Ranch Rudolf

Thank YOU For Making the 2018 TCTF A Huge Success!


We are incredibly lucky, and that's before we take in account for some incredible changes in the weather! 

Somehow, the doomsday predictions of rain and thunder never materialized, and racers arrived at Ranch Rudolf with grey skies punctuated with sunshine. In fact, the rain overnight did wonders for the trails, which had been dry and dusty for two weeks. 

So many of you showed up regardless of the weather and supported this important event. As our biggest fundraiser of the year, the success of the Traverse City Trail Festival dictates so much of what we can take on as your advocates, your trail stewards, and as a part of our cycling community. 

We were overwhelmed with your support; we saw over 300 registrations, plus plenty of riders signing up the morning of the race and tour to make it even bigger than last year! 

As the 40 mile race toed the line, we were able to thank our many sponsors for their support, especially Short's Brewing Company. Joe and the entire Short's family have been vital to our mission and events, from their huge support of Glacial Hills, the North American Vasa, our grooming efforts, and always having a case of beer ready to any meeting or rides. 

We also want to thank everyone for their support of our good friend, Dan Morley. In addition to Tom's wonderful speech about Dan's involvement in cycling, riders of all abilities rode as hard as they good with Dan in their thoughts. Much of the McLain Race Team rode the course together to support Dan and his family, greeting every rider and volunteer they met with a "Big Dan Strong!" and a big smile. You also helped to raise of $1,500 for Dan's family yesterday, and helped to ensure he knows he is not forgotten by his cycling friends. 

No one was as motivated to do something special than his teammate and Women's Elite race winner Megan Doerr. Megan had an incredible ride yesterday, confirmed her reputation as one the best singletrack riders in the state, and at 40 miles, the endurance athletes was only just getting started! 

On the Men's side, Jeff Owens and Tyler Weston put on an absolute clinic throughout the day, with Tyler doing much of the pace-setting early on before Owens took the reins and drove the pair away from the field. In a photo finish, Tyler took the win by a fraction of a second, adding his name to the annals of TCTF lore. 

Garrett Jenema took the win in the 25 mile race, but with an uncle like Tim, it's no surprise he knows how to thread through the trees in the Pere Marquette Forest. It was a close run thing, to be sure; the entire top five all finished within ten seconds! 

Beth Grassa headed off a City Bike Shop 1-2 in the Women's 25 mile race, finishing just under two hours and not too far ahead of Cindy Duby. These ladies were absolutely shredding the opening section of the course, powering along the Muncie Lake Pathway section and driving ahead early. 

We're really hoping to see all these riders, and YOU, back in action in the second leg of the NMMBA Trails Series. The second of our three events this summer is on August 19 at with the Glacial Hills Challenge. We're challenging riders to take on all three NMMBA trail races this summer, with Bear Claw Epic on September 22 capping off a full summer of fun in Northern Michigan. More details on the Series here

Like what we've got going on, and maybe want to give a hand? Make sure you join as a member! We're 100% locally operated, and every membership dollar stays right here in Northern Michigan to help create an even better non-motorized recreational experience from Cadillac to Bellare, Traverse City to Leelanau County, and everywhere there's a bike, some dirt, and the will to ride. 

On behalf of everyone at NMMBA, thank YOU for making the 2018 Traverse City Trail Festival presented by Short's Brewing a day we won't soon forget! 

2018 TCTF Course Preview: Files And First Impressions


Last week, we had about a dozen riders head out for a low-paced recon of the 25 mile Traverse City Trail Festival presented by Short's Brewing. 

It was never intended to be a race effort, but even rolling at a controlled pace, the 2018 TCTF 25 mile course was impressive. While this year's edition makes use of a mix of both new and old trail, with sections of the 2017 route used in reverse, it really rides very differently from the race's first edition. 

For starters, the start. Instead of a few open miles to kick things off, this year's race is almost immediately into the woods. This will favor racers will a strong start, as well as giving the better bike handlers a chance to poke and prod the roadies early, while they're at the height of their powers. The opening four miles are still very, very fast, but passing opportunities are much more limited. After that, it's true singletrack, especially as the race spills into the Dollar Lake area. 

The first reprieve for the power riders will be bursting out of the shadows and onto Broomhead for a short gravel road stretch north. That will be a good time to stretch out the back, eat, and get ready for what is a non-stop series of famous singletrack trails, with Tomtanium the first to greet the riders' return into the woods. 

The final miles of both the 40 and 25 mile race are wide open but sandy gravel road. They're also very flat, so if there are any groups left together in the finale, you'd expect to see speeds in the low 20s all the way back to the Ranch. The race does hit one final, almost ceremonial section of singletrack to circumvent Main Street at Ranch Rudolf, rolling past the campground and rounding the final turn to finish between the pond and the Boardman River. 

Of course, any trail is as hard as you make it, and we think that the tweaks and changes we've put in for 2018 will make the race harder and the tour easier. Because of the traffic last year and this year, the trail is much smoother and more pronounced, which limits the bumps and lumps that might get annoying. It's a great chance to see the trails and work them into your everyday rides! 

Ready to go recon? The course won't be marked until race day, but if you slow down at intersections, the GPX files below are actually pretty easy to follow. 

Note, both of the files below leave from the Muncie Lake XC Ski Pathway on Ranch Rudolf Road. 

The 40-mile route is here

The 25-mile route is here

Now get signed up!