Boston 600k – June 20th 2015

Ride Information

Furthermost Point: Benington, VT (600k) or Petersham, MA (200k)
Start: Hanscom Civil Airport, Bedford, MA
Length: 600k / 375mi
Start Time: 04:00 (600k)
Time Limit: 40 Hours (600k)
Ride Leader: Jake Kassen
Controls: TBD
Sanctioning: RUSA and ACP (PBP Qualifier)
Cue Sheet: TBD
Registration: Register Online via BikeReg


2015 600k Info: For 2015 RBA Jake Kassen is taking over running this event. One change is that longtime rider Bruce McDonald has generously offered to let his house in the northern Berkshires be used for the overnight control — a nice step up from the motels used in previous years. As a result of this new overnight location the route *may* change. More details will be posted within a month of the event. The start date and distance will NOT change. This is NER’s only 600k PBP qualifier.

Volunteers Needed! The 600k requires many volunteers to support such a long distance. We need people to staff the finish control, the overnight control, and several intermediate controls. Please contact RBA Jake if you have time to volunteer on June 20th or 21st. Volunteers may pre-ride the event two weeks ahead of time and are given a free membership in 2016. Most importantly you help make randonneuring in New England enjoyable.

2014 600k Info: The 2014 route has been plotted with RideWithGPS. You can find unofficial GPX tracks on that site; some find it handy to use a GPS to aid them in reading the cue sheet. A Preliminary cue sheet can be found above.

Controls: Overnight and finish to be staffed, otherwise controls are businesses

#1 Barre Dunkin Donuts 570 Summer St
#2 Northfield Food Mart 74 Main St.
#3 Irving Circle K 2 Greenfield Rd, S. Deerfield, MA
#4 Price Chopper 555 Hubbard Ave Pittsfield Ma
#5 Cumberland Farms Cambridge NY
# Overnight stop at Brittany Motel in Manchester, VT at mile 231.5
#6 Dunkin Donuts 1071 Putney Rd VT (Open control Hannafords down the street)
#7 Price Chopper 560 Main St. (Open Control D.Donuts down the street).

Drop bag support will be provided. One bag per rider, available at overnight stop.

Overnight: beds, dinner, and breakfast provided.

The overnight control will be in at the Brittany Motel in Manchester, VT at mile 231.5; beds and dinner will be provided. All other controls will not be staffed; riders are advised to bring some money along for drinks and snacks.

Drop bag support will be provided and will be available at the overnight control.

2014 Notes from Ride Leader Bruce: [Updated 7-22-14]

– I had 4 encounters with loose dogs on my pre-ride — three in Central/Western MA, one in NY — more than in several years of riding. I can’t recall problems with dogs on this route in the past, so the pre-ride was likely just an anomaly. However, riders would be wise to review proper actions just in case.

– On the second segment, the new route to Northfield for the bridge out near 2A is much flatter and scenic, with nice pavement and little traffic; I’m sorry if riders miss the steep climb up Mt. Grace on Rt. 78. :)

– On the fourth segment, the closed bridge on Old Windsor Road in Hinsdale has been rebuilt and is open to traffic. However, riders will still need to take care negotiating the tight and sandy turn just before it.

– On the sixth segment, the turn onto Muddy Lane toward the Brittany Motel is difficult to see in the dark — it’s immediately after a short bridge with reflective markers, so the road entrance is obscured by the glare from the markers and the bridge’s guardrail.

– Before the last checkpoint, Rt. 68 is now two-way south of the 68/101 split in Gardner, so the jog onto Pleasant St. is no longer necessary.

Updated terrain description:

Segment 1: gentle to moderate rollers to Sterling, a moderate climb just beyond Rt. 12 (Fitch Hill), then a gentle descent to Rt. 140. Somewhat flat to the Princeton town line on Rt. 62, then moderate climbing from there to Princeton center with two brief downhills and a steep climb just before Princeton Center, one of the highest elevations east of the Connecticut River. Mostly gradual descent between Princeton and Hubbardston, then steep rollers between Rt. 68 and the checkpoint at the Barre Dunkin Donuts.

