Tour di Lago Gravel route and Sand Road Challenge

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Tour di Lago Gravel route and Sand Road Challenge

Postby rhair » June 11th, 2018, 12:33 pm

The Tour di Lago is a tour taking place in and around Port Austin at the tip of Michigan's Thumb. In the past only paved road routes were included, but this year there will be a gravel road route and an optional variant offered on the gravel route is the "Sand Road Challenge" (SRC).

Date: Sept 9, 2018
Place: Downtown Port Austin

“New for the 2018 Tour di Lago is a gravel road route. It basically takes a path from Port Austin to Caseville and back on mostly gravel roads (approx. 38 miles round trip). In addition, at Champagne Rd., riders have a choice: follow the gravel route to the rest stop in Caseville or take the “Sand Road Challenge”, which also leads to the Caseville rest stop, but via a much more difficult route.

Your choice at Champagne Rd. should be dictated by the type of bike you are riding, or more precisely, by the width of tires that you have. The gravel choice can be ridden with most any bike as it uses typical gravel roads, while its strongly recommended that a fat tire bike be used for the Sand Road Challenge. The “road surface” (if it can be called that) of the Challenge route is very loose sand, obviously giving the road its name. Its difficult to ride even with most mountain bike width tires, but its really lots of fun on a fat tire bike! On a fattie it can be ridden without having to put a foot down, but there is enough difficulty to make it a very satisfying ride. The very sandy part is a bit over 4 miles long.

For the return, either route can be chosen. After the two routes merge on Champagne Rd. on the return, a slightly different way back brings riders past a rest stop at the Huron County Nature Center, then back to Port Austin.”

This video gives an idea of what the Sand Road Challenge part looks like:

This is a tour not a race, but the SRC does offer a challenge that is perfect for a fat tire bike.

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