap for female riders). 225 signed up as of 1/30/18.
  • Prizes: cash, gear and trophies for top 5 overall men and women. Gear, gift cards, trophies for age group, fatbike, single speed and tandem top finishers.
  • Entry Fee: Individuals –  $150, Two-person relay – $200 for team, Tandem – $225 for duo
  • Online registration: bikereg.com/micoasttocoast
  • Registration Deadline: May 9, 2018

Ludington provides an ideal finish town. Racers will finish at Stearns Park, an amazing beach on the shores of Lake Michigan, complete with lighthouse and pier. The city has several breweries and restaurants, many lodging options and is home to Ludington State Park, with gorgeous trails, another lighthouse and scenic waterways. The awards ceremony will be at the Graystone Event Center, adjacent to the Holiday Inn where many racers will stay.

Due to beloved, long-standing bike races on all the other weekends surrounding the race, it will be held the day before Mother’s Day. Awards will be Saturday evening in order to get racers from the region home for Sunday festivities. We’ll celebrate moms who will join us on their special weekend to volunteer, crew or race.

Sponsors of the race to date include Salsa Cycles (presenting), Todd and Brad Reed Photography, Grand Rapids Bicycle Company, Ray’s Bike Shop, Spindrift Cyclesports, Velocity USA, Bike Law, Issi Pedals, Train Out Pain, LogoSpot and Local Lines.

For more information about the race and to register, go to micoasttocoast.com and visit the event’s Facebook page to join a growing community of gravel lovers.

Michigan Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder Photo Gallery

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eastern Michigan farmland - flat and fast, enjoy it while you can. Photo courtesy of Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

eastern Michigan farmland – flat and fast, enjoy it while you can. Photo courtesy of Coast to Coast Gravel Grinder

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