Our pals from Cadillac know how to put on one heckuva bike race!
The 2017 edition of the Bear Claw Epic is just a month away, and we're hoping you've got September 23rd circled on your calendar. The BCE is a fundraiser to help us maintain and protect the Cadillac Pathways. The area is lucky to have a committed group of riders who have dedicated their time to not only building this race, but making sure the Pathways grows as a resource for the community.
The race itself has already become a classic in Northern Michigan. The late September date is perfect for racers getting ready for a full fall campaign, with eyes set on the Iceman Cometh race in November. The timing of the event allows a good hard test of the legs, with plenty of time to gain fitness afterwards based on how the day goes. Cadillac is also an easy destination for riders in Traverse City and Grand Rapids using US-131 and we're expecting to see folks from all over back for this year.
The race offers Beginner (1 Lap), Sport (3 Laps), Expert and Elite (4 Laps) category options for both men and women, in addition to age groups awards. There's even a cash purse that means you could win back your entry fee!
Each lap is 7 miles with a combination of two-track and singletrack, with great opportunities to pass. It also offers 600 feet of climbing, which means the Expert and Elite riders will see over 2,000 feet of elevation gain over the course of their race. That's a significant challenge in Michigan, and the winner of the Bear Claw Epic is always someone that possess the ability to handle tough climbs and technical singletrack equally well.
Racing starts at 9am with the Beginner and Sport categories, with Expert and Elite taking off at 1pm. Registration is open on the Bear Claw Epic website, along with plenty of details on the race, the course, and the day's events.