Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Dirt Keeps Cropping Up: 4 more New England(ish) events in 2014

A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of New England dirt road bike events. Since then several more have come to my attention.

But before I get to the new additions, last weekend there were 3 New England events, the Stowe Gravel Grinder, the RSC Ride Diverged (extended to 2 days), & the Detour de Connecticut. Despite the wet weather, all 3 events went on (though Detour delayed until Sunday). Pictures & reports so far look very positive for all three events.

Anthony & Evan McNelly spent at the finish. photo by Kimberly Bailey
On top of that, the race that is becoming the most competitive dirt event in the north, was also held last weekend. The Paris-Ancaster saw a substantial number of New England cyclocross racers head to Ontario to tackle 50 miles of Canadian dirt/gravel roads. JAM Fund prodigy Anthony Clark took the win ahead of a very strong field including his mentor Alec Donahue. Read about it on Cyclocross magazine's website here

Now for the new dirt:

May 10th The Muddy Onion, Montpelier VT

Vermont is now the heart of New England dirt road riding. I'm not entirely sure why, but there are a lot of great dirt roads & a bunch of bike nuts in the state. So here's another one, put on by the good crew at Onion River Sports. Low cost at $20 but limited to 100 riders. 32 miles 90% dirt.

July 20th Tunbridge Classic, Tunbridge VT

This new event has a team time trial format, i.e a gentleman's race. Teams of 3-10 start and finish together, racing against the other teams. Solo riders welcome also. This is long route at 105 miles with 8,000 feet of climbing. An early morning start means you may want to camp out the night before. Camping is available on site for an additional $10.

September 27th, Rail Trail Ride, Andover, NH

The northern rail trail is a long stretch of packed dirt riding from West Franklin to the Vermont border. While riding a flat rail grade may sound dull to some, there are fantastic dirt roads & climbs all along this corridor. This event also supports a great charity, Special Olympics New Hampshire. 100km or 50km (62 or 32 miles)

October 11th les 100 B7, Bromont Quebec

New England cyclocross loves Lyne Bessette (she's married to Tim Johnson after all). Last year she put on a ride around her home roads in southern Quebec. This year it's back using a Strava segment Gran Fondo format. That means the "racing" will be only on the timed segments along the course. Lowest cumulative time for the segments wins. Awards, raffle prizes & post race food at the finish. 100km (62miles) 95% dirt/gravel road. C'est Bon!

By my count there are over 2 dozen dirt road events this year! That's a whole bunch of gritty fun before we even start cyclocross season. I will consolidate the list on a separate page on this blog sometime in the next few weeks. Until then, get out and ride somewhere less traveled by

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