Metric Century Cyclocross Ride Comes to Blue Ridge Mountains
Promoters of the August 29th Devils Backbone Cyclocross Ride are calling their metric century through the Blue Ridge Mountains the longest cyclocross ride in the USA. While that title may hinge on the words “organized” and “ride” (was this 800-mile cyclocross ride organized? Is the Dirty Kanza 200 a ride or race?), the first annual USAC-insured event promises beautiful scenery, hilly dirt roads and great grub and refreshment for riders as they traverse the Blue Ridge Mountains in Nelson County, Virginia.
The 50% off-road course features over 6,000 feet of climbing and grades up to 15 percent, but is described as best for ‘cross bikes, although mountain bikes can be a suitable choice. Two rest stops and a $10 food voucher for the Devils Backbone Brewing Company are included in the $45 registration fee.
Promoter Tony Bilotta hopes to eventually transform the event into a race, similar to Pennsylvania’s Iron Cross or the UK’s Three Peaks Cyclocross Race, and while this year’s event is just a ride, riders will receive finish times and the fastest “riders” may be recognized.
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I think the D2R2 is longer, climbs more, and has more dirt! From their web site: http://www.franklinlandtrust.org/randonee.htm
This ride is breathtaking in both senses of the word: 111.7 miles, 70% on dirtroads, with 15,670 feet of climbing. Riders will enjoy a fabulous network of secret backroads and horse-cart lanes through some of the most scenic and historic areas of western Massachusetts and southern Vermont. The Rest stops with refreshments will be staffed by area volunteers.
Stone walls line the roads far more than double-yellow lines.
Road conditions range from smooth clay to stony washout and puddles. Seven key climbs reach 1400-2000' elevation, and 16 smaller pitches exceed 13% gradient, including a 25% wall. At mile 90, riders will tackle the hidden back side of the lovely Patten Hill District: starting at 20% grade, the road narrows to a bumpy 8' lane and ascends 960 feet vertical in 1.5 miles to a grand overlook toward Vermont.