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Cyclists ride the 'Heck' out of Lake County

Cyclists riding fat-tire bikes, touring bikes and "29ers" participated in Heck of the North. (Katie Rohman / News-Chronicle)1 / 3
Heck of the North – 100- and 55-mile gravel cycling races – celebrated its 10th year Saturday, Sept. 29, near Two Harbors. A 20-mile race was added this year. (Katie Rohman / News-Chronicle)2 / 3
A cyclist rides on East Alger Grade north of Two Harbors during Heck of the North gravel races Saturday, Sept. 29. (Katie Rohman / News-Chronicle)3 / 3

Heck of the North cyclists head east on East Alger Grade on Saturday, Sept. 29. (Katie Rohman / News-Chronicle)Hundreds of cyclists converged on East Alger Grade north of Two Harbors on Saturday, Sept. 29, for the 10th annual Heck of the North 100- and 55-mile gravel challenges. A 20-mile ride was also added this year.

Brian Delaney, 32, of Minneapolis, rode to first place overall in the 100-mile contest with a time of 5:01:16. Tera Hasbargen, 32, of Duluth, took first in the women's category with a time of 6:27:07. A total of 135 cyclists finished the race.

Josh Gillingham, 31, of Thunder Bay, Ontario, claimed the overall 55-miler title with a time of 3:01:31. Diana McFadden, 48, of Duluth, placed first in the women's category. A total of 194 cyclists completed the 55-miler.

Participants in Heck of the North came from across the Midwest, including Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as Illinois, Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and California. Several cyclists from Thunder Bay registered.

Jeremy Kershaw of Duluth organized the first Heck of the North in 2009. The Heck brand has since expanded to include the Le Grand du Nord — 120-, 66- and 20-mile cycling classics in May around the Grand Marais area — and the Heck Epic — a two-day, 225-mile gravel cycling classic in July between Two Harbors and Grand Marais.