A portion of this event’s proceeds benefit our featured charity, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
Kick off the cycling season with Epic Races and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for a truly amazing gravel bike experience: the Waterloo Gravel Grinder! This amazing adventure will take you through the wilds of Lower Michigan’s largest park, where pristine forests, rolling glacial terrain, and sparkling lakes provide a breathtaking backdrop for the cycling experience of a lifetime.
The Wolverine: a rugged, two-loop 100K course that winds through Waterloo’s more than 20,000 acres. Note: 100K participants must complete the first 50K loop by the 12:30 PM cut-off time.
The Black Bear: a powerful 50K course that condenses the best that the Wolverine offers into half the distance (one loop)
The Massasauga: a mighty 10-mile non-competitive ride perfect for both those new to bike racing and those built for speed
All courses run counterclockwise, turning left onto Seymour Road from Portage Lake, then right on List
Please note: the Waterloo Gravel Grinder is capped at 500 participants!
Looking for a different spin on things? Consider riding your fat bike on our course! Bring those wide wheels out for a one-of-a-kind Waterloo experience. Fat-bike riders can compete in either the Wolverine 100K or the Black Bear 50K in their very own division, with the top three male and the top three females in each distance winning medals! Note: competitors in the Fat Bike division are also eligible for age-group awards in the non-fat-bike divisions!
What is a fat bike? Also called wide-tire bike, a fat bike is a bicycle with oversized tires, typically 3.8 in (97 mm) or larger, and rims 2.6 in (66 mm) or wider, designed for low ground pressure to allow riding on soft unstable terrain such as snow and sand. Fat bikes are built around frames with wide forks and stays to accommodate the wide rims required to fit these tires. Fat bikes are extremely versatile, capable of traversing diverse terrain types including snow, sand, desert, bogs, mud, pavement, and traditional mountain-bike trails.
The more is also the merrier! Bring your friends, your family, your cycling club out and compete as a team in the Wolverine 100K! Any group of riders can be a team, but a team must have a minimum of five riders, of which one must be female. The five fastest times per team will be scored for the team event (one of those times must be female); the fastest three teams will win awards!
Speaking of team efforts, tandem bikes are indeed allowed in this event! Tandem bike riders must both register individually to participate, however, despite the sharing of one bike.
Given Waterloo Recreational Area’s glacial history, the bike courses will vary from rolling hill climbs and swift descents to winding curves and rare straightaways. Some of the roads will be paved. Some of the roads may be patched. Most of the roads will be dirt and rock. There may even be mud, ice, and snow. Expect to get dusty. Expect to get grimy. Expect to have the time of your life!
The Waterloo Gravel Grinder is part of the Pure Michigan FITness Series of events and is endorsed by the Michigan Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness, Health, and Sports.
Each Waterloo Gravel Grinder participant will receive:
A State of Michigan Park permit is required to enter Waterloo Recreation Area. The Recreation Passport is your $11 ticket to Michigan’s state parks and outdoor adventures for an entire year! Michigan residents are not able to purchase a one-day park pass. For State Park entry, all Michigan residents must have a Recreation Passport. For details about the Recreation Passport, click here.
Out-of-state residents will be required to purchase an $9 daily permit or a $31 annual Motor Vehicle Permit.
Bike support for the Waterloo Gravel Grinder will be provided by Aberdeen Bike and Outdoors at the start/finish line and along the route.
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