Route 100 runs north-south through the center of Vermont, largely between the ridges of the Green Mountains, as established by glaciers long ago. The ride features a total of about 13,300' of climbing, with the biggest climbs in the second 100 miles. The route includes a little of everything, from long, relatively flat sections, through rolling hills, long, easy, but wearing climbs that follow streams, and a few solid Vermont ascents. The toughest climbs are the aptly named Terrible Mountain climb out of Ludlow, (1,200' in 5 miles with one quite steep section and a few breaks), and Wardsboro/Mt. Snow(1,900' in 12 miles of mostly continual ascent). Every significant climb is followed by a fast descent, with speeds up to 50 mph possible. The wind can come from anywhere, but it's generally out of the west.
Most of the ride is rural, with lots of forests and farms. There are a number of exceptional views and a steady unfolding panorama of Vermont beauty. Traffic on most of the route is typically light, with good shoulders on most of the roads where heavier traffic is expected, such as Rte. 4. Pavement condition ranges from new to “when are they going to repave this?” with most being what Vermont riders would call “pretty good.” Shoulders are generally 1'-3', disappearing altogether in places.
There are a few places where judicious short cuts and long cuts have been introduced to avoid higher traffic areas or to improve the ride while avoiding a few hills. These are noted on the route map. In previous years the ride has left Rte. 100 in E. Jamaica and traveled Rte. 30 to Brattleboro, following the scenic West River. Some riders may feel they are too tired to tackle the Wardsboro--Mt. Snow climb and prefer the much easier finish into Brattleboro. If so, be advised that Rte. 5 to the Mass. border is a decent little hill. You may want to opt for the flatter, though slightly longer Rte. 142. If you've got the legs for it, Mt. Snow is a great challenge and it's pretty much downhill from the summit all the way to the border--except for the climb out of Jacksonville.