Vermont was the lucky recipient of record snowfall this past winter and boosts record skier visit at most of its mountains. The state also hit record days for cold temperatures which created significant damage to some of its more traveled roads, especially the ones with already less than ideal surface conditions.|
For road cyclists, this unfortunate situation means that favorite rides often need to be altered to avoid either badly damaged and dangerous roads, or extensive construction zones that can translate into miles of riding on stripped pavement, gravel, or dirt.
That being said, all of the Darn Tough Ride's routes, except for the family ride, have been re-routed for 2015. For the past three years, the event has used the same popular routes for the 45 and the 65 mile rides, and changed the 100 mile route in 2013 because of road construction in Montgomery Center and Jay Peak. This year, those roads are in terrible conditions, and there is no way that we want to send our cyclists anywhere near them.
We are happy to announce that we have turned this unfortunate situation into a perfect opportunity. For the past months, we have explored, ridden, and carefully mapped three new challenging, yet beautiful rides for the event. We have uncovered some even less traveled roads, along Pleasant Valley, and north of Cambridge, into Fairfax, and Enosburg. With the new rides, we also now ride a longer segment on Route 108 north of Jeffersonville, which is possibly one of the nicest, safest (check out that wide shoulder), and smoothest road in the area.
What this also now means, is that the 48, 60 and the 100 mile rides this year will face Smuggler's Notch TWICE; once on the Stowe side, and once on the Jeffersonville (Smuggler's Notch) side. This is the Darn Tough Ride after all, and what better challenge than to conquer the Notch, not once, but twice in one ride. We hope that everyone will enjoy the new rides, and hopefully will enjoy discovering some new terrain as much as we did.
The King and Queen of the Mountain challenges have also changed to reflect the new routes. This year, all wishing to enter the friendly competition will get individual times for each of the TWO timed climbs, and be entered to win prizes awarded to the top three men and women in each category (48, 60 and 100 mile rides) based on the COMBINED times of those two hill climbs.
The rest of the Darn Tough Ride will stay pretty much the same. We love our hub at the Commodores Inn, the delicious breakfast and lunch they prepare for the riders, the use of the pool, pond, parking and facility in general. We are also once again raising funds for Friends of Stowe Adaptive Sports, our local chapter that sponsors disabled area athletes for ski, snowboard, swim, and water sports lessons. We are not asking you to pester your friends and family for donations, we count on our valued sponsors to donate money and product that help us keep our costs down, and simply turn the proceeds right over to this meaningful non-profit organization. In return, they help us with timing and volunteer countless hours to make this event possible.
We hope to welcome you to Stowe once again for the 4th Annual Darn Tough Ride. We like to keep our event on the small side (we are capped at 300 cyclists), to create bonds between riders, and to keep things real (no frozen burger patties here!) Make this great ride a challenge for the summer, and sign up today. Feel free to bring the family along to ride, spectate, or simply enjoy the day in Stowe. Additional tickets for the BBQ can be purchased online when you register.
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- Sport : Cycling
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