- The Grayling Rotary Club's 17th year of producing and managing a cycling event.
- Gran Fondo starting format and three chip-timed looped routes that start and finish at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA)
- Gran fondo starting format is a mass start for each route with self organized starting corrals based on your MPH/KPH, fastest cyclers in the first corral.
- Loyal Black Bear loyalists and those new to the Black Bear can sign up for one of three routes: the Century (100 miles), the Metric Century (62 miles) or the 45 mile ride.
- All routes can be found on MapMyRide or Strava as listed:
- Official Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017 - 100 miles
- Official Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017 - 62 miles
- Official Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017 - 45 miles
- Dedicated volunteers at corners and rest stops with roving SAG Support.
- Finish line celebration meal and fun.
- Helmets required
- Event held rain or shine
- No refunds
Event details and schedule
BLACK BEAR GRAN FONDO 2017
This is the seventeenth year that the Grayling Rotary Club has organized a Black Bear event and we will continue with the gran fondo format we started in 2016 which was wildly successful!. We are grateful for the many loyal followers we have developed over the years and hope to continue to earn their support and loyalty with our redesigned Black Bear Gran Fondo event and attract new Black Bear enthusiasts who will also return year after year.
What is a Gran Fondo?
A mass participation cycling event that got its start in Italy in the early 1900’s. Loosely translated, it means everything from “great foundation”, “great distance” or “great endurance.” Some cyclists ride for the satisfaction and pride of just making it to the finish line. Others want to improve upon their previous times and to challenge themselves, their friends, their teammates. Some ride to win.
What is a Gran Fondo Start?
Mass start where riders are required to stage according to their ability to ride in a large group. All riders depart the start line at one time, requiring less experienced riders to position themselves toward the back of the mass start group. If any rider is in doubt of their ability to securely hold an even line at high speed with riders in close proximity, it is vital that they line up towards the back of the start line group. All route timing is relative to when the riders cross the line, so no time penalty will be incurred by starting further back in the group.
We will organize cyclists based on the following ride speed. We are asking cyclists to self-select their starting position based on speed and training program. Please take a look at the guidelines below, then make an honest assessment of your abilities/objectives for the event and choose the appropriate corral during the lineup process:
1st corral: 22-25 MPH/35-40 KPH, trains at least 10 hours per week
2nd corral: 1-21 MPH/29-34 KPH, trains 8-10 hours per week
3rd corral: 14-17 MPH/23-28 KPH, trains 3-6 hours per week
What is the date of the Black Bear Gran Fondo?
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Where is the start?
Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA)
7601 Old Lake Road
Grayling, MI 49738
Route starting times:
- 100 Mile (century) Loop 8:00 AM
- 62 Mile (metric century) Loop 8:30 AM
- 45 Mile Loop 9:00 AM
- All looped routes start and end at Hanson Hills Recreation Area in Grayling, Michigan
Highlights of our redesigned Black Bear ride:
- Gran Fondo format starting and ending at Hanson Hills Recreation Area.
- Dedicated volunteers at corners and rest stops
- Roving SAG Support on all routes
- 100 mile (century), 62 mile (metric century) and 45 mile chip-timed looped rides on paved roads through the breathtaking setting of rural northern Michigan’s AuSable River Valley.
- New and improved 100 mile route with two additional concentric routes that fit inside the 100 mile route: 62 miles (metric century) and 45 miles. All routes start and finish at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) in Grayling, Michigan, are chip-timed, are on paved roads and experience the beauty of both Crawford and Roscommon counties. 100, 62 mile routes go clockwise and cross the famed AuSable River at various points along the way. Our 45 mile route heads south on Military Road from Hanson Hills and then clockwise around Higgins Lake and back again to HHRA on Military Road. Cyclers tackling the 100 can look forward to an early morning ride through our rockin’ town of Grayling, past Hartwick Pines State Park, through the picturesque town of Lovells, a fun ride on McMaster’s Bridge Road and across to M-18 through Kirtland Warbler territory, through the quaint Village of Roscommon, up to the top of Pioneer Hill, a nice ride down Sunset Drive and then start the final leg around Higgins Lake, down to Houghton Lake and back north to HHRA on Military Road past Camp Grayling. Rest stations providing nutrition and hydration, corner marshalls, and roving SAG support will be there for our riders on all routes.
