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Old 07-08-2019, 10:08 AM
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Brian Smith Brian Smith is offline
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Mount Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb - practice 14-July, main 17-Aug

How does a cyclist live in the northeast for more than a decade and never make it to this event? Well, I've had my reason, but this year I'm looking to cease being a holder of that status. Is anyone else here planning to attend or enter? While the entry fee may be notorious, I haven't met anyone who has done it and said that they wish they'd instead have saved their money.

I'd be especially interested in hearing from anyone who is planning to do the practice ride this coming weekend. Commisery loves company. Let's connect.
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Old 07-08-2019, 09:03 PM
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Good luck!! I did the practice ride circa 2006, but was injured for the real thing. Learned a lot on the practice ride though. Bring a trainer and warm up well. There is really no way to describe how quickly the gradient starts punishing you. Be ready for that, and ride your own pace.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:37 AM
5oakterrace 5oakterrace is online now
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I have done this 4 of the last 5 years. My hope was always just to finish and to avoid walking. I am old, heavy and slow. But I made it. I never had confidence I could do this twice in a month so I never did the practice ride. I am not going this summer but maybe next year. I had never been up Washington until my first time in the event. Just an unforgettable experience! Looking down upon ski slopes one moment and wrapped in clouds the next - seeing nothing. Great dinner afterwards too. I trained often at Mt. Ascutney where I figured out gearing which was critical for me. I think almost all participants will agree - gearing is critical and folks alter their bikes accordingly. I would bet you find this a very worthwhile experience.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:14 AM
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Brian Smith Brian Smith is offline
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Thanks, both of you, for the encouragement and advice.
I've driven up a couple of times, and I've done a similar but shorter (and lower) event, so I basically know what to expect. The bike is as ready is it's going to get before this weekend's practice ride, and I'm going as much out of interest as I am going for "practice," but then course knowledge is always good.
Hill climb events seem like a pretty nice "old-timer" activity in which I'm happy to engage. One can always compete against one's self, and it also seems a bit more conscionable when such competition takes one out at an event.

I'm still looking for any others attending...let's at least say hello and chat if you're going to be there.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:21 AM
benb benb is offline
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I did the race 2X back before there was a practice day.

I'd say maybe I should consider doing it again. I really wanted to make it to "Top Notch" and would say it is still well within reach for me.

The first time I did it was my first full season as a roadie.. I got my first road bike in the fall of 2000 towards the end of the season and 2001 was my first full year. IIRC I had a bad bike fit and got patellar tendonitis in the spring. I went to Mt. Washington with a 39x27 low gear or something and that wasn't sufficient I had to walk a couple places. I did about 1:39. Compact cranks were not really available easily yet in 2001 IIRC.

I did it again in 2005 after a few years of really learning the ropes and having done a fair bit of racing in 2003-2005. I did a 1:23 in 2005. IIRC I went with a 34x34 and that was probably TOO low. I hadn't even seen a PM at that point and I was trying to go on HR and I think I could easily have gone sub 1:20 if I had forced myself to go harder a few places. I had plenty left in the tank at the finish, I wasn't even tired the next day and did the Century ride and rode very strong in that.

Both times IIRC I got blown off the road and had to "dab", Mt. Washington is crazy. I think I found snow both times too, but not on the road.

In 2001 I think I paid $100 + hotel rooms/food. I 2005 it was $300 + hotel rooms/food.. It went up to $500 after that and I've never seriously considered doing it again although I think it got cheaper again.

The only other event I've done that cost $300 is more like a 8-10 hour event and has a lot more support than Mt. Washington. $300-500 for a one hour race where they don't even need to have police or support vehicles or anything always was a little tough. Plus Mt. Washington has some gear costs to do it right.

Definitely a bucket list race for the east coat though, it's a wild experience. But if you're fit it is also extremely doable so don't be super intimidated. Just make sure you get your gearing nailed down. You're basically training for a long TT though, it's nowhere near as hard as doing something like a 150 mile ride with 10k feet of climbing.

Last edited by benb; 07-15-2019 at 09:24 AM.
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