2013 Ride Report

Steve Barner

We didn't get a tailwind like last year, but the SW wind wasn't much of a problem, either, and we beat a wet heatwave that settled in the day after the ride. The start was damp, with a light mist and wet roads, but things quickly cleared and riders stayed pretty dry if they kept out of the spray of others. As usual, groups coalesced early on, with the lead riders perhaps setting a record for the time to get to Waterbury, and a number of riders turning in five-hour centuries by the time they got to Rochester. Temperatures in the afternoon got up to the low 80s, but the breeze kept riders cool on the climbs and dehydration did not seem to be a problem.

It was rumored that the three riders who showed up in the fictitious National Rural Letter Carriers Association Team kit were actually pro racers trying to duck the UCI ban on participation in unsanctioned events by masquerading as riders for a reincarnated version of the famed US Postal team. However, according to their website, it was part of a fundraiser for the NRLCA. We're not sure we believe it, though. One of the riders crashed on the temporary bridge in Readsboro; did you notice who didn't show up at the Tour de France this year? Coincidence? We don't think so!

We needed to detour around road construction in Warren this year, and that detour introduced a couple of good climbs and a few miles of dirt. Luckily, the road grader hadn't passed by recently and the dirt was hard and fast. Sadly, one group of riders was led astray by an evil GPS and found themselves climbing Lincoln Gap--one of the steepest climbs in the US. Ouch.

The earliest rider to finsh crossed the state line just before 6 pm and his riding partner finished about 20 minutes later. A larger group finished well over an hour later, proving the advantages of keeping breaks short. A couple of riders overshot the turn onto Tunnel Rd in Readsboro and made the long climb out of town on VT 100 before realizing their mistake and turning back. The last riders had to rest after the Mt. Snow climb and actually finished Sunday morning.

The sad part of this year's ride was that we had our first accidents since the ride started in 1985. The bridge at the beginning of Tunnel Rd. was being reconstructed and the temporary replacement bridge was decidedly un-friendly to cyclists. It was a pitched, wood-deck bridge, which was bad enough, but its bed was also raised above the asphalt approach and, worse of all, the top planks in the center of the bridge were omitted, leaving only those that autos would need on either side. This made it especially tricky once it got dark, and three riders fell, with two getting banged up and the third going to the hospital with broken bones. Not at all how one wants to end such a great ride.

Congratulations to all the riders. Let's come back and do it again next year!

The 2013 stats (these are very weak numbers, as befitting a ride without rules):

  • Starters: 50-ish
  • Finishers: 25-ish
  • Earliest finish time: 5:58 pm
  • Fastest ride time: ?
  • Fastest average speed: ?
  • High temp: 82 F
  • Low temp: 58 F
  • Elevation gain: 11,500'
  • Highest point: 2,400'
  • Total distance: 212 mi (340 km)


  • Most Valuable: Our wonderful support people!
  • First Finisher: Brett Collin
  • Fastest Finisher: ?
  • Lanterne Rouge: Rachel G.
  • Longest Blue Streak: North Shore 4Cs Club
  • Most Impressive Comeback: John Cotter

The ride comes early in the year, arriving before many cyclists are in condition for a hilly double-century. Start training now and plan to join us next year. You'll be rewarded by being in amazing shape for the rest of the season!

Previous Year's Ride Reports



At the border

Over 40 riders posed for the starting line photo.

All lined up at the border

Damp roads at the start, but riders stayed pretty dry.

Riders climbing out of North Troy

Team Postal takes on a whole new look in their NRLCA jerseys

Line of riders

The amazingly strong McGill University riders mugging for the camera in Hancock

Riders having fun

Damage from Hurricane Irene is still evident


Cyclist approaching old barn

Cresting the Mt. Snow climb

Riders descending winding road

A dip in the lake feels sooooo good.

Cyclist riding past rock cliff

Coming across the state line

Granville Gulf waterfall

Team Hoss poses at the funky state line sign

More Rider Reports

Eli M.
I was able to convince Ben Adler and Philippe Tremblay, 2 strong riders from the McGill Cycling Team (we are an amateur cycling team out of McGill University http://mcgillcycling.com/), to join me for the ride since transportation was going to be a problem if I was alone. They only had 4-5 days to prepare for the ride once they confirmed and we got to the North Troy Inn around 22h30 Friday night so things did not start that good in terms of relaxing before the ride! In the end, we really did enjoy the ride and I was lucky enough to have those guys to pull me for the most part of all the flat sections. We were about to cross the finish line around 19h45 but then the competitive spirit kicked in and we split up when Ben tried to sprint and break away. I ended up going back up the hilly road of route 100 when I reached Readsboro since I did not know which street the left turn was on and Philippe continued on route 100 past Readsboro. We really should have been more careful about the directions for the finish since that was the only way we could get lost after the detour earlier that day. We finally all met at the finish line around 20h30.

Stephen N.
Great ride! Grew up in Hanover NH and have spent the last 25 years in California and along the way worked cycling into my lifestyle and the last few years added double centuries into the mix thanks to the California Triple Crown organization. Just relocated back to the Northest with REI as store manager in East Hanover NJ and had been thinking about this ride since last fall:)

I tried to recruit some friends to join I but to no avail so my 77 year old mom sag'd the ride for me and was a real trooper. Loved riding by all the ski areas I used to ski at while growing up and see some parts of Vermont I'd never seen before. Could not believe the violent reminders of Hurricane Irene. Finished in Readsboro around 11 pm with a nice smile on my face.

Thanks for keeping this an open ride-adds a nice touch. Hope to be back next year with some friends this time around and introduce them to this great event.

Elevation graph

GPS elevation graph, courtesy of Chet Huang

  Last edited May 8, 2016