IS THIS A RACE OR A TOUR?
The Black Bear is a tour. It is a tour that is timed so that you will have an accurate indication of your ride time. If you want to take your time - then you can do that if you want to beat your personal best, you can do that too!
IS THERE FOOD?
We have five food and water stations with snacks and water. The food and water stations are at 26 miles, 46 miles, 57 miles, 73 miles and 93 miles.
WHAT KIND OF FOOD IS AVAILABLE?
We have PBJ, granola bars, fruit, water and PowerAde at all rest stops and pizza and beverages at the finish line.
HOW ARE THE RIDERS STARTED?
We will start riders in groups of 10 each minute starting at 8:00 AM until all are gone. This is done to reduce congestion and increase safety. Rider minutes are handed out on a first come first serve basis through on-line registration through Active.com and paper snail mail registration process (this is a coordination challenge so please bear with us. The event Director reserves the right to make changes in the starting order that may not make everyone happy. We ask that you make every effort to start on the minute you have been given so we can keep everyone safe and have an accurate time for your ride.
When you start your ride the canoe racers will have been paddling 11 hours throughout the night.
HOW DOES THE SHUTTLE FROM OSCODA TO GRAYLING WORK?
We again will use passenger vans pulling bike trailers augmented with school busses. Our trailer and van program will make the return ride comfortable for you and safe for your bike. It is our goal to have you scored out quickly, so you can be on your way safely home at a reasonable hour. Please take note, Oscoda and Grayling are equal in drive times to many southern state locations, it might be advisable to bring someone to shuttle your vehicle to Oscoda so you don’t have to take the 2 hour drive back to Grayling and then drive south
WHEN DO THE SHUTTLES LEAVE?
We try to have shuttles leave at 1:30 and 3:30, on a first come, first served basis. We often need to adjust those departure times because of riders waiting for other riders. We also get a lot of changes, unfortunately, on tour day when riders want to add or be taken off the shuttle.
HOW GOOD ARE THE RIDING SURFACES?
Most are very good, but a few areas require that you mind your wheels. The surface on North Down River Road right after the start is the worse. It only last for a few miles. Overall the surfaces are very good.
WHAT IS THE MCKINLEY CLASS?
We love McKinley. You may want to live there someday. You and a partner can split the 100 miles by having someone waiting in McKinley, at the 56 mile mark, to ride the last 44 miles and have your vehicle ready for you. If you ride this class, please remember that you should not stay in McKinley forever, -- go home -- or go to Oscoda and pick your partner up. Each McKinley rider registers separately and please tell us your riding partner’s name and who will be riding the first leg when you register on Active.com or the old fashioned way (paper).
We have three McKinley classes for 2013: male/male, male/female, and female/female. So, grab a partner and ride your best time!
Each tandem rider registers separately and please tell us your riding partner’s name in either paper or Active.com registration processes. We have also included three tandem riding classes for 2013: male/male, male/female and female/female.
We have one marked SAG vehicle and we arm our corner guard volunteers with tubes as well as first aid kits.
For those of you with personal SAGS, since safety of our riders is THE highest priority we ask 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 window of moving vehicles – that endangers other riders if you miss the window.
- No assisting riders from moving vehicles
Safety is our highest priority and would ask all cyclers to abide by the known rules of the road. If you are not familiar with them, Active.com has great information that will help you out and we’ve included several article links on our website that we think you’ll find helpful.
TWO ABREAST RIDING
Michigan law prohibits riding more than two abreast. A couple of the counties we ride through are very keen on this. Moreover, some of our roads are very narrow. Please share the road in a responsible manner.
WHERE ARE THE BATHROOMS?
There are porta johns behind the small grassy pocket park two doors down the street from The Bicycle Shop and rest rooms or porta johns are at all of the aid stations. On the course, just watch out for the bears!
HOW LATE IS THE FINISH LINE OPEN?
We have been open as late as 8 ½ hours. We wait until the last rider comes in.
WHAT HAPPENS AT THE FINISH LINE?
We’re working on it since we heard from many of you on our sleepy little finish line.
To start, when you cross the finish line, you need to ride your bike just a wee bit further, .2 miles to be exact until you get to the park across the street from the River Store. That is where we’ll have pizza and beverages, the drawing for the bike (all entrants get a chance), and a few other things for those who cross the finish line!
HOW DO I GET A CERTIFICATE WITH MY TIME?
For $3.00 we will mail you a certificate with your name and time and a window sticker that has your individual time.
WHAT ABOUT SHIRT AVAILABILITY?
We order enough shirts (specify your size: S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL) to cover our pre-orders through Active.com and paper registrations plus a few extra. The extra are available on a first come first serve basis at the cost of $15.00 each. If you want a shirt, PREORDER.
ABOUT HAVING FUN?
“If you really want to be happy – no one can stop you.” Sister Mary Tricky