Introducing "The Flight"


We welcome you to “The Flight” challenge for 2019.

The Flight is a three event challenge that includes completing in one season:

  1. Le Grand du Nord 100 mile

  2. The Heck Epic 220 mile

  3. The Heck of the North 100 mile

We will offer this challenge at a 20% discount at $240. Please register at the Le Grand du Nord registration page via , select “The Flight” button.

If you have already registered for Le Grand du Nord 100 mile, but prefer to register for The Flight, contact me and I will correct the transaction. Thank you for your patience!

The proud few that complete The Flight will receive a commemorative patch and cycling cap.

Thanks for being the best part of Heck of the North Productions.

Ride the Good Line!

Jeremy Kershaw

A New Season

Aaron Kerola getting it done 2018 Photo by Clint Austin

Aaron Kerola getting it done 2018 Photo by Clint Austin

Welcome to the 2019 Heck of the North Productions season. Today is the official start of registration for Le Grand du Nord, May 25, 2019. I hope you can join us for this rite of Spring in one fo the most beautiful corners of the world, Grand Marais, MN.

I love this image of Aaron Kerola by Duluth photographer, Clint Austin . It shows the fresh green of Spring, the amazing gravel of the North Shore and the determination of Le Grand riders. As the temperature sinks to below zero today, it represents the amazing cycle of seasons we have to look forward to in Minnesota. Late May in Northern Minnesota is something to behold.

Le Grand du Nord will offer three course distances this year. The 100 miler showcases one of the finest gravel routes in the country. The 58 mile event is equally beautiful with a few less miles, just right for May. And the 20 mile course is a fine introduction to gravel cycling offering a Le Grand-worthy blend of challenge and terrain.

As always, we will be partnering with our friends at Voyageur Brewing Company for registration and post ride celebrating. We welcome back long time supporters of Heck events and gravel cycling HED Cycling and Salsa Cycles. We will be working with many other great local contributors, as well, including awesome support from Taiga Design+Build. We thank our loyal sponsors for the energy and extra flavor they bring to Le Grand du Nord.

Le Grand du Nord happens in an amazing place. Grand Marais is truly special. It is Minnesota’s coastal town. It has great people and the unique businesses are a representation of that. From art to hardware, general store to canoe outfitting, Grand Marais does it right. Go to Visit Cook County to find out more about events happening during Le Grand du Nord. And if you are looking for a place to stay for the weekend, check out our Accommodations page for ideas. From camping to vacation rentals, I think you will find the perfect place to live during Le Grand du Nord.

We welcome gravel cycling veterans as well as new-comers to all Heck of the North Production events. Le Grand du Nord welcomes all types of people, bicycles and backgrounds. We ask that you bring your passion for cycling, adventure, wild places and great people. If you have questions, please contact us. Thank you for joining us this Spring.

Ride the Good Line,

Jeremy Kershaw


Finishers of the 2018 Heck Epic, Two Harbors-Grand Marais-Two Harbors

Finishers of the 2018 Heck Epic, Two Harbors-Grand Marais-Two Harbors

I’ve been thinking a lot about this last season. This time of year does that to a guy. And what comes back to me time and again is the feeling of gratitude.

As we begin preparations for the 2019 season, I want to stop and thank you for helping make the Heck of the North series of events something I continue to feel thankful for. That’s right. When it comes down to it, it is not the adventure, the beauty, the challenge or the bikes that I remember most. It is the connections, conversations, hugs, high-fives, and even cringes that I value the most.

We are very appreciative of the many new faces that we saw in 2018. This is a great thing for us and the beautiful sport of gravel cycling. We welcome all shapes, ages and types of riders to our events. Please let your friends know that they are welcome here up North.

We especially thank our amazing sponsors and partnerships that help make the events even better. Please consider them as you build, travel and enjoy life in Minnesota and beyond. Thank you!

We are always looking for new and creative ways to make gravel cycling and bikepacking great up here on the North Shore of Lake Superior. Your suggestions are welcome.

Keep in touch and stay tuned for new information about Le Grand du Nord, The Heck Epic and The Heck of the North on this website, Facebook and Instagram. Though I don’t post frequently, we do rely on getting quick notices out via our social links. And who knows, maybe something new in the Heck world will pop up this year?

Until next time, “Ride the Good Line!”

Jeremy Kershaw

Lindskog Hill, Le Grand du Nord. Photo Clint Austin

Lindskog Hill, Le Grand du Nord. Photo Clint Austin

Marko at The Heck of the North. Photo Tone Coughlin

Marko at The Heck of the North. Photo Tone Coughlin

Welcome to the 2018 Heck of the North


Thank you for being part of this special, 10th anniversary edition of The Heck of the North. Every year, we strive to make the "Heck" something to remember and hopefully, come back for. 

Here are a few details about the coming event: 

  • Our 100 mile course is getting over 50 miles of new terrain. Mostly remote gravel, the new course will lose the grassy snowmobile connectors and gain miles of forested, un-paved goodness. 
  • The 55 mile course will remain the same as 2017. A true mix of beautiful gravel, rough two-track, and ATV trail will continue to be a great alternative to the longer 100 mile course.
  • New for 2018! The Heck 20 is the perfect introduction to riding gravel in the Northland. It is flat, entirely un-paved and just Heck enough to give the rider a taste of what this is all about. Bring a friend to join you and choose the course that suits you best. 
  • There will be an aid station/checkpoint roughly at the halfway mark for both the 100 mile and 55 mile events. The 20 mile course will not have an aid station. 
  • We will continue to use our Heck cue cards for navigation. Check out the page on the website giving a brief overview of what that entails.

