General Notes

Ride Instructions

  • Plan to be at the North Troy border station at 4:30 am Saturday, June 23rd for a 5:00 am start.Sunrise is at 5:02 am, civil twilight begins at 4:25 am, if the sky is clear. Sunset is at 8:33 pm and it will be really dark at 9:08 pm, giving us over 15 hours of daylight to complete the ride. The old border station is just south of the new station. There are no public rest rooms or facilities at the border, so plan accordingly. Enhanced ID is necessary to cross the US border, and a standard driver license is no longer enough. If you wander north of the new border station and try to return without approved ID, you may find yourself sitting inside while the rest of the group is many, many miles down the road!
  • Riders provide own rides to start and from finish. Typically, this means finding a couple other people to ride with and someone to drive a sag vehicle. If you want to ride, but have no support, let us know and we'll do what we can to find someone with extra space. If you know you will have extra space, please let us know that too!
  • Riders provide own support. We will not be collecting any funds for pooled supplies. There are plenty of stores on the route and support vehicles are expected to share water with all riders. Bring extra jugs. Experienced long-distance riders may find they can do the ride without external support.
  • There are several relatively inexpensive B&Bs ($35 - $50 per person) near the start where riders can stay the night before the ride. There are also a number of motels in Newport, which is about 30 minutes away from the start. Staying near the border is highly recommended. It shortens what is already a very long day, makes it a lot easier on those driving sag, and goes a long way to getting everyone to the start on time.
  • The intent is to ride in groups, keeping in mind that there are no rules to this ride. Typically, groups of varying abilities form, break apart, and new groups form, based on terrain and how long people spend at breaks. Groups larger than 15 riders are generally considered unsafe. Within reason, a group will alter its pace to keep together. To paraphrase Vermont cyclist John Orlando, "It won't be Paris-Roubaix, but neither is it Oprah on a hybrid." The goal is to finish during daylight without killing ourselves. Prep yourself by completing rides over 100 miles in length and see how you feel. Many riders have completed this ride long after dark, but please don't be offended if we don't wait for you at the finish.
  • The actual ride time is typically 11-14 hours plus breaks, allowing riders to finish during daylight. We've found it best to keep breaks short and relatively frequent, every 25-30 miles after the first 100. Breaks longer than 20 minutes leave you stiff and sore. Riders who skip breaks can get ahead of support vehicles.
  • Bring a tail light. Not only will it be helpful if you finish after dark, but a late afternoon rainstorm can make things plenty dark. Vermont law requires a front light (visible from 500') and 20 in2 of rear reflector or a taillight when riding at night. Reflective leg bands are also a good thing to bring along to add visibility. A standard rear reflector, by itself, does not meet the minimum reflective requirement in Vermont, but adding leg bands usually does. A taillight trumps reflectors, at least as far as the law is concerned.
  • Most of the route lacks reliable cell phone coverage.
  • An approach that can make the ride easier for both a rider and the support driver is to split the ride, with the rider switching with the driver at the Rochester break. Keep in mind that the second half of the ride is tougher than the first.
  • The event is rain or shine. We reserve the right to bail out before the end, if things get really miserable.

Can I ride without any outside support?

Sure! There's nothing that says that you need a support vehicle. The sport of randonneuring is based on self-supported riding. You may even be able to find a vehicle willing to transport your extra gear down to the Mass. border, but lots of things can happen, so don't leave yourself reliant on that gear after the ride. We'll do what we can, but remember that there is no guaranteed sweeping of the course, and much of the route lacks cell phone service, so self-supported means just that. Bring good lighting, front and rear, as it usually takes self-supported riders a little longer to finish the ride.

A Final Note

You might be thinking to yourself, “This is a strange ride. What are these people really offering?” There are all kinds of rides, from fully supported tours where a positive experience is guaranteed, to fleches, where only the destination, date, and a few arcane rules are established. This ride is somewhere on that continuum. We are not guaranteeing you anything, other than we plan to be at the Canadian border at 5 am, June 23rd. We'll do what we can to organize the support vehicles, which mostly consists of keeping track of who is riding with whom, and coordinating breaks. We are not renting vans, setting up tents, providing food or support, reserving lodging, paying traffic tickets, or taking responsibility for you or your equipment. There are no fees for this ride, no special insurance policies, no sanctioning by any organization, no prizes and no rules. All we can guarantee is a ride you will talk about for the rest of your life.

 

 
 

North Troy

Morning sky outside North Troy

Crosby Crests Mt. Snow

Crosby was first to the top of the Mt. Snow climb in 2009

Weston Church

Classic New England church in Weston

Deerfield River

The Deerfield River at Readsboro

 
 
 
  Last edited July 25, 2017