- Finish line celebration meal and fun.
BLACK BEAR GRAN FONDO 2017
This event is produced and managed by the Grayling Rotary Club.
- Retain our loyal Black Bear fans
- Appeal to a broader range of cyclists with additional distance options (100, 62 and 45 mile routes)
- Feature all that the Grayling Area has to offer, including Hanson Hills Recreation Area and the beauty of the Ausable River Valley
- Support Hanson Hills Recreation Area with proceeds from the 2017 event.
The Black Bear Gran Fondo cycling event will start and end at HHRA (Hanson Hills Recreation Area), 7601 Old Lake Road, Grayling, MI 49738, in the heart of northern Michigan. The following are highlights of the Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017:
- Free rustic camping (no water/no electric) will be available on Friday evening, July 7 on the grounds of Hanson Hills Recreation Area (access from M-93). Hartwick Pines State Park or North or South Higgins Lake State Park and various private campgrounds in the area are available for those interested in weekend camping.
- For those of you who arrive on Friday evening, and are looking for craft beer, our town of Grayling has a number of places serving craft beer and they would love to meet you!
- Rest stations approximately every 15-20 miles with nutrition/hydration support and biobreak facilities.
- Finish line cuts off at 4:00 PM. Any participant finishing after that time will need to self-report to Gault Race Management if you want your time included in the results.
- Celebration meal will also take place on the HHRA grounds until 430PM. Meals for family and friends can be purchased in pre-registration only and wrist bands will be provided in packets.
The HHRA (Hanson Hills Recreation Area) campus will designate a parking area for the Black Bear event.
DIRECTIONS TO HHRA (Hanson Hills Recreation Area) in Grayling, Michigan
Program your phone with the following address: 7601 Old Lake Road, Grayling, MI 49738
From the South
Take I-75 North to Grayling Exit 254. Continue on I-75 Business Loop through three traffic lights and turn left at the third traffic light onto M-72 West. Just past Northbound Outfitters (on your left), turn left onto Old Lake Road and stay on Old Lake Road until you reach Hanson Hills Recreation Area and look for Black Bear directional signs.
From the North
Take I-75 South to Grayling Exit 259 and turn right onto M-93/I-75 BUS toward Downtown/Grayling/Traverse City/M-72. Keep going until you reach Old US-27 (There is a stop there). Turn left onto Old US27 until you reach M72 West. Turn right on M72 West, and just past Northbound Outfitters, turn left onto Old Lake Road. Take Old Lake Road all the way to Hanson Hills and look for Black Bear signs.
PACKET PICK-UP, ON-SITE REGISTRATION
For those of you have pre-registered, your packet will be available on Friday evening, July 7 from 5:00 PM until 7:30 PM at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) Main Lodge. You may also pick your packet up just prior to your ride on Saturday morning between 6:30 AM and 8:30 AM in the HHRA Main Lodge.
For those of you who waited to register, on-site registration will also be at the Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) Main Lodge at the same times as packet pick-up. Ride fees are $50 if you register on event weekend (July 7 and 8).
STUDENT REGISTRATION FEES
For students under the age of 18, registration fees are $25 regardless of when you register for the event.
Rest stations, SAG mechanics, timers and rest stop volunteers all have cut-off times for their availability to our riders and we will adhere to these limits so please make a plan if you are still on the course after these times and you require any type of support. If you finish your loop after 4:00 PM, you may self-report to Gault Race Management if you would like your time included in the official results.
Posted cut-off times for rest stops are on our website.
Other cut-off times:
SAG (Support and Gear) = 3:30 PM
Gault Race Management timers at finish line = 4:00 PM
Finish line celebration meal: = 4:30 PM
REST AND WATER STOPS
There will be nutrition/hydration stations with port-a potties in five locations that serve all of our loops, approximately every 20 miles for the 100 mile loop, three rest stops for the 62 mile loop, and two rest stops for the 45 mile loop with the final rest station at the finish line for all loops. Nutrition/hydration stations will be well stocked with food items that appeal to cyclists as well as water and a sports drinks.
FINISH LINE CELEBRATION MEAL
A celebration meal will be waiting for you after you cross the finish line . Additional meals for family/friends can be purchased in pre-registration only so we can plan for food quantity needed.
