A long time ago the land of Northern Illinois was a rugged place, corrugated with bluffs, hills, and rolling prairie. 250,000 years ago glaciers came in and flattened most of that awesome into boringness. Glaciers are jerks. Unknown to many, though, a small sliver of rolling, rugged terrain remains in Illinois.
We invite you to come explore this wonderful byproduct of glacial neglect.
The Roman Numeral for 10,000 is an “X” with a line above it. We think that is pretty rad, so we’re sticking to it.
July 12th. 7am. Krape Park, Freeport.
Starting in Freeport Illinois, teams of three and teams of one will cover two hundred kilometers (or one hundred twenty five miles) and ascend ten thousand ft. The road surface will be a mixture of gravel, pavement, and curse words.
Bring friends, form a team, create memories, help each other through suffering.
– This is a Gentlemans Race format. Teams of three riders will work together to accomplish their goal: survive with dignity.
– Teams will be required to arrive at the checkpoint and finish together, you know, like a team.
– While it is inevitable that one rider on a team will be physically slower than the others, do not underestimate the mental strength it will take to ride as a team for 10+ hours. Turtles and hares and what not.
– Camaraderie, accomplishment, and memories are what this event is all about.
– Solo: If you like putting the “I” in team, we have something for you. We understand not everyone has two friends. We also understand you may like this sort of torture by yourself. Come, ride your bike, have fun, suffer, but don’t expect any shoulders to cry on.
Just like every Axletree event, registration for this event is free. We have donated our time and energy into making this event what it is, and hope you enjoy it. Due to the nature of this event we will have registration ahead of time so we know who to expect.
Registration ends Sunday July 6th at midnight. After that date no new teams or solo riders may register. A team may substitute a member in the event something comes up. Life happens.
To register send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
Solo or Team:
Team Name: (Keep it clean, or we will name your team for you, and it will be super cute. No exceptions.)
Teammates: (When you send us an email, CC in your teammates to keep everyone aware)
Please also RSVP to the Facebook event HERE
I have spent many hours riding, exploring, and looking at maps of the Nor’western Territory of Illinois, starting with charts from the Louisiana Purchase. This route is the end product of those long hours. Roads were chosen based on scenic qualities, topographic challenges, and lack of automobiles. A lot of these roads are gravel, some are pavement, and some are “other”. I know a lot of people come to our other events with skinny tires in the 23-30c range, as the roads are fairly flat.
Let me persuade you to not attempt the same on this ride. Flat, straight gravel is one thing, but 25% downhill grade gravel with turns is another. 30c and up, please. If we see 28c or narrower tires at the start, we will slash them for your own safety. The first and last 12 miles are relatively flat, so you will doubt us at first. We recommend you treat these sections as warm-up and cool-down. Or bury yourself, whatever floats your goat.
This ride will be guided via cue sheets, as nearly all events of this type are. If you are bad at directions, get lost easily, or expect markings on every corner, I suggest you pick your teammates wisely.
Riders will get cue sheets to checkpoint #1 (mile 42) at the starting line. Riders making it to checkpoint #1 within 4.5 hours receive the cuesheet to complete the route. Riders reaching Checkpoint #1 after 4.5 hours will receive a truncated cue sheet sending them back to Freeport on the latter half of the route. This shortened route will still give riders 72 miles and 5,300ft of climbing. This is a non-negotiable time limit, chosen for your safety and our sanity.
You’ll want to keep an eye out for the “X” mark on the course. It will indicate you should probably turn. We may put that on your hands at checkpoints because we think it would be hilarious if everyone who completed the event ended up looking straightedge. Because if you’re not now, you never were.
Don’t forget to bring a calibrated computer with you to navigate. Preferably not a laptop/desktop, but that’s your call.
There will be only one gas station resupply on the route, around mile 86. There will also be water available at Checkpoint #1 at mile 42. Riders will need to carry a significant amount of calories and water to finish this event. If you come with two water bottles, you are a fool. I hope your teammates can carry you back.
There will be no drop bags or outside assistance allowed. If you can not carry enough water and supplies, then the New Belgium Tour de Fat is that same day, and could be a better option for you.
Call your wife, husband, brother, nephew’s cousin’s roommate, friend, Mom, etc. We are not picking you up. This is self-supported, you and your team are on your own. Please, be prepared, or bring boy scouts. Those kids are always prepared.
Support vehicles are forbidden on the route, unless you quit and they are taking you back to civilization. Having team vehicles roaming the course creates an unneeded element that other riders shouldn’t have to deal with when they are climbing, descending, and enjoying their day on their bicycles.
Support vehicles also make riders nonchalant concerning their preparation and navigation. Don’t do that, be as chalant as possible.
Lastly, please remember to bring a helmet and flashing lights for the front and rear of your bike. You might think flashing lights are overkill since you are leaving at 7am, but you might think a lot of things. Be prepared.
Salsa Cycles, supporter of rad things big and small, is our main sponsor. The ride is totally self supported and there are no prizes, so our sponsorship deal went something like this:
US: “Hey Salsa, we’re having a really cool endurance event in the middle of nowhere where no endurance event this hard should be – want to put your name on it?”
THEM: “Heck yeah! Can we send some bottles and blog up about it?”
US: “Heck yeah!”
And so on… for three more hours.
Please let us know if you have any questions.
More details will be released via the Facebook page here.