Nearly 10 years ago we loaded up a car with bikes, camping gear, and three thirty year old men.
|The Mighty Mac from the Upper Peninsula|
We started the trip to Marquette full of hopes and dreams. Hopes of a solid race. Dreams of a podium finish. In the end, we all finished.
|Mackinaw Bridge is always cool to see|
The race? The 2007 edition of the Ore to Shore. Travel time was around 7 hours. I do remember that we stopped in Mackinaw for fuel and lunch. After that, the last few hours over to Marquette before finally landing at the campground in Negaunee.
|Our humble abode for the weekend|
Once we got settled in.....we simply had to rest before getting up and racing the next morning. As you can see from the campsite above, it is beautiful country and the skies were sunny and clear.
|This kid before the start|
Because it was 10 years ago the details are fuzzy at best. I remember bits and pieces of the course. It was sandy, with lots of red dirt. Mainly 2 tracks and I honestly don't remember if there was any single track. Oh, and hills. Yes. Lots of hills.
|L to R: Chris J., Me, and Chris H.|
The running joke was this is was a downhill race because the elevation at the finish was lower than at the start. That may be the case, but it is far from downhill. Thinking back, this might have been my first race back after taking a long break when the kids were born.
|Typical mass start race|
What I do remember is the roll out. Lots of pavement thru town and then a long climb before dumping into the woods on a sandy two-track. The plan was for Chris H. and I to ride together for the first part of the race, but I got caught up in the moment and lost him in the crowd. The next time I saw him was when he rolled across the finish line.
The dust was nasty. As you can see from the pic above I was pretty dirty. Even my bright yellow jersey (which I question wearing) is dirty. While at the finish line waiting for the others to finish I eventually started seeing the Hard Rock finishers rolling in. One guy passed and I honestly could not tell you if he was white or black. He must have been riding on a wheel the whole race because the dust on his face was far worse than mine.
You might wonder why I am revisiting this race from 2007. Well, it was the first and last time I ever did the event. I liked it enough that I have threatened to do it again one day. I plan to make a vacation out of it. Take the people still living with me on a few day trip and kayak around pictured rocks, race, and take our time enjoying what the Upper peninsula of this great state has to offer.
So, after 10+ years you just might find me on toeing the line of the 2018 Ore to Shore. Might even be the Hard Rock, but I guess we will see how it goes.