HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

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HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby Nechan » August 24th, 2012, 10:25 am

The Northern Chapter will be hosting it's annual High Country Pathway Fall Fun 50 Epic Ride on September 29th, 2012. The ride will cover approximately 50 miles of awesome singletrack while passing through the heart of elk country. The High Country Pathway (HCP) is one of two trails in Michigan to be handpicked by the International Mountain Bicycling Association as an Epic Ride!

The HCP has a lot of variety, from single plank boardwalks, tight technical sections to fast rolling terrain. There are a few scenic vistas along the way. This is some of the best mountain bike riding you will find in the United States.

This is an endurance ride. The trail can be physically demanding at times and takes a lot of energy to ride. The 50 mile ride typically takes from 6 to 10 hours to complete with an average speed of 5 to 8 miles per hour. This counts time to enjoy the scenery along the way. If this sounds like too much time in the saddle, shorter options are available.

Because of the remoteness of this area, we typically don't offer very much support for the ride. Be sure to outfit to self-support. We do spot a few cars along the route so that you can stash extra food and water along the way, or to be used in an emergency. We don't have an appointed group leader. We usually all start riding at the same time and small groups varying by rider capability form along the way. This seems to work very well.

We will be staying in the group campground at Clear Lake State Park. Located just 9½ miles north of Atlanta on M-33, this is an idea place to bring the whole family. There's a large central fire pit with benches, hand pump, and pit toilets. It is just a short walk to the hot showers, real toilets, sandy beach, trails, etc. If you are planning to bring a camper, plan to reserve a campsite in the regular campground. Most of us will be arriving on Friday night.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby bh357 » August 24th, 2012, 9:19 pm

In my calendar :D
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby alexyoung » August 25th, 2012, 10:20 am

I'm assuming no reservation required for the group camp?
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby feldpaj » August 27th, 2012, 8:31 am

no reservation required for the group camping area, assuming Nechan has done that since he posted the "offical" date annoucement. :)
I think the group camp is $3.50 or $4 per night per person.
on the calender :)
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby Mike_D » August 28th, 2012, 8:47 am

Count me in!!!
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby purple helmet » August 28th, 2012, 8:53 am

looking forward to it as always!
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby SlowPoke » August 28th, 2012, 2:32 pm

Planning on it, but don't know what kind of miles I will shoot for.
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby MMMHills » August 30th, 2012, 10:33 am

I am thinking about this ride and am curious how many people normally show up and camp and what the average age group is. I read some of the other threads and this looks like a lot of fun with a great ride.
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby SlowPoke » August 30th, 2012, 10:58 am

This would be my fourth ride on this trail and I have not been to the fall ride yet.

In the spring it has been between 10 and 20 people with some people riding the full lap (or trying to) and most of us riding some shorter section.

I am 46 years old and not the oldest rider in camp most times, but probably older than average. The skill levels very a great deal and I bet you can find a person or two that is comparable to where you are.

It is worth giving it a try. You will probably love it or hate it. After years of resisting the call, it has turned into one of my favorite rides of the year in large part because of the other bikers.
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby Mike_D » August 30th, 2012, 11:00 am

MMMHills wrote:I am thinking about this ride and am curious how many people normally show up and camp and what the average age group is. I read some of the other threads and this looks like a lot of fun with a great ride.


Age doesn't matter - it all depends on your fitness and endurance level and how long you can stay in the saddle.

FWIW age varies from 20 somethings to 50 somethings - I fall somewhere in between.

It really is a fun ride. Last spring, we had a smaller group due to the forecasted weather. The morning of it was mid 40's and rain. Wound up raining for the majority of the ride but despite the cold temps and rain it was still fun. It's a ride that will grow on you every time you do it.
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby feldpaj » August 30th, 2012, 2:33 pm

the "spring" ride that the last couple people refered to was actually the summer ride i believe. The spring rides are trail days and we are carrying heavier tools....

descriptions thus far have been good so i dont have much to add. Just to come out and enjoy it once. You can always decide later that it isnt the type of ride you are looking for. I just showed up one fall not knowing anyone. Since then i have been back at least once a year and some years three times. about 6 years now. I have a 5 hour drive to get there.
It is great fun.
I dont think you need that great of endurance. You just need to be able to keep going :)
it is not race pace all day. keep moving all day pace.
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby MMMHills » August 30th, 2012, 3:08 pm

Thanks for the replies. I am less than an hour away and have ridden parts of the trail before but never the whole thing. I am relatively fit and sure I can make the 50 miles and probably finish with the lead group.

My main concern was at 43 I didn't want to show up and feel like the weird old guy parting with a bunch of kids not that I haven't done that before I just wanted to know what to expect.

Sounds like a great time and I will try to fit it in the calendar.
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby feldpaj » August 30th, 2012, 3:21 pm

i think that 50 was being nice, i am pretty sure we have had people there at 65 years of age.
but at 43 your age wont change the dynamic. You could act half that or twice that and the dynamic prolly wouldnt change, the group is pretty resilant. It needs to be to enjoy the trail. :)
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby Mike_D » August 30th, 2012, 3:24 pm

MMMHills wrote:Thanks for the replies. I am less than an hour away and have ridden parts of the trail before but never the whole thing. I am relatively fit and sure I can make the 50 miles and probably finish with the lead group.

My main concern was at 43 I didn't want to show up and feel like the weird old guy parting with a bunch of kids not that I haven't done that before I just wanted to know what to expect.

Sounds like a great time and I will try to fit it in the calendar.


The "whole thing" is 80 miles. Feldpaj will usually throw down and show everyone how it is done on the HCP Summer Solstice ride the 1st weekend in June (the ride I was referring to as the "spring" ride). I have only done the ~30 mile ride each time I have ridden. It is my goal to do the 50 this fall.

You will fit in just fine with a couple other weird old guys - myself and Slowpoke above :lol: If you ride with us, we tell ourselves during the ride, "it's about the journey, not the destination" :roll: We are not doing a race pace by any means. We just ride a pace that we are comfortable with and know we can finish. We both ride singlespeeds and I found that my 34x22 gearing on my 29er was a nice ratio for this slow paced trail. Seems like we averaged 5-6mph on our 30mile ride last June. I will be running the same gearing for this ride. Hopefully Slowpoke will follow suit with something similar :wink:
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Re: HCP Fall Fun 50-Sept. 29th, 2012

Postby redleg_64 » August 31st, 2012, 9:43 pm

What direction do you guys ride? If you're trying to ride along the eastern edge of the trail you're in for a disappointment unless someone heads out there with a weed whacker and a chainsaw. I had to turn back about 7 miles north of Clear Lake today.
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