Tomorrow is Groundhog Day – BFC 2018 opens at 12:01am Friday! Who’s gonna be the first to get registered?
On Saturday June 9, 2018, nearly 1,000 cyclists will line up at Inlet’s Arrowhead Park to race through the Moose River Plains to Indian Lake School as part of the Black Fly Challenge ~ Adirondack Mountain Bike Race. Entering its twenty-third year the Black Fly has grown into one of the biggest bicycle races in the Eastern U.S. and is an annual tradition for recreational and competitive cyclists throughout the Northeast.
While the Black Fly Challenge is now one of the premier ‘gravel grinder’ races in the U.S., it started as a small mountain bike race in 1996. The intent of BFC founders was simply to sell more beer and rent more bikes in the June shoulder season but the mission of the race has since evolved. As the race grew the focus changed to maintaining, developing and promoting local bike trails. Now, with years of sustained success and financial stability the Black Fly Challenge mission has expanded to include giving back to the communities that make the race possible.
In the past two years alone Black Fly Challenge has donated or dedicated over $30,000 to various community organizations and projects. In addition, BFC has spent nearly $4,000 on race-related trail improvements since 2013. The Black Fly also supported the Inlet Area Business Association through a years-long reorganization process that successfully concluded with IABA regaining its 501c6 tax status and financial solvency.
The Inlet and Indian Lake ambulance corps and fire departments are critical components of the Black Fly race, providing emergency medical services, safety logistics and feeding over 1,000 hungry racers and spectators every year. BFC donations to those organizations totaled $16,730 for 2016-17.
Other organizations that received BFC donations over the past two years include: Kiwanis of the Central Adirondacks ($1,300); Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce ($600); Big Moose Ambulance ($600); St. Mary’s Church of Indian Lake ($300); and Indian Lake Central School ($200).
Because safety is paramount Black Fly Challenge has donated $2,000 for local amateur radio infrastructure that is used for BFC logistics and safety communications. This radio equipment is also available for use by the Adirondack Canoe Classic and other Public Safety needs in the region.
In June 2018 the first Black Fly Scholarships will be awarded to Inlet and Indian Lake students. Scholarship details are still being finalized but it is expected the scholarships will be at least $300 each and related to outdoor recreation.
On top of all this, Black Fly Challenge recently set aside $10,000 to establish dedicated funds for both Inlet and Indian Lake. Each fund was seeded with $5,000 and will provide financial assistance to worthy outdoor recreation projects in both towns. A portion of race proceeds will be dedicated to replenish and/or add to the Black Fly Funds each year.
While giving so much back to the communities may seem impressive it would not be possible without the outstanding contributions of the communities themselves. To properly staff the Black Fly Challenge on race day requires over 100 volunteers – and that doesn’t include the two fire departments, three ambulance corps and multiple police agencies that are involved.
The Black Fly Challenge has not only connected the towns of Inlet and Indian Lake but fostered an amazing spirit of cooperation between the numerous people and organizations necessary to produce the event. Black Fly organizers and volunteers take pride in putting on a great event for racers and fans. Steady leadership by the race organizers has resulted in the ability to pay that dedication forward – and the Black Fly Challenge has become a great event not just for the racers but also for the communities of Inlet and Indian Lake.
The 23rd annual Black Fly Challenge is Saturday June 9, 2018.
Just in time for Christmas… get your BFC Gift Certificates here!
The official BFC race photos by Pat Hendrick are posted here.
Congratulations to the BFC 2017 Champions:
Women’s Champ: Bryna Blanchard, time: 2:08:37
(Bryna was also the 2010 BFC Women’s Champ)
Men’s Champ: Cory Kuhns, time: 1:55:14
(This is Cory’s first BFC Championship)
Go to the Race Results page for PDF Downloads
Click Here for Searchable Results from Mid-Atlantic Timing
~ BFC 2017 Special Prizes ~
Youngest Finisher: 9-year old Charles Lobosco III time: 3:47:26
Oldest Finisher: 80-year old Bruce Prendergast time: 4:54:53
Furthest Away: Reed Wiman (Seattle, WA)
Biggest Team: R-Cubed (again)
Screamen Eagle Fatbike Challenge
1st-Paula Tucker time: 2:58:51
2nd-Jessica Blake time: 2:59:08
3rd-Carolyn Snook-Hart time: 3:07:06
1st-Raymond Willard time: 2:12:23
2nd-Conor Tarbell time: 2:15:22
3rd-Andrew Gracey time: 2:18:25
Note About Sharing: If you’re sharing links to BFC results, link to the Results Page,
Do not link to pdf files. Their url’s may change with updates.
