This is a race half-assed preview for two amateur bicycle events in Northern Michigan. The first amateur bicycle race will be at Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa. Under the guise of Peak2Peak, this excuse to visit the metropolis of Thompsonville, Michigan, is now over a decade old. Some of the best athletes in spandex but not getting paid to be in spandex riders in the state have graced this tough race. Multiple winner Cole House is back, as is Mike Simonson (who has also won this thing a time or two), Jorden Wakeley, Sean Kickbush, Dan Korienek, and Alex Vanias. Indeed, it might be the deepest men’s field since, like, two weeks ago at Michigan Mountain Mayhem’s Gravel Grinder. There are a half-dozen other riders that will battling for not last, which could actually be just as exciting as the fight for the win.
The women’s field includes the big favorite, Mackenzie Woodring. Woodring has dominated the race in recent years, using the flat and fast opening miles to stay in contact with the men’s wave before cementing her lead the first time up the ski hill. However, if she’s there, Kaitlyn Patterson should be able to turn the hill to her advantage on each of the three ascents. Patterson has had a ridiculous year already, winning everything in sight all spring and dominating the Speed of Light series from May through August.
But let’s just get to what everyone wants to know: Is Al McWilliams going to be there? All indications are a ‘yes’. The world-famous McWiliams will grace Peak2Peak this Saturday, and is the obvious choice to be the first rider ever to lap the entire Elite field en route to his maiden victory north of Cadillac. While your heart may be already a flutter with the thought of his pasty, bony and be-freckled elbows rubbing yours for an instant as he flies past, some etiquette reminders. First, don’t look Al McWilliams in the eyes, as you will turn into a pillar of nacho crumbs. Don’t turn your back to Al McWilliams, as he may strike you. Don’t leave your beer unattended around Al McWilliams, he will drink it.
The weather looks to make the day a bit more harrowing for the early starters. Showers in the morning could mean another soggy edition of the race for the Beginner and Sport fields, which is all the more reason to move up to Expert if you are on the fence. If you, say, won Sport last year but still signed up for it again. Maybe wait until 12:30? Stay dry? Sleep in? Not that anyone would ever sandbag at Peak2Peak. Unheard of.
Sunday’s Crop Circle Cross promises sunny skies and a high chance of potluck. Presented by Einstein Cycles and Tri Again Fitness, Crop Circle Cross Numero Duh is back at Tri Again HQ at 3pm, with the UFO (Beginner/Sport) Race taking off promptly on the hour. They’ll take on 40 minutes of action before scampering back to potluck table, while the A-Lien Race gets underway. Defending champion Sean Kickbush is expected to defend his crown (in reality a tin foil hat with grease dripping from the folds), while new #PRO John Leach should be on the start line as well. His GF (girlfriend, not gluten-free) Valerie Hyrman is expected to be the women’s race champion, but shoot, she’s gonna have to get out there and prove it.
More importantly, Don Marsh has promised to crank it up to 11 with his dish to pass. After stealing the show with his trademark fruit salsa at Crop Circle Cross Numero Uno, we are all losing sleep wondering what he can top himself with this Sunday. Also expect to see some delicious and unpronounceable Indian dishes from Stephanie Curnayn, whose piping hot askjhdsgfh;iuhajsddghf last year is still the most requested dish at Einstein Cycles. Bring a dish to pass and $5 for Tri Again’s gas fund to ride. Kids welcome, there will be loads of them picking their nose and eating boogies, or whatever your kids do.
You can RSVP here.