It's a surer marker of time than the clock on the wall, or the date on the calendar. The first time someone tosses up an Out and Back ride, you know it's coming.
It's Traverse City. Iceman is slightly more important than Christmas. It's a bigger deal than an election. And it really starts in September, with the first forays to Kalkaska along Sand Lakes, before the exciting and demanding turn back toward home. The Out and Back is a big undertaking, and having a few pals, a somewhat accurate gpx file, and a few snacks is just the start.
Local riders have a love/hate relationship with the ride. Some folks just can't wait to get them going, opting for Labor Day weekend as the official starter, usually on Sunday mornings. Others wait as long as they can, knowing that conditions and even the course itself can change a dozen times in the span of a few weeks. There's also a bit of delayed gratification with holding out, like saving your favorite A Very Special Christmas album for December, rather than beginning to soon and running out of steam before the big day.
Whether you're eager or in agony at the thought of it, the Out and Back is a staple, and you should give it a go when you're feeling up to it. We like to start and end the ride from our little plaza by the bay, with a Breakaway Cafe burrito waiting our return. That makes it a full 54 miles, opposed to 43 starting and finishing at Timber Ridge. It also adds about 550 feet of climbing, but hey, you're training, right?
Don't miss our big Out and Back, the world famous Gears'n'Beers on Saturday, October 8. We'll have 6 Einstein Racing-Short's Brewing teammates on hand to guide three different groups, plus we're all heading back to Breakaway for coffee and cookies!
Here's the OFFICIAL Ec Out and Back from Gears'n'Beers last fall!