In 2018, we took a drive to Elkhart Lake to ride the Road America race track during one of their “track nights” they hold on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Riders get the chance to take on the 4 miles of twists, turns, ups and downs of this historic track. Most of us had never been to the track but the unique opportunity to be on the course was something we couldn’t pass up!
After one lap on the course, we had a big smile on our face! Riding the track brought us back to the fun we felt as kids biking. The sweeping downhills, punchy climbs, smooth wide roads makes you feel like you’re truly in a race. The course has all of the essential elements of a great ride and the distance is perfect that will give you a challenge and help the miles really tick off! We were hooked after 4 laps!
We began to talk about how cool it would be if there were an event on the track. And as such conversations go…we eventually said…”why don’t we make it happen”. Up and until this moment, we’ve been hesitant to organize our own events at myTEAM TRIUMPH Wisconsin. We are not an event production company. We are a community building, not for profit organization who uses endurance events to help fulfill our mission. We also knew that if we were to do an event, it had to be uniquely appealing and after our Road America ride, we knew we were on to something! We began to think, “how could we combine the best of cycling and the racing world”? So we began with brainstorming sessions. The more we talked, the more our excitement grew. Here were our “need to have” points:
- Ultra 12 hour event
- Great food!
- Movies overnight on the giant victory lane screen
- Camping had to be an option
- On course challenges such as sprint section, king and queen of the mountain and most laps
- Live music
- ht time camp fires
- Team or individual challenges
- Pay or fundraise options
The heart of the 12 Hours of Road America is that it is a riders event. What does that mean? All the things we love about cycling are highlighted in this event. Speed, community, the freedom of the road, beautiful twists and turns and adventure are all packed into a 12 hour, overnight experience with the best amenities that is second to none! Riders will have the chance to challenge themselves on the sprints and climbs but also to have fun with their friends.
Our first year was a great success. We had 300 riders take on the challenge and raised $90,000 for our mission to support inclusion for athletes with disabilities! We are excited to continue to grow the event in the years to come. We see the 12 Hours of Road America as being one of the most iconic ultra cycling events out there which draw people from all over the world! Our long term goal is this become a multi-day cycling festival with mountain biking, events for kids, a road tour and vendor experience. Think of a EAA convention but for cyclists!
We hope you will join us in this adventure and help us build this great event!
Visit https://www.roadamerica12.com for more details or find us on social @roadamerica12.