Northern Minnesota 2 day stage race.
Day 1. 100 miles through the woods from Two Harbors, MN to Ely, MN.
Had to carry own camping gear.
Day 2. 106 miles through the woods on a much tougher route from Ely back to Two Harbors.
20th place Day 1
10th place Day 2
13th Overall Combined Men, no age groups
Day 1 nice sunshine, Day 2 rain most of the day. Slimy trail at times, trees down, huge mud puddles.
Enough pavement/nice dirt to give the cross bikes a good time, likewise enough rough stuff to give the mtn. bikes a good time.
Jeremy Kershaw put together a great race. Logistics were excellent, the route was fantastic, the cue cards were right on, camping area was superb with plenty of room, a lake to wash/swim in. Town was only a 1/2 a mile away to go get a snack or a brew and dinner at Stony Ridge was literally yards away. With 50, yes 50, different hamburger combinations it was a dining experience.
Nice touches were the $15 dinner voucher for dinner and the catered breakfast that were "free" as part of the entry fee.
There was even a shelter (see pic below at breakfast) to dive into during the night when the massive thunderstorm/lightning hit and scared many in-doors or they "cheated" on the camping equipment and couldn't handle the downpour and needed to run for dry cover.
In any case, if you're looking for a weekend of riding fun in northern MN I'd highly suggested looking into this event. Great ride/race and social event to get to know your fellow racers. Met some new friends and got to know some folks better.
Breakfast, Day 2. Me in the yellow.
All pics credited to Jeremy Kershaw.
My sandal setup. Finish line Day 2.
Women's winner, Beth Wagner. Beth and I know each other from a few WI races. We teamed up at mile 50 on the 2nd day and by and large pulled a small group of riders through a headwind and set the pace. At the 90 mile mark it was just us 2 and we crossed together. We had a great time riding together, pushing each other.
Some tried a fire but the rains made short work of it.
My spot. Green bivy tent.
Got my tight shoulders taken care of.
Finish Day2. Top 15 for the combined race