Segment 2: Large rollers after Barre, with a long, fast descent near the Quabbin; it’s possible to see several miles forward from one of the hilltops around Petersham. After Rt. 202, the route flattens out, with a gradual ascent to Mt. Grace and a long descent to the Checkpoint in Northfield.

Segment 3: Mostly gentle to moderate rollers with some flat sections, following the Connecticut River Valley to Deerfield.

Segment 4: Generally climbing between Deerfield and Savoy, with moderate grades in Conway and just before Ashfield Center (following the South River upstream). Steep rollers from Plainfield through Windsor, then a long downhill (following Windsor Brook downstream) between Windsor and Dalton (with some rough sections). Gentle terrain between Dalton and the checkpoint at the Price Chopper in Pittsfield.

Segment 5: Some moderate rollers to Hancock, including the climb to the entrance of Jiminy Peak. A long, gentle descent along Rt. 43 to Williamstown, then moderate rollers again on Rt. 7. Once on Rt. 2, a 7-8% ascent for 4 miles (Petersburg Pass) to just beyond the NY state line, followed by a 7-8% descent for another 4 miles. Moderate rollers to Rt. 22, then flat to gentle rollers from there to the checkpoint in Cambridge except for Hoosick and Hoosick Falls, which have moderate rollers.

Segment 6: Gentle rollers to the Chiselville Covered Bridge, then moderate climbing with some moderate rollers immediately after the bridge, becoming more gentle toward Manchester. A moderate climb on dirt to the overnight stop, descending the same road to rejoin the route afterward. Once on Rt. 30 in Manchester, generally climbing with a 8-11% grade (the Green Mountains), reaching the summit at ~2000’ just beyond the Rt. 11/30 split. Generally downhill from the summit to Dummerston, with some occasional moderate climbs. One of the toughest climbs on the route is immediately after crossing the Dummerston Covered Bridge on East-West Road — Black Mountain. Generally descending and flattening out from there to Brattleboro, with a few moderate climbs.

Segment 7: Moderate rollers generally downhill through Brattleboro, then cross the Connecticut River (again, around sea level). After the immediate climb from the bridges, the terrain starts flat and gradually increases in severity and elevation toward Rt. 32, with the toughest climb just before Rt. 32. Elevation and severity of terrain generally taper off toward Gardner, punctuated mainly by Jacob’s hill on Rt. 68 — also one of the toughest climbs on the route.

Segment 8: Gentle rollers, generally climbing to Rt. 140, then generally descending to Fitchburg. Moderate rollers through Fitchburg, flattening out by Shirley. Flat from Shirley through Ayer except for bridges and underpasses, then gentle to moderate rollers from Ayer to the finish.

600k Ride Reports

Lovely Bicycle’s 2012 600k Crew Ride Report
A great report to read if interested in helping to support the events.
Cris Conception’s 600k ride reports from 2006 and 2007.
More of Cris’s ride reports can be found here.
Jake Kassen’s 600k ride report from 2007.
More of Jake’s ride reports can be found here.
Charles Coldwell’s 600k ride report from 2003.
More of Chip’s ride reports can be found here.
Mike Beganyi’s 600k 2006 report.
More of Mike’s reports are here.
Kris Kjellquist’s 600k ride reports from 2005 and 2006.

If you’d like to see your ride report listed here, please send the text or a link to the NER webmaster.


Tom Worster’s 600k (2008) photo gallery.

Bliss Hill Road in Royalston, MA. Photo by Jake Kassen

Bliss Hill Road in Royalston, MA. Photo by Jake Kassen

David Lafferty and Emily Searles headed outbound. Photo by Tom Worster.

David Lafferty and Emily Searles headed outbound. Photo by Tom Worster.

Charles Coldwell. Photo by Tom Worster.

Charles Coldwell. Photo by Tom Worster.

Jake Kassen & Glen Reed heading back to Brattleboro, VT. Photo by Tom Worster.

Jake Kassen & Glen Reed heading back to Brattleboro, VT. Photo by Tom Worster.

A familiar sight for riders on the 2008 600k. Photo by Tom Worster.

A familiar sight for riders on the 2008 600k. Photo by Tom Worster.

If you have photos or a gallery link you’d like to see here, email the webmaster.