The Coffee Ride: Pancakes and Crepes

TNR July is here, folks, and with it comes Northern Michigan in all its summer glory.

The temperatures are in the 80s, the sun is out, the trails are open, and the roads around TC are ripe for big rides and fun times. This week, Ec is going to help 'Murica celebrate its birthday with the 24th Annual Pancake Ride. Featuring distances for all abilities and clever fluffy-breakfast-related names for each. All rides leave at 7.30am from Fulton Park on Friday, July 4.

The Crepe is roughly 20 miles of primarily flat roads. It'll get you back to the start of the ride, located at Fulton Park, with plenty of time to fire up the griddle, kick back, and maybe take in a mimosa or two before the longer rides are back.

The Short Stack is the middle option. You can see how clever JW is with these brilliant names. The distance is around 50 miles, but it'll take in more elevation, including Inspiration Point.

The Tall Stack is the big one. The grand banana. The kit AND the caboodle. It's nearly 80 miles, hits almost every big climb in Leelanau County, and goes at a rather stern clip once the group breaks up over Kasson Rd. It's a big goal just to make the lead group, but a valiant and noble challenge. You can see the data from last year's ride here.

The ride and the pancakes are, as always, free of charge. Norte! Youth Cycling will be on hand to do the flippin', so you can donate to the cause if you're feeling like it.

We're also keeping a pretty close eye on the 29+ scene at the moment, which you can check out here. In addition to the Stan's Hugo, great brands like Whisky, Sarma and others are also coming out with options. One we are already looking forward to getting in is the Whisky No. 9 fat rim. It's a 70mm rim, which put its between what has become the 29+ standard 50mm and the wider options. The 70mm looks like a great, one-rim-to-do-it-all set-up, although more and more folks are building up the 50mm rims for the Vasa.

Speaking of the Vasa, an important note on this week's Speed of Light. No official times will be taken this Thursday, nor will there be any WorldTour points on offer. A lot of folks will be readying themselves for the Pancake Ride early Friday morning, plus it's a busy day right before the holiday. Speed of Light returns in a big way, however, next week with Stage One of the Tour Competition!