SPECIAL NEEDS BAGS
You can prepare special needs bags to be sent out to the various rest stops. We recommend you place your items in a large Ziploc bag with your name, cell phone number, which loop you rode, and the rest stop where you would like to pick it up. Bags must be dropped off to one of our volunteers during Friday night packet pick-up between 5:00 PM and 7:30 PM.
CLOTHING RETURN BAGS
If you need something returned from one of our rest stops (jacket, arm warmers, etc.) ask a volunteer at one of the rest stops for a gallon sized Ziploc and a sharpie. Put your things in the Ziploc bag, write your name, rider number and cell phone number on the bag and drop it in the bin designated for this purpose and they will be transported to the finish line area (special needs bags can be returned this way as well).
SAG (Support and Gear) mechanic vehicles
Support vehicles will be on the course with obvious SAG signage. They will be carrying tools, tubes and pumps. They can also carry you to the nearest stop if necessary. In the event you cannot finish, they can arrange a ride back to Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA). Their cell phone numbers will be provided in your packet.
Please ride within your ability and adjust your route accordingly to make sure you are off the course by the listed cutoff time of 4:00 PM. If you change your mind and either want to ride a shorter or longer loop, we just ask you to let us know so you will be timed accordingly with the correct group.
ALL VOLUNTEER EVENT
This event is entirely directed and produced by volunteers and is a Grayling Rotary event. We pride ourselves on the feedback we have received from cyclists all across the state and the country and are committed to providing you the experience we have become known for.
All proceeds from the Black Bear Gran Fondo will support programs that help the Grayling Rotary Club close service gaps and support community needs. 2017 proceeds will go toward a new pavillion for Hanson Hills Recreation Area.
The Black Bear Gran Fondo consists of three timed, looped routes (100 miles, 62 miles and 45 miles) All timed routes can be found on MapMyRun or MapMyRide and Strava and we reserve the right to make last minute changes based on roads, local events and traffic.
The Black Bear Gran Fondo team listened to our loyal followers incorporating improvements into our 2017 event and has worked tirelessly to develop three challenging route offerings for our 2017 event.
100 mile (century) loop
62 mile (metric century) loop
45 mile loop
REGISTRATION AND EVENT FEES
Pre-registration has many advantages:
- Early birds get the best pricing
- You will be assured your additional purchases like shirts or additional celebration meals for family and friends
- It’s EASY! All you need to do on tour weekend is pick up your packet at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) Main Lodge Building on Friday night, July 7, 2017 between 5:00PM and 7:30PM or Saturday morning, July 8, 2016 before the ride start between 6:30AM and 8:30AM. That’s it!
- Active.com on-line registration (Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017) through Sunday, July 2, 2017.
- Download the Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017 PDF registration form on our website and mail in the old fashioned way postmarked no later than June 30, 2017. We take no paper registrations between June 30 and July 7 so we can get ready for the event.
Fees for all rides (45 mile, 62 mile or 100 mile):
- January 1, 2017-February 28, 2017 $35
- March 1, 2017-May 31, 2017 $40
- June 1, 2017-July 2, 2017 $45 (paper registration cutoff is June 30)
- On-site registration July 7 and 8 $50
- Students (under 18) $25 (from January 1 to July 8, 2017)
Additional purchases (available during pre-registration only):
Shirts (two different options):
- Adult T-shirts (Gildan short sleeve Softstyle T-Shirt, 100% cotton) $15
- A4 performance T (A4 performance-T, 100% wicking polyester) $20
- Additional meal tickets for family members not riding (Age 13+) $12
- Additional meal tickets for children under 13 not riding $ 8
On-site registration will occur at the same times and location as packet pick-up
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Is this a race or a tour?
Neither, it’s a Gran Fondo. A gran fondo is a mass participation cycling event that got its start in Italy in the early 1900’s. Loosely translated, it means everything from “great foundation”, “great distance” or “great endurance.” Some cyclists ride for the satisfaction and pride of just making it to the finish line. Others want to improve upon their previous times and to challenge themselves, their friends, their teammates. Some ride to win.
