(Press release by Pascale Savard)
STOWE, Vt. — Century rides can be boring. Too often, they are repetitive from one year to another, feel like an eternity, and lack creativity, diversity and spirit. It’s a good thing that none of these characteristics will ever be used to describe the Darn Tough Ride, the most anticipated cycling event in New England held in Stowe on Sunday, September 1st.
As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Difficulties mastered are opportunities won,” and with road construction delays plaguing main arteries previously used for the ride, organizers jumped on the opportunity to refresh the event and offer a new route for the 100 mile/160km riders for 2013.
As most NEK drivers and cyclists know, Route 242 between Jay Peak and Montgomery Center has been under construction since early this Spring and road work is now expected to go on until October 8. “I would advise you to re-route. Route 242 will not be paved by Sept. 1. The construction is scheduled to be completed in early October,” was the advice given by Resident Engineer for VTrans on the Rte 242 construction project.
Re-routing came as a great opportunity to make the event more centralized for 2013. Now, the 100 mile loop route will not go anywhere near Jay Peak but will take the riders twice over Smuggler’s Notch, one time on each side. Although the distance will be very similar to last year’s route, the 95.3 miles with 8,383’ of elevation route will be just as challenging as ever. The riders will travel more locally and will most certainly, at one point or another, also ride along side cyclists from the other routes. Another plus is that 100 mile riders will also now have a chance to ride on some of the best area roads including Hog Back, 100C and 109, all of which could not be a part of the 100 mile route last year.
The 100 mile Darn Tough Ride will begin as scheduled at 7am from the Mt. Mansfield Winter Academy, 3576 on the Mountain Road in Stowe, Vermont. The riders will first warm up and ride about 13 miles in Stowe, down the Mountain Road, through Stowe Hollow, up Barrows Rd, and back to MMWA to start the first timed segment of the event. It will indeed be a lively “hot spot” with cyclists departing for other rides around the same times, and friends and family on site to cheer all. It will also mean that the 100 mile ride participants will be able to regroup, leave extra clothes, refuel, get better organized before starting the 5.5 mile hill climb which will end in Smuggler’s Notch, just before the beginning of the steep turns. The rest of the ride is set on the best area roads and will take riders back toward Morrisville before returning through Centerville, Eden and Belvidere. The second timed hill climb will remain unchanged, a 3.5 mile climb beginning at the entrance of Smuggler’s Notch Resort and ending at the top of Smuggler’s Notch State Park.
The other routes are not affected by road constructions and will remain the same as last year. Please make note of the new starting time: 100 mile is 7am, 65 mile is 8am, 45 miles is 9 am and 25 mile is 10am. With these new start times, more cyclists will cross the finish together, attend the party, and enjoy the food spread by Black Diamond Barbecue and the music by TallGrass GetDown. To speed things up for those returning home after the ride, the raffle will be be held during the feast while results are tabulated. There will be numerous prizes and raffles donated by our generous sponsors including Fit Werx, Kona One One and much more.
To view the new 100 mile route visit the event page at http://mmwa.org/darntoughride/ or download it directly from http://ridewithgps.com/routes/3083706. Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Online registration is open until August 31, day of registration are also accepted but t-shirts and swag bags are only available until quantities last.
The Darn Tough Ride is a fully supported bicycle ride and a benefit to the Mt. Mansfield Winter Academy in Stowe, Vermont. Main sponsors are Darn Tough Socks Vermont, High Tower, Fit Werx, Commodores Inn, Hammer Nutrition, Vermont Smoke and Cure, Honest Tea, Food Should Taste Good, and the Stowe Reporter.