As reported earlier, the Moose River Plains Road is generally solid with only a few soft spots and some soft shoulders.
From Byron Park:
- miles 10 to 11 – some holes & low spots along right shoulder
- mile 18 – begin descent toward the sand plains
- miles 20 to 25 – rock hazards on downhills
- miles 28 to 34 – several single-lane spots
- mile 34 – start of fast descent to Limekiln w/ soft right shoulder
The Fern Mountain trail has a half-dozen wet spots but they’re not big or deep and we’ll work on draining them Friday.
Photos below are from when we marked the course on Wednesday…
The Moose River Plains Road is in good condition. According to riders that went from Cedar River to Limekiln this weekend the road is solid with very few soft spots. The shoulders are still a bit soft but you shouldn’t be over there anyway!
The Indian Lake and Inlet Highway Departments opened the road to vehicles today “so traffic can pack it down and make it even faster.”
The Fern Mountain singletrack trail is solid as well. If this week’s weather stays relatively dry the course conditions should be good from end to end.
We’ll be marking the course Wednesday and giving a final report after that.
Online registration at BikeReg.com ends at midnight Thursday June 8. BikeReg is predicting BFC 2017 will be at or near the cap of 1,000 racers when online registration ends. If that’s the case then Friday and Saturday may be packet pickup only, with no in-person registration. So don’t wait, register now!
As of this writing there were less than 30 spots left on the afternoon shuttle. The morning shuttle is sold out. Check out the posts linked below to answer all your BFC questions:
- New to the Black Fly? Start with: FAQs & BFC Rules
- Read about the BIG changes this year: New for BFC 2017
- Should you enter Cat1 or Cat2? Registration Guidelines
- Check out the Prizes page to see the payouts.
- Interested in the Screamen Eagle Fatbike Challenge?
- Edit Your Own Registration or Contact Bike Reg for help.
- View the Event and Shuttle schedule for times and details.
- Visit the BFC Store for Jerseys, Bike Raffle Tickets and more.
In addition to the new and expanded Cat1 (competitive) and Cat2 (recreational) categories BFC 2017 will give out prizes for: Tandems; Juniors; Biggest Team; Youngest, Oldest and Farthest finishers (within the 5-hour timing limit) and the Screamen Eagle Fatbike Challenge.
The total purse is now over $14,000.00! View the Prizes page for all the payouts… And check out this cool map of participant locations (no one from California yet this year?)
Produced in conjunction with the Black Fly Challenge, the Central Adirondack Outdoor Guide offers a sampling of the attractions, events and activities found in the mountain towns that surround the wild and scenic Moose River Recreation Area: Inlet, Raquette Lake, Blue Mountain Lake, Indian Lake and Sabael.
In addition to maps, trail descriptions and outdoor info, the Outdoor Guide is filled with ads for local shops, services, dining, lodging and camping. Please support theses cycling-friendly sponsors of the BFC!
Check out all the cool Black Fly gear at the BFC Store:
BFC Bike Raffle Tickets, Hats, Socks, Jerseys, Tees and more.
Looking for a great place to stay on BFC Weekend?
Check out the BFC 2017 Lodging Sponsors…
- Garnet Hill Lodge (North River)
- Great Camp Sagamore (Raquette Lake)
- Great Pines Resort (Old Forge)
- Marina Motel (Inlet)
- Rocky Point Properties (Inlet)
Great Camp Sagamore is once again offering an all-inclusive BFC Weekend package that’s a great value. Check it out!