Thunderdown Gravel Stage Bike Race Date: July 23, 2022 - July 24, 2022
Welcome to the Thunderdown Gravel Stage Race! Our event is comprised of two North Central Wisconsin gravel events: Burgr95 / Fork Horners 47 on July 23 and the Langlade County Explorer on July 24, 2022. The event was created by the individual event directors, Chris Schotz and Casey Hildebrandt.
Chris is a living legend and the do-it-all mastermind of the Underdown Trail System and a multitude of events in the area, including the Thunderdown in the Underdown mountain bike and running events, TTT 103, Burgr95, Fork Horners 47, and others. His vision and experience brings everything together in everything he does.
Casey is the creator of the Langlade County Explorer and has looked up to Chris, his work ethic, vision, and events since he was first introduced into the sport. Casey first did Chris' Burgr95 event in 2015. After moving to Langlade County in 2018 and exploring the amazing trails and forests, decided to put together an event of his own to showcase this amazing location while raising funds for local organizations.
The routes - both days - feature some of the most remote and beautiful forests and trails in Northern Wisconsin. You'll likely see more UTVs than cars/trucks, lots of wildlife, and every type of terrain you can think of. There is a long course and short course format. The long course is comprised of the Burgr95 (95 miles) and the long course of the Langlade County Explorer (125 miles). The short course is comprised of the Fork Horners 47 (47 miles) and the short course of the Langlade County Explorer (45 miles). The stage race will be calculated on the total time from both events.
Below are the addresses for the start/finish locations for each day:
Stage 1 (Burgr95 & Fork Horners 47)
Z's Fork Horners
N4291 County Road X
Gleason, WI 54435
Stage 2 (Langlade County Explorer)
Thirsty Bear Pub
W10968 County Rd J
Deerbrook, WI 54424
Notes from LCE director, Casey Hildebrandt: Welcome to the Langlade County Explorer! We are a self-supported, gravel race in Langlade County, Wisconsin. Our event proceeds are donated directly to a local organization - in 2021, we donated over $1800 to the Boys & Girls Club of the Northwoods, located in Antigo, Wisconsin.
2022 serves as our second year of this event - we've worked to create an event to feature our roads, trails, and forests of Langlade County. Of course, we've also worked to plan and host this event in a safe manner with regards to COVID-19.
New for 2022 is the creation of the Thunderdown Gravel Stage Race! This stage race is comprised of two great events in Northern Wisconsin: Burgr95 / Fork Horner's 47 and Langlade County Explorer. The event has two distances: long course (225+ miles over two days) and a short course (95+ miles over two days). Stage 1 starts and finishes at Z's Fork Horners in Gleason, WI - just 15 miles from the start and finish of Stage 2 at the Thirsty Bear Pub in Deerbrook, WI.
Our event was created by Casey Hildebrandt, but influenced by two other key individuals: Brady Koss and George Bornemann. Brady and George were instrumental in Casey's exploration of the area, offering guidance and inspiration to get out and experience the wide variety of terrain our county has to offer. While there are many 'gravel' races throughout the Midwest, our event features more terrain than simply gravel.
All routes feature newly paved county roads, classic farm roads, gravel, firelanes, ATV/UTV/snowmobile trails, logging routes, and river crossings. While some of the trails are quite smooth by mid summer, the pavement provides a nice respite from the rougher terrain featured in our routes. The course does have some wild sections that past athletes expressed were 'atypical' for a gravel race.
While there are a few gas stations and options for refueling on the longer routes, we strongly advise everyone to carry plenty of fuel to get you through most of the routes, especially any mechanical items for on-the-go maintenance and support.
We are here to answer any questions you may have about the event - please send us an email and we will get back to you! Thank you for choosing to be a part of our event and making it a success! See you all soon!