April 17, 2022
It felt great to get back out on the race course to take pictures at this year’s Hart Hills Gravel Race. We headed up to Hart, Michigan the Friday before race day to do a bit of course recon as to grab the best shots.
Hart Hills offers up four distances and new this year, the race directors moved the 5-mile course (twice for 10 miles) to a different location and an earlier start time. A handful of cyclists who had kids rode this as a warm-up for the race distances that kicked off later in the morning. This race is untimed.
The 25 and 50 mile courses start in the Heart of Hart in front of Hart Pizza. The course takes cyclists through some beautiful settings including orchards, farms, and some fun wooded sections until they split off, around mile 17.
I’ve only driven these courses but I can confidently say that while the 25 mile isn’t a walk in the park, the 50 mile is a different animal than any other 50 mile course in West Michigan. It features miles of sandy two track to test your strength and endurance (and patience), dirt, loose gravel, wind and paved roads as you cruise up and down the endless hills of Hart, Michigan and surrounding its areas. It is rugged, remote, and was the perfect place for an epic cycling challenge that is just different enough from the others to make it its own race.
Shout out to The Gateway Motel. Tiny little, family-owned, retro hotel that was super close to the start line and the best sleep that I’ve had in a very long time.