Featured Event: Moran 166

Featured Event: Moran 166 – by Guitar Ted

The Moran 166 is a new gravel event which will take place this September in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Recently, we posted a “Riding Gravel Radio Ranch” episode where we spoke with Tyler Tafelsky of Bearclaw Bikes and who is also one of the organizers of the Moran 166. You should listen to that conversation, but here we have a few images Tyler shared with us and some of the course and event details which you can check out.

A view of a rural gravel road in a forest with towering trees on either side
Much of the Moran 166 course is in a National Forest. Image courtesy of the Moran 166.

The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a beautiful corner of the world that is rich in fairly untouched natural beauty. In fact, it is probably one of the least known wilderness spots left in the Continental USA. Part of that is probably due to its out-of-the-way place making the “U.P.” a bit harder to get to. Surrounded as it is by the Great Lakes and accessible only from Wisconsin’s Northeast side or by way of the great Mackinaw Bridge, the U.P. has managed to avoid being overrun by civilization. Let’s hope it stays that way!

A view of a forested two-track gravel road with a rolling hill in the distance.
The Moran 166 and 64 courses may be less than hilly, but they are not 100% flat either! Image courtesy of the Moran 166.

This year the U.P. will be seeing an influx of gravel riders who will be tackling the new Moran 166 and Moran 64 mile courses on September 11th, 2021. (Registration is open now HERE) Looking for adventure and fast times on forested gravel roads, these riders will probably see hard-packed gravel and, as Tyler told us on the podcast, not a lot of elevation. Tyler said he expects the ‘fast folks’ to get in a finish in some eye-popping times as a result.

But that doesn’t mean that if you don’t consider yourself ‘fast’ that you won’t have a good time. Tyler mentioned that these woods are spectacular and hold a something of a magical feeling when you are out there riding. So, for anyone just wanting to challenge themselves to a long ride, and have a great experience while doing so, this could be a great opportunity for you. Tyler also mentioned the shorter, 64 mile course, perfect for those who want a taste of the Moran’s offerings, but don’t necessarily want to have to bite off that big of a chunk of miles to do so.

Here’s a snippet from Tyler Tafelsky regarding the Moran 166 he shared with us:

Take part in a proper adventure bike race in Michigan’s pristine Upper Peninsula and sign-up for the Moran 166 gravel race taking place September 11, 2021. Experience untouched wilderness and ride some of the fastest gravel roads and tree-tunneled 2-track the Midwest has to offer. In addition to the 166-mile main event, there will be a 64-mile short course option available. For more information, visit https://www.moran166.com/

View of a winding forest road.
The beauty and majesty of the forest awaits those who take on the challenge of the Moran 166. Image courtesy of the Moran 166

Be sure to check out the “Riding Gravel Radio Ranch” episode with Tyler Tafelsky to hear about more Moran 166 details and what to expect there this September 11th! Thanks to Tyler for sharing his time and resources with us which made the podcast and this post possible!

Note: The “Featured Event” series is devoted to spotlighting various gravel events across the USA and the World. If you’d like to see your event spotlighted here, contact Guitar Ted at g.ted.productions@gmail.com for more information.


Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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