Everything you need to know to be ready for the Traverse City Trail Festival on July 21!
The second edition of the #TCTF is Saturday, July 21. As expected, some of the best bike-handlers in Michigan are already confirmed to make appearances in the 40 and 25-mile races, with dozens of riders also electing to enjoy the day at a more leisurely pace in the tour categories. To make it easy on everyone, we've tried to put together a comprehensive one-sheet (well, page) to make it very easy to sign up, show up, and savor every second of the big day.
Registration. Online registration is available through Byte Events until 10 pm on Thursday, July 19. Late registration will be available at Ranch Rudolf, along with early packet pick-up, from 4-7pm on Friday, July 20. There is day-of registration from 7-8:45am on race. There is no registration for the Intergalactic Balance Bike Race for kids under 8 years old, which takes place at 1pm.
Registration and packet pick-up for the 8 mile kid's race will be open during the times noted above, as well as from noon until 1pm!
Location. Ranch Rudolf is located at 6841 Brown Bridge Rd, Traverse City, MI 49696. The start/finish venue will be located on the ranch's main street; just look for the big NMMBA/Short's Brewing banner.
Parking/Camping. Parking for packet pick-up and race day will be available in the large field south of the Ranch. Go past the entrance about 100 yards and you'll see a volunteer who'll put you exactly where you need to be. Please refrain from parking near the entrance of the Ranch itself, or along the road. We've got plenty of pasture to place everyone off the pavement!
Course. The 40-mile course is 39.5 miles. The 25-mile course is 27.5 miles. The race begins heading west out of the ranch and onto Brown Bridge Road; at the top of the climb, races will turn right to enter the Muncie Lake Pathways network.
40-mile racers follow pink arrows; your number plate matches.
25-mile racers follow blue arrows; your number plate matches.
Aid Station. Cherryland Accounting and Forty-Five North Winery with both be volunteering at aid stations. 40 milers will see the same aid station twice; the 25-mile race will see only one aid station. Both aid station will have food and water, however, we recommend you start the race with the water and food you need to finish your distance. Bring a flat kit and tools; even if you don't know how to make a specific repair, the more people we have with the materials to do so, the easiest it will be for a good Samaritan to help out!
Schedule of Events. Please pay attention to YOUR start time:
40 Mile Race starts at 9am, with a mandatory rider's meeting at the start line at 8:45.
25 Mile Race starts at 9:30, with a mandatory meeting at 9:15.
The Intergalactic Balance Bike Race will start at 1pm. There is no registration; listen for announcements starting after the other races have started.
8 Mile Kid's Race starts at 1:30pm.
Awards will begin immediately after the conclusion of the kid's race!
For both of the races, please seed yourselves accordingly; Elites first, Expert second, Sport next. Please be respectful and courteous of ALL racers, riders, and trail users you may encounter on the trail. A polite hello, a wave, and a ding of the bell will help spread our good vibes far and wide!
ALL tour riders will start at 9:45am, with a mandatory meeting at 9:35. IMPORTANT: Please do NOT leave early! Your chip will not be activated until 9:45, and we need to know who started in order to know who is still on the course later in the day. We will not let any tour riders leave later than 10am.
Is the 25-mile race the 'beginner' race? NO! The 25-mile race is no walk in the park, that's why we offer an Expert category at that distance. At roughly 90-120 minutes of racing, it's on par with what is considered a standard cross country race; if we were to join the Championship Points Series, this is the distance we'd use. Expect to see some incredible riders take on the 25 mile.
Are there places to pass? The climb up from the Ranch certainly helps to line things out, and it's a relatively wide opening stretch through Muncie Lakes. All racers should be courtesy to other athletes on the course. If you want to pass, announce yourself and communicate politely. If someone wants to pass you, remember, it's probably a really good idea to cooperate, hop on their wheel, and hold on, which means you BOTH are going faster.
What bike should I run? If you have the option, many riders would prefer a full suspension bike for this race, although hardtails performed the best in both the 40 and 25 mile races in 2017. We'd also recommend bringing a full flat kit and consider using a hydration pack. With so much singletrack, it can be hard to drink out of a bottle safely under race conditions.
If you're in a bunch, remember that the final four miles feature some gravel roads and two-tracks, so there is time for wide-open racing before the short singletrack section at the ranch.
Tour FAQs. Please make sure you roll over the timing strip at the start and end of your ride. We're using the timing system as a secondary means of accounting for all riders in the woods to make sure everyone is safely back at the Ranch. We will have a sweeper, but it's important everyone helps us keep track by following these instructions.
Results. Results will be available online right here.