This was not the "smooth" roads of Kansas, that's for sure!
The 2019 Crusher "enhanced gravel experience" was just as its name implies.
At 4:45 am Jeff Abitz crawled out of his tent, packed everything up, road his mountain bike to the edge of the Copper Harbor MI Trails End Campground, and lined up for the 6:00 am start.
Riders had 36 hours to ride/hike 232 miles to make it to the finish in Marquette MI.
The course was mostly gravel/sand roads, logging roads, ORV trails, and a steep climb up Mount Arvon.
The closer the finish, the more challenging it got. Darker, wetter, swampier, sandier and buggier.
Mosquito Gulch? I have blocked that from my memory.
And cell phone service? Forget about it.
After 5 checkpoints, (only) two aid stations, and 19 hours, 48 minutes, Jeff Abitz crossed the finish in 26th (of abut 149) place.
His mission of achieving a lifetime membership to the Triple Crown (details below) Hall of Pain was complete.
Much thanks to Diablo's Eddie Kolka (Jeff's aid station support) and Steve Schrek, who provided neutral bicycle service support to dozens of riders. Also thank you to Lora Glasel and Taylor who helped this beaten down "old man" at the finish.
For those who wanted to experience "enhanced gravel" without the resulting week long "fatique hangover", there was the 30 mile course. crushergravel.com/30-mile/
Sally Lester, Macy Lester, and Megan Lester all completed the distance.
Cyclocross magazine did a great article on the event:
For most this was a pass (green dot) or fail (red dot) event.
Triple Crown Complete! crushergravel.com/details/triple-crown/