Mass start where riders are required to stage according to their ability to ride in a large group. All riders depart the start line at one time, requiring less experienced riders to position themselves toward the back of the mass start group. All route timing is relative to when the riders cross the line, so no time penalty will be incurred by starting further back in the group.
When is the Black Bear Gran Fondo scheduled for 2017?
Saturday, July 8, 2017
Where is the event?
The start and finish lines are at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) 7601 Old Lake Road, Grayling, MI 49738.
When does the Gran Fondo start?
100 Mile Loop = 8:00 AM
62 Mile Loop = 8:30 AM
45 Mile Loop = 9:00 AM
How are the riders started?
The Black Bear will be a gran fondo start, that is a mass start where riders are required to stage according to their ability to ride in a large group. All riders depart the starting line at one time, requiring less experienced riders to position themselves toward the back of the mass start group. If any rider is in doubt of their ability to securely hold an even line at high speed with riders in close proximity, it is vital that you line up toward the back of the starting line group in the appropriate corral. All route timing is relative to when the riders cross the line, so no time penalty will be incurred by starting further back in the group.
We will organize cyclists based on the following rider speed. We are asking cyclists to self-select your starting position based on your speed and training program. Please take a look at the guidelines below, then make an honest assessment of your abilities/objectives for the event and choose the appropriate corral during the line-up process:
1st corral: Speed: 22-25MPH/35-40KMH Training: At least 10 hours per week
2nd corral: Speed: 18-21MPH/29-34KMH Training: 8-10 hours per week
3rd corral: Speed: 14-17MPH/23-28KMH Training: 3-6 hours per week
How do I register?
Pre-registration is easy and can be done on-line at Active.com (search on Black Bear Gran Fondo 2017) or the old fashioned way by downloading the PDF from our website:
- Paper registrations must be postmarked no later than June 30 to receive the $45 rate.
- The Active.com site will turn off on Sunday, July 2.
On-site registration/packet pick-up is available on Friday, July 7 between 5:00PM and 7:30PM and Saturday, July 8, between 6:30AM and 8:30AM in the Main Lodge of Hanson Hills Recreation Area.
Is there a rider limit?
We have not technically set a limit on number of riders; we welcome that challenge!
Is on-site registration available?
Yes, all routes can register on-site at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) in the Archery Building on Friday, July 7 between 5:00PM and 7:30PM and on Saturday, July 8 between 6:30AM and 8:30AM (please note, the 100 mile route starts at 8:00 AM, the 62 mile route starts at 8:30 AM, the 45 mile route starts at 9:00). Black Bear registration fees are $50 during on-site registration of event weekend.
When is packet pick-up?
Friday, July 7, 2017 between 5:00PM and 7:30PM
Saturday, July 8, between 6:30AM and 8:30AM
Where is packet pick-up?
Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) Main Lodge
Can I have someone pick up my packet for me?
Are helmets required?
How can we say this so there is no confusion: Absolutely, positively, without any doubt: YES!!! Helmets are definitely required for all three loops for rider safety. if you don’t have a helmet, you will not be allowed to start your ride.
How good are the riding surfaces?
Overall, most are very good; there will be very few areas that require you to mind your wheels and there will be variation in the shoulder width, some nice and wide and others that are skinnier. We’ve done our very best to provide you with the best roads possible in combination with features that make the routes interesting and fun and the road construction we worked around in 2016 is now complete in 2017 – Yahoo!
What kind of bikes are allowed?
Road, tandem and recumbent bicycles are allowed. Mountain bikes are discouraged.
Safety is our highest priority and we ask all cyclers to abide by the known Rules of the Road for bicyclists. If you are not familiar with them, the League of Michigan Bicyclists has great information that will help you out.
Rules of the Road
- Please, obey the rules of the road at all times
- Riders must obey the stop signs and traffic light signals along the route
- Helmets must be worn for all Black Bear Gran Fondo rides
- All Black Bear Gran Fondo routes are open to traffic
- Ride in single file and as far to the right as possible at all times.
- Do not cross the yellow or center line.
- When passing another rider, please make sure the rider you are passing knows you are there and call out “on your left!”. Never pass on the right
- No headphones or ear buds
Course workers will be at all of the corners and the course workers will work with you to get you quickly and safely on your way.
