Both the ride and the race will start in downtown Solon, take the north shore pea gravel trail west into the park, hook up with the steep and twisty hiking/snowmobile trails in the northern part of the park which will take you down near the reservoir boat ramp. From here you will make your way on park access roads through the park before hopping back on the twisty pea gravel near the boat rental/beach area which will take riders west to the spillway where we will have a special stop providing beverages and food on top of "the mound."
At this point the Half Classic Ride participants will turn around and head back into town via the pea gravel trails. Meanwhile the racers will continue across the spillway where they will be met by volunteers to help them get up the cliff over to the field campus side of the lake. (Thats right there is a cliff that must be scaled!) make sure you are comfortable hoisting a 30+ lb bike up a small rock formation if you sign up for the race! Racers will then head east along the hiking/ski trails toward the sailing club, and then cross over into the woods east of the sailing club and head down towards Anglers point. After riding the wooded trails through Anglers point they will cross Mehaffey Bridge Rd. and take more wooded and hilly snowmobile trails almost all the way back to Solon before hopping on about 5 miles of scenic gravel and heading into town. A short but steep gravel climb on Racine Ave. will be the last defining moment before crossing 180th St. into town. Volunteers will be staged on 180th St. to stop traffic and allow for riders to sprint into town if necessary.
If you’ve ever ridden or hiked any of these trails, you are probably getting pretty excited by now! Absolutely amazing trails and stunning scenery to take in for most of this route! The full race loop will be challenging to say the least and racers should expect to be out there for 2 1/2 hours or more depending on conditions. Riders participating in the fun ride should be able to complete the out and back loop in about 1 1/2 hours if they hold a brisk pace, but could make the ride last up to 2 1/2 hours or more at a proper "stomping" pace.
Due to the nature of the weather this time of year the race will be for fat tires only (3.5") and wider. We will be holding the event rain or shine and freeze or thaw so its important to only allow wide tires to prevent trail damage. Hopefully we will be able to hold future events at later times in the year and allow other tire sizes to participate. There is even talk of a marathon/endurance mountain bike event with multiple laps of the course involved!