Friday, June 20, 2014

Just a few miles more: the week in New England Dirt Road Cycling

New England is enjoying an explosion of dirt road cycling in 2014. A few new and an old favorite event are now on the calendar for this year. But before I mention upcoming rides, there was a little race in the Adirondacks last weekend that deserves mention.

The Black Fly Challenge bills as a mountain bike race, but since it's beginning 20 years ago, most winners have been on cyclocross bikes. Indeed the organizers now divide out the categories between cyclocross, expert mtb, sport mtb, ect. The race draws over 700 cyclists to the start line for 40 miles of upstate New York gravel road. Most notably several of New England's top masters & junior cyclocross racers made the trek to the Adirondacks. Colin Reuter chose to "sandbag" the expert mtb field, with predictably hilarious results. You can read about his race here. Meanwhile, Al Donahue (coach of the NECX all stars) won the cyclcross category & set the course record.

Back here in New England proper, 2 more events have popped up for September 27th. Actually one new event and the confirmation of an old event.

The new event is the Hills & Hollows 50. It's listed as a 50 mile race or a 25 mile tour in Poultney VT. The course is described as mostly dirt with some class IV roads & 4000ft climbing. Vermont is truly the center of New England dirt road cycling as of now. Information on the event is linked on the calendar page or you can find it here

The old event is the New England Randonneurs Fall Classic. Staring in Burlington VT this course heads east to Stowe and Jeffersonville then back. Two routes at 114km and 200km. The routes are approximately half on dirt road. Full brevet rules with control stops & timing. Find out more or register here

That's this week in New England dirt. Go out and ride somewhere less traveled.


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