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Race Information

Join us on September 16 at Yankee Springs Recreation Area

Mountain bikers have been climbing up and careening down the legendary Yankee Springs bike trails for over 30 years. More recently, they’ve been joined by bikers hammering the nearby gravel roads of Barry County and the Barry Roubaix race. Never have the two merged together until now at the Lord of the Springs bike race. The 26-mile course has three sections:

  • Section 1: A 3/4 mile thin-out loop followed by 3 miles of fast, winding singletrack on the Deep Lake Trail, from the campground to Graves Hill Overlook (reverse from the traditional flow)
  • Section 2: 17 miles of gravel roads and two rugged two-tracks (Sager and Bassett Lake Roads).
  • Section 3: 5 miles of challenging, legendary Yankee singletrack on the Deep Lake Trail from The Pines to the finish (reverse flow).

A day may come when the courage of men fails, but it is not THIS day.

All activities begin and end at the Deep Lake Campground and mountain bike trailhead in Yankee Springs Recreation Area, home to one of the top singletrack trails in Michigan and the famous Barry County gravel roads.
Address: 2526 S Yankee Springs Rd, Middleville, MI 49333 (do NOT go to “Deep Lake Road” that may pop up online)


  • 26-mile singletrack+gravel race (ages 14+ but exceptions may be granted)
  • 4-6-mile beginner/youth race (any age, Deep Lake warm-up loop, 2 laps, distance is approximate as trail is being lengthened this summer*)
  • 2-3 mile kids race (under 14, Deep Lake warm-up loop, 1 lap*)
  • 1/4-mile kids push/balance bike loop

Surface Type
92% of the race course is on dirt. Here’s the breakdown in surfaces.
Gravel: 54%
Singletrack: 31%
Two-track (Sager and Basset Lake Rds): 7%
Pavement: 8%

Bike Type
Mountain, cross, gravel, fat, tandem. Each bike type will have advantages and disadvantages on the 26-mile course. Traditional road bikes are not allowed due to some rugged singletrack and two-track trails. If you are unsure about cross/gravel vs. mountain, we recommend bringing both bikes and completing a full Deep Lake loop on each under various conditions between now and race day. If still unsure, we recommend the mountain bike for safety and comfort (ideally with lower-knob tires and a locked out shock for gravel sections).

Biker Type
A first bike race can be intimidating. We hope to create a low-key vibe (like at our adventure and trail races) and encourage those of you who might not normally participate in a bike race to give this a try. We want to get more people bike racing (lower impact on your joints and it’s exciting), create a larger, unified group of trail lovers of all types so we can advocate for our trails, and grow membership in the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance which creates and maintains most of our great area trails.

We’ll Help You Get Ready
We will offer an on-trail bike skills clinic on September 9 to help you get ready for Yankee’s roots and rocks. We’ll also provide online tips including training plans, how to race, bike set-up, fuel and hydration, bike maintenance, and more.

See the registration page.

Prizes (preliminary)

The top three overall male and female finishers of the 26-mile race will receive the following cash prizes.

  • 1st Place: $250
  • 2nd Place:$150
  • 3rd Place: $100

The board is set, the pieces are moving. We come to it at last, the great battle of our time.

Women’s & men’s age group breakdowns and prizes for all races will be determined once we have a better idea of participation (first year race). We hope to award two or three deep in the age divisions and we will expand or contract divisions based on registrations. Here’s our initial breakdown.

Men 16-29
Men 30-39
Men 40-49
Men 50-59
Men 60+
Women 16-29
Women 30-39
Women 40-49
Women 50+
Single Speed – Men
Single Speed – Women
Fatbike (Minimum 3.7” tire width)
Tandem (prizes for co-ed to start)
Clydesdale/Athena (weight/height; based on demand- email us)

Strider and kids race participants will receive a medal. Prizes for beginner/youth race TBD.

Shirts & Merchandise
Race shirt $15. Click to enlarge. Order online with registration to guarantee availability. Short-sleeved, tech/wicking, women’s v-neck in orchid or adult/men’s crew neck in black.
women’s shirt specifications | men’s shirt specifications

Lord of the Springs stainless steel pint $10. Available at the race. Looking for Michigan Adventure Racing gear? Contact us and we’ll have it at the race for you.

Food & Drink
We may have beer for purchase, permit pending. The food vendor is yet to be determined.

This race is professionally chip-timed by Epic Race Timing. Results will be posted at finish line and on Epic’s website shortly after the race.

Schedule (tentative)

  • Check-in: 8:00-9:30 am (no Friday/early check-in)
  • 26-mile Start: 10:00 (mass start or waves depending on number of racers)
  • 6-mile Start: 10:15 or 10:30
  • Awards & Raffle: TBD

You are welcome to bring a tent for your group or team and set it up near the check-in/start area in the campground. No charge,  no reservations needed. No team competition this year but maybe in the future.


  • Deep Lake Campground: A limited number of first come, first served campsites will be available where the race will take place. Reserve them here.
  • Other options: search at another Yankee Springs campground, near Gun Lake (southwest) or in the city of Hastings (east).

Race organizers reserve the right to cancel the event in the case of extended severe weather or any emergency situation. The Deep Lake trail drains extremely well so we do not expect cancellation due to muddy trails. We will do everything possible to get the event in, but refunds are not available if it is cancelled due to significant costs we must pay in advance of the race (not to mention this is my full-time job so food on the table is important). We will offer a discount to next year’s race if the race is cancelled.

Aid Stations
Aid stations will be available at the start/finish and at roughly the half-way mark. Ambulance on site.

Roads will not be closed for the race. You are responsible for obeying the Michigan Vehicle Code as it applies to bicycles. We will provide police or volunteer monitors at specified intersections only. Please follow their direction (but check for vehicles yourself).


  • Road bikes not allowed due to rugged terrain.
  • No bike swaps mid race! 🙂
  • Music via headphones/earbuds is not allowed.
  • Other rules and guidelines to be sent in race updates as the race approaches.

Post Race
Awards and raffle prizes will be given out at a ceremony following the race. We may need to do this prior to everyone finishing so people can get home.

Charity Partner:
Our charity partner is the West Michigan Mountain Biking Alliance. 10%+ of race profits will go to the WMMBA for building and maintaining our great multi-use trails. Thanks to the WMMBA for consulting and volunteers.

2018 race date
The race will NOT be on the same weekend next year based on previously announced plans by the Double Trouble race to be on that weekend. We’ll look for a new date.

Questions? is a great place to ask questions and get answers so others can learn from your question. For questions specific to you, email Mark VanTongeren, race director.

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