The Adventure begins when shit goes wrong. Treat this as an independent expedition, and accept the reality there is a 45% chance you will not finish. Have a contingency plan.
We’re not gonna say it is or isn’t the Marji of gravel, but Mitch DeYoung seems to think so, and he’d know being a finisher of Marji Gesick, The Crusher 2019, and now CrusherEX. If you’d like to listen to the interview where Mitch dubbed Crusher the “Marji of gravel”, click the link:
But this isn’t about comparing Crusher to Marji, so lets move on. With us having to push Marji to 2021, today is a great time to do a quick overview CrusherEX, and share what we’ve learned after a month of adventuring. If you need a challenge, we have one.
#1 CrusherEX is hard. Really hard.
From racers who did Crusher both years the decision is unanimous – this year is harder. They’re also saying a mountain bike is without question the best tool for the job, ideally full-suspension if ya have it. I probably agree with them, but would like to add, I did the 225 twice so far this year, both times on a Bearclaw Beaux Jaxon (rigid). I loved it. Aside from some lingering numbness in my right hand it was perfect.
Most importantly ya just gotta know right outta the gate – it’s damn hard, and unforgiving. The course is topping out at 250-miles and 14,000+ feet of elevation gain. The fastest time so far is around 21-hours, with the average probably being more like 30. There’s a recommended gear list – make sure you have everything. Yes, even the emergency blanket. People have been using them, or sleeping in outhouses, or both.
This isn’t hype or BS. CrusherEX is the real deal. Remote, wild, hard as hell. Your cell phone is mostly useless. You need to be familiar with riding at night, and through the night. You also need contingency plans in the event things don’t work out.
#2 Tracking beacons.
We’d like ya to use a tracking beacon, but it’s not required. That said, why not use one? Your friends and family will be able to track ya the whole time, and if ya end up like Casey at least we’ll know you’re bivied up in the swamp over night (Yes, that really happened).
We’re gonna discontinue using a Trackleaders survey – folks are changing their dates and start time too much and it’s making it very difficult for us to manage the data effectively. So, effective 8/05/2020 you will need to email Todd at: email@example.com or Matt at: firstname.lastname@example.org , if you wish to reserve a beacon, or make changes to the information you have provided us. You will not be able to fill out the form or edit the form any longer.
If you are securing a beacon for the first time, We need the following info:
Personal beacon url (if using a private device)
We highly suggest not making a reservation until you know for sure you plan to go. Frequent changes of dates and times increases the likelihood and possibility we will be unable to track you.
We really need a 14-day notice to ensure we’ll have a beacon for you. If you try to secure one inside of 14-days we cannot guarantee we’ll have one available.
Finally, a DISCLAIMER: Trackleaders provides the beacon service. No technology is fool-proof. There is a possibility a tracker will not update as frequently as advertised, there is a chance a beacon will not update at all. Sometimes they do not work as a result of user error (not following directions). Please realize, there is nothing we can do in the event a beacon is not tracking properly. Again, you should not enter this event if you have even the slightest doubt you belong out there, or find discomfort in being self-supported.
#3 You have options
Don’t wanna suffer through 225 (250) miles? Do the 100 or 40-mile ride. Don’t ride bikes? Do the 50 or 100-mile runs.
Looking for something extra-dumb to do? We have that too. You can win a hand forged FIST by completing the 225, 100, and 40-Mile bikes events, and the 50-Mile Ultra Run. You must register for the 225-Mile bike, but do not need to register for the other three. We have one last request, upon completion of the quad, make a donation to the 906 Adventure Team, as a way to pay it forward and keep us working with kids across the U.P. This also helps offset the additional cost associated with multiple beacon rentals (we pay $50 every time someone uses one).
#4 What gear should I bring?
Link to recommended gear.
#5 Who the hell does this kinda thing?
You might be surprised – Everybody. Men, women, and children. Yes, even children have been CRUSHING it this summer.
How bout some numbers?
21% of the field is female
56% of the field is over 40
40% of the field is between 25-40
100% of the field are #uncivilized savages
Crusher (and Marji, and Polar Roll) are productions of the 906 Adventure Team, a 501c3 Non-Profit located in Marquette, Michigan. Our mission is simple: Empower people to discover the best version of themselves through outdoor adventure. We strive to create events offering equal representation between men and women. We want to see youth we work with across the U.P. grow up to CRUSH it, and finish Marji Gesick and/or Polar Roll.
We are not corporate owned or run – the proceeds are driven back into the organization to sustain itself, and make contributions to local trail orgs. We want the event experience to change you, maybe enough that your life changes with you.
Fair warning though – if you’re new to 906AT events. We live by mantras like: Do hard things, life isn’t fair, there is no finish line, comfort breeds weakness, and much more. The events are never the distance we advertise them to be, and they’re also never less than advertised, you can do the math. We might play a dirty trick, like make you find four checkpoints, only to place the checkpoint numbers out of order to make you think you missed one (when in fact, you did not). Or maybe we’ll put a checkpoint in the woods, on a 4” square metal sign, that is camouflaged to match the trees around it. It’s mostly to have fun, but also to challenge you, take you out of your comfort zone. You can’t come to a 906AT event and think your fitness is gonna win the day, cause somewhere along the way we’re gonna throw things at you that make you stop and think!
Be ready, #blameyourself if you’re not.
#6 Know how to use your GPS
Not trying to be funny, or a smart ass. The reality is this: We do not sign the course. You will navigate via GPS. Like any electronic device, GPS units can fail. In fact, many have been failing! Have a backup plan, and maybe a backup plan to the backup plan. Help is a long, long ways away.
#7 How do I sign up to CRUSH it?
Link to register.
#8 What do I do after I sign up?
You’ll need to email Todd at: email@example.com He will send you a link to a private page reserved for CRUSHERSONLY. This page will contain your gpx downloads, and other information.
Next, pick a date. Reserve a tracking beacon if you want one.
Then, get ready!
#9 What do I do after I finish?
Then get us your selfies and a link to your ride. Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can upload your photos with the ride file on Strava it streamlines the process for us.