Camping at the Heck of the North:

  • We welcome all to camp for FREE at the Heck Basecamp, just on the northern edge of Two Harbors (see map on website for exact location.) Expect a bonfire or two, a grill, a large grassy field to place a tent and great people to re-connect with. Email Jeremy ( to "reserve" a site (I will use this as a rough head count.) Be advised! There has been the occasional taconite train rolling by the Basecamp at night on its way to the harbor. Bring a set of ear plugs just in case! Thanks. 
  • We will also offer FREE camping at the start/finish location for the event. This is about 8 miles north of Two Harbors at the Heck Gravel Pit. There will be porta-johns but no running water (we will bring a few coolers of water, just in case.) Roll out of your bag and be right where you need to be for the day! 

Welcome Party, Friday, September 28, Spokengear Cyclery and Outdoor/Cedar Coffee

  • Join us from 5-8 pm at Spokengear/Cedar Coffee for packet pick-up. There will be live music, food and beer available for purchase and a beautiful place to hang out before the big day. If you have not been to this shop, you are in for a treat. Truly one of the coolest bike shop/cafes in the country. 

Ride the Good Line? 

Maybe you have read or seen our motto, "Ride the Good Line." So what's it all about? In a nutshell, it's our way of thinking about the event, design, and philosophy of life in general. It's about choosing the best line to ride on a gravel road, single track trail, or even your journey through life. Ride the Good Line is also our line of product for Heck of the North Productions. I am particularly fond of the "Wing" mark the talented Michelle at Wolfskull Creative helped to create. She is a genius. Check out our beautiful shop apron (or Summer base layer as I refer to it) and simple, classic RtGL tee's at the online shop (and day of event.) 

As always, contact me, Jeremy Kershaw, with any questions. Always happy to help. 

Ride the Good Line,


The 2018 Heck Epic Route Scout


The return of the Heck Epic in 2018 has been something I have been looking forward to ever since we finished the 2016 event (Two Harbors-Ely-Two Harbors.) We felt something special with this smaller event. More time connecting with riders. Maybe the challenge of more miles through Northern Minnesota? We loved the idea of more self-sufficiency (bringing one's own sleep gear.) And the hosting towns are some of the best in the country. 

After finishing the 2017 Tour Divide, I personally craved something that would give me that spark of overnight racing through wild country. 

In this scout for the 2018 Heck Epic, that spark ignited a fire. I am so excited to share this event, this landscape, with you. 

So without giving away too much, here are a few points that I thought would be worth sharing as you prepare for your own journey race. The Heck Epic.

  • I was, frankly, awe struck at the beauty of these routes. They represent some of the best Northern Minnesota country I have found. I just didn't want to stop riding when I returned on Sunday. 
  • Day 1 is about 111 miles. Day 2 is about 117 miles. Day 2 has a bit more pavement (so those extra miles are on the "easy" side.) Ironically, one of the "hardest" sections for me was the least technical. Everyone has their own demons they wrestle during events like this. So it goes. 
  • I will be providing cue cards AND gpx files for the event. All riders will be required to carry the cue cards. I will provide the .gpx file a week before the start. Cards will be available at the MANDATORY meeting on July 20.
  • This is a timed event. Riders are expected to carry a 10 mph average at the minimum. 
  • Both day's routes feel like they are blocked into roughly ten mile sections. A long day in the saddle can be tough to process for even the most seasoned long distance rider. I found the roads and two-track to be refreshingly varied (all of them beautiful in their own unique ways) and measured in a way that was easy to go ten miles at a time. (Sometimes the best thing to do is ride in ten mile sections, or chunks.) 
  • Both days's routes are primarily gravel road. There is little pavement, and even that provides a nice change of pace with beautiful scenery. There are two short sections on Day 1 that have a bit of loose, rubbly travel. Day 2 has a five mile stretch of the same thing. 
  • I continue to recommend tires at least 40 mm wide. I ran my Tour Divide tires (Continental X King Protection 2.2's) Yes, most of the roads are gravel tire friendly. But the added weight of gear and the float that wider tires provide will make you feel more alive when you get to Grand Marais and back to Two Harbors. 
  • Day 1 has a well-stocked grocery store and tavern/restaurant at mile 46 (on course) and then another tavern/restaurant (roughly 1 mile off course) at mile 64. Our volunteers will provide an aid station at a strategic location somewhere on the last half of the Day 1 route. We will provide this location to you before the start. 
  • Day 2 has (the same) tavern/restaurant at mile 45 (1.5 mile off course) and then another tavern/small convenience store at mile 105 (on course.) There is water available at mile 55 from a Forest Service campground. Epic volunteers will have an aid station set up in the last half of the course for water and snacks. 
  • Cell coverage is spotty at best. 
  • As much as I love traveling solo, it would not be a bad idea to ride with a buddy for safety, support or company. You ARE allowed to aid another rider. But "outside" support from non-racing friends, family or teams is forbidden. 

I will be offering a video of my rig and gear plus some insights on bikepacking travel this coming week. Should be entertaining. 

Please feel free to email questions ( I can't wait to see you on July 20 for the MANDATORY meeting at Spokengear Cyclery & Outdoor in Two Harbors! 

Ride the Good Line! Jeremy