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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 2010 Avita Water Black Bear is in the books. The black Bear is a 100-mile road race, running roughly along the AuSable River Valley, from Grayling to Oscoda Michigan. It's a tour, but it's a race; with satellite timing and RFID tags on the bikes. It's one event that actively encourages recumbents to compete; in fact, they like to play up the rivalry! Over 300 cyclists started the event. Not all finished.

Recumbents nabbed three of the top five finishing times, including Lowracer1 and I teaming up to win the McKinley Class with a combined time of 3:59:09.

In the McKinley class, the first competitor rides to the town of McKinley, about 55 miles into the course. The relay partner then rides the remaining distance. The first part is longer but the last part has the more serious hills (such as they are in Michigan;) the worst being about 200 vertical feet at 8-10% grade. In spite of the hills, which would slow anybody down at least a bit, I averaged almost 26 mph for my section. I've never been great at distances, but the 45 miles was perfect for me!

Grayling Rotary Club - Black Bear Bicycle Tour 2010
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Alpine Loop would be more like doing the short loop at Hilly Hundred rather than the pretty flat Black Bear. Black Bear actually loses 500 feet during the 100 miles, but of course you never notice it because you just can't see 5 feet per mile with all the other little rollers thrown in.

Hilly really is a lot of fun, but doesn't involve as much travel time. I always do the long loop, though - same hills as the short loop plus a few more. After all, why drive for 5 hours and then wimp out? :)
 
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