SAG (Suppor and Gear) vehicles
Our SAG vehicles are clearly marked and SAG cell phone numbers will be provided to all registered riders.
For those of you with personal SAGs, since safety of all of our riders is THE highest priority, we require the following:
- Personal SAG vehicles MUST pull off the road for your party (in a spot that is not in the way of others) and beyond rest stations to avoid congestion
- NO throwing of water bottles into the windows of moving vehicles – that endangers other riders if you miss the window
- Absolutely NO assisting riders from moving vehicles
Are there directional signs along the route?
Yes, there are directional signs, we attempt to have corner marshals with flags at each corner where a turn is made.
What about shirt availability?
The best way to assure you will get your shirt is to order one in pre-registration. This year we will have two options:
- the Gildan Softstyle (100% cotton) Color: Heathered Royal $15
- the A4 Performance T-shirt (100% wicking polyester) Color: Royal $20
We will have very few shirts with limited sizes available for purchase during packet pickup/on-site registration and those will be available on a first come, first served basis.
What is the refund policy?
There are no refunds. You can transfer your entry to another rider for a $5 fee on Active.com or via the contact email on this site.
Can I switch routes after I have registered?
Yes, please let the registrar know via email or during packet pick-up/on-site registration times during event weekend. If you end up changing your mind while experiencing the route, please let the timers know that you have switched routes.
Where can I park?
Parking areas will be designated at Hanson Hills Recreation Area and there should be plenty of parking available.
Where are the bathrooms located?
HHRA (Hanson Hills Recreation Area) bathroom facilities are available in the Main Lodge during packet pickup and on-site registration on Friday evening, July 7 between 5:00PM and 7:30PM and Saturday, July 8 from 6AM until 8:30AM.. Additional porta-potties will be available near the camping area at HHRA. Free camping will be available Friday evening only; we only ask that you break camp no later than 5PM on Saturday after your ride. For those of looking to camp for the entire weekend, we suggest Hartwick Pines, North or South Higgins Lake State Parks or various private campgrounds in the area (reservations recommended).
In addition, we will have porta potties at all of our rest stations along all routes.
Is camping available on the HHRA (Hanson Hills Recreation Area) grounds?
Yes, free rustic camping will be available on the Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA) grounds on Friday night, July 7, 2017; we only ask that you break camp no later than 5PM on Saturday after your ride.. Rustic camping only: no water and no electricity; porta-potties will be available for Friday night campers. For those who want to make a weekend of it, we suggest you make reservations at one of the nearby state parks (Hartwick Pines, North Higgins Lake, South Higgins Lake) or any of the private campgrounds in the area.
What are the cut-off times?
Rest stations, SAG mechanics, timers and rest stop volunteers all have cut-off times on for their availability to our riders and we will adhere to these limits so please make a plan if you are still on the course after these times and you require any type of support. If you finish your loop after 4:00 PM, you may self-report to Gault Race Management if you would like your time included in the official results.
Cut off times for rest stations are posted on our website.
Other cut-off times:
SAG (Support and Gear) = 3:30 PM
Gault Race Management timers at finish line = 4:00 PM
Finish line celebration meal: = 4:30 PM
What is offered at the Rest Stops?
There are food and water stations with both hydration and nutrition: PBJs, watermelon, orange smiles, bananas, water and sports drinks.The last rest stop for all loops is the celebration meal at the finish line at Hanson Hills Recreation Area (HHRA).
Should I bring my family?
Sure, they can cheer you on to victory at various locations along the route and at the finish line. They can also join you for the finish line celebration meal with their paid meal purchased in pre-registration only.
Can I purchase additional meals for family/friends?
Yes, only in pre-registration up to a postmark of June 30 on the printed PDF form and up through Sunday, July 2 on Active.com so we have a count to estimate food amounts. The meal is part of the registration fee for riders and you can plan for meals for family/friends with paid celebration meals purchased in pre-registration. Food will be served from 11:00 AM until the cutoff at 4:30 PM.
What if the weather is bad?
The show must go on, it’s a “rain or shine” event.
Can I volunteer my time to help in the Black Bear Gran Fondo?
Yes, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I park my bike?
There is no designated area to park your bicycle. We encourage you to load your bikes on your car carrier once you have completed the Black Bear.