Vermont NEK 300k – July 8th, 2017

Start Location: Montpelier Econo Lodge
Note: Start location will be the Montpelier Econolodge. See below for parking info.
Start Time:06:00
Furthest Point: Derby Line, VT
Ride Leader: Jan Dembinski
Bike Lights & Reflective Gear: Required if finishing after 8:30 PM
Distance: 310k / 192 mi
Time Limit: 20 Hours
Controls: Lyndonville, VT; Derby Line, VT; Richford, VT; Morrisville, VT
Sanctioning: ACP & RUSA
Registration: Register Via BikeReg
Preliminary Cue Sheet: Download Preliminary Cue
Unofficial Online Map/GPS Link: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7991027

Start Location: The start location will be the front parking lot of the Montpelier Econolodge, located on Rt. 12. Unless you have reserved a room as a guest, do not park at the hotel. Instead, use the small lot just next to the hotel in front of a closed restaurant. The finish will be in the hotel itself; the specific room will be announced at the start.

300k Description: (Written by Route Design Anthony Mennona)

The NEK 300k is a challenging ride through the Northeast Kingdom (NEK) of Vermont. The route travels along some very nice dirt road, traverses a lakeside rail-trail & passes over several covered bridges. There are several challenging climbs along the way, an interesting section of riding along the international border & great scenery throughout the ride. There is an approximate split of 81% paved & 19% dirt roads. The dirt roads are fairly well maintained & the surface of the rail-trail is hard packed. I’ve had no issues traveling along any of the roads or rail-trail on 700 x 25 tires, though you may enjoy having a somewhat wider tire. I really enjoy riding the roads along this route & hope you’ll join us in June for an amazing ride through the NEK

A detailed description of the route follows:

After leaving Montpelier the route heads uphill & into rolling terrain towards the bucolic village of Maple Corner. After Maple Corner the route follows a quiet dirt road as it meanders through the woods, passing several nice ponds along the way. The route emerges from the woods & passes through Hardwick before beginning the climb over Stannard Mountain Road. The long, gradual climb along Stannard Mountain Road will hopefully reward riders with nice views of the NEK & the Presidential Mountains, beyond. The route will then descend into Lyndonville, the location of the first control.

Leaving Lyndonville, the route travels along scenic Darling Hill Road with nice views of Burke Mountain. Riders will then travel along the shore of Lake Willoughby, a glacial lake framed by Mount Pisgah to the east & Mount Hor to the west. The route then follows quiet country roads up to & along the Canadian border. As they pass through Derby Line, riders will notice several border markers right next to the road. They will also pass by the Haskell Free Library & Opera House, through which the international border crosses. As we will not actually be crossing the border, a passport is not required for this ride. However, as is recommended on all brevets, it’s a good idea to bring along a picture ID. As the route travels along the international border here & again later on the ride, it’s important for riders to pay close attention to the cue sheet & not to deviate from the route while near the border. A short detour of only a few feet off the route could lead riders across the border into Canada! Not to be too concerned, large signage along side roads should be apparent enough, were a rider to make a wrong turn.

The ride continues along the international border for several miles before heading south on the Newport Bikepath. This crushed gravel path travels along the shoreline of Lake Memphremagog, with nice views of Jay Peak beyond. The route then passes through the center of Newport before finding nice quiet roads with expansive views of the surrounding countryside. Turning onto VT-105 the route heads over the biggest climb of the day up to the ridge of the Green Mountains. A nice descent is enjoyed before turning onto a quiet dirt road. White border markers will again be present on the right side of the road, with one interesting one appearing on the left! For a short stretch the road actually crosses the border before re-entering the US. Not to be concerned, this is not an official border crossing & no border station is present. Riders will then rejoin VT-105 heading towards Richford, the location of the third control.

Leaving Richford the route follows a quiet road & across a covered bridge as it enters Montgomery. Leaving Montgomery, the route follows VT-118 & passes Belvidere Pond heading towards Eden. The route then heads south on VT-100 for a short stretch before finding more quiet roads with a few steep climbs along the way. Riders will then pass through the quaint village of Hyde Park & across Cadys Falls, before arriving at the penultimate control in Morrisville.

After leaving the control in Morrisville, riders will climb steadily along the shoulder of Mount Elmore before passing scenic Lake Elmore. Riders should use caution during the climb & while passing the lake as there are several sections of rough pavement. The road surface abruptly becomes much better as riders climb up to the watershed divide. After cresting the small divide the route heads downstream as it makes its way into Montpelier.

photos:

NEK Photo 1

NEK Photo 2