Sometimes, when you finish an adventure bike ride, you understand that you don’t ever need to do it again!
I love riding on gravel and dirt roads. Love it.
I finished the Hungry Bear 100, which starts in Cable, WI, is not quite 100 miles and is nearly entirely on gravel, and understood I didn’t need to try and race 100 miles on gravel again.
But I’ll come back for the 60-mile version!
More of an Adventure Bike Ride, Not Race
To be honest, though, I didn’t really race.
Due to COVID-restrictions, there was no real mass start.
So I rolled out with a small group at the leisurely start time of 9 am.
A Seven-Hour Tour with a Good Friend
Wade Loberger has been a cycling friend for a lot of years.
He and his wife have a home near Hayward so he knew the route, which takes in part of the Chequamegon 100.
He cautioned me early that the rolling hills and constant gravel would take a toll on my body.
Joining that early group of strong riders would make me burn a lot of matches that I’d wish I’d hung onto at the end of the race.
Good advice for a 90-some mile adventure bike ride.
The last 20 miles of gravel were brutal.
Seriously hilly, lots of loose gravel, and washed out roads.
What to Bring on This Adventure?
The race is entirely unsupported, meaning no rest stops or water stations.
That meant bringing the right amount of water and food was important.
And since it was cold at the start (35 degrees) and would warm up to 55 mid-day, it was also a challenge to figure out what to wear!
We stopped 20 miles in to take off vests and knee warmers.
Most of the day was a leisurely pace, never slow, but never race pace.
We even took a rest stop at St. Peter’s Dome, a hiking trail that led up to a beautiful waterfall.
We rode the trail and took a moment to get off our bikes and eat a bit.
This stop was by far the best part of the our adventure bike ride.
Adventure Nutrition and Fueling – Including Haribo Gummies
I had an Osprey 3-liter hydration pack, plus a couple of water bottles.
The Gummi Bears, though, were my primary sustenance.
Eating the bars after 60 or so miles was challenging, especially on increasingly challenging gravel.
Beautiful Scenery on the Hungry Bear
The scenery, roads, and nature were amazing on my spring adventure bike ride.
I don’t know how many times we crested a hill and I said, “Oh wow” because of the beauty.
I am definitely coming back next year to race the 60-mile version.
That seems a much more reasonable option.
Plus I can race a little.
Is There a Feud Between Hungry Bear 100 and Bear 100?
Here’s the big question:
The Hungry Bear 100 is held in Cable.
The Bear 100 is held a hundred miles to the east in Laona, WI.
Both events are on beautiful gravel roads.
Both are on the SAME DAY!!
I wondered if there was some family falling out.
Or some kind of feud.
I attempted to contact both organizers to ask them to change their dates without success.
What’s the Next Adventure Bike Ride?
I don’t know!
The plan was to go to Michigan in June to race gravel there to do one adventure a month.
Yet I also want to hang out with an old friend in Boulder Junction.
I bring my Milwaukee gravel bike, ride all morning, then we fish and drink whiskey all afternoon and evening.
It’s kind of perfect!
So I’ll create some kind of adventure ride up there.
Maybe the Boulder Junction Chamber will help me out!