Vermont Lake Champlain 300k & 200k – June 1st 2019

Start Location:  South Burlington, VT (Anchorage Inn)
Start Time: 06:00 (both rides)
Ride Leader: Sarah Bergstrom
Bike Lights & Reflective Gear: Recommended; required if finishing after 8:30 PM
Distance: 300k (186.5 miles) or 200k (135 miles)
Time Limit: 13.5 Hours for 200k, 20 Hours for 300k
Controls: Rouses Point (both distances), Charlotte (200k), Port Henry (300k)
Sanctioning: RUSA & ACP
Preliminary Cue Sheet:  TBA.
Cheat-Sheet of Controls and Services:  TBA.
Online Map/GPS Link for 300k: 300k DRAFT (not yet approved)
Online Map/GPS Link for 200k: 200k DRAFT (not yet approved)
Registration:  BikeReg page

Riders must be New England Randonneurs members to ride.  No day-of-event registration.  To join (only $5), use this BikeReg page.

2019 Event Information: For 2019 Ride Leader Sarah Bergstrom is bringing back a classic loop of Lake Champlain. Originally one of the first Vermont brevets, this route has not been offered in many years. It will be similar but not the same as the original. Route is somewhat less hilly then most NER Vermont rides  (4600′ on the 200k and 8100′ on the 300k). Two distance options to choose from.

The ferry on the 200k is $5.50 and is CASH ONLY.  (The 300k has no ferry; you’ll be going all the way around the lake.)

More details will be added once the revised routes are approved, but the ride will start and finish in the parking lot of the Anchorage Inn in South Burlington.  A map of parking locations for riders not staying at the hotel will be uploaded here before the start; please do not park at the hotel unless you are staying there.

There will be about 7 miles of hard-packed, well-maintained dirt roads suitable for skinny tires on both routes, all of which riders will encounter during daylight.

Both routes follow long stretches of two well-designed bike routes — the Lake Champlain Bikeway, and New York Bike Route 9, and primarily hug the coast of the lake.

The rides begin by heading out of town along a few roads some riders might remember from the old Burlington-based Fall Classic, including our first dirt stretch on Poor Farm Rd.  Then it’s onto US-2 to join up with the Champlain Bikeway and head out onto the islands.  Both routes follows the bikeway onto smaller roads, and swing by the Hero’s Welcome General store for anyone who needs a second breakfast.

The big bridge into NY signals the turn southwards (the only thing to the north is the border crossing, and we’re not headed to Montreal today).  A nice coffeeshop in Rouses Point is the first control for both routes, and then the road heads south.  A new bike path in Plattsburgh avoids much of the congestion previous years faced, and then a few miles later the hills begin to loom on the horizon.  The route climbs up alongside the Ausable River — the chasm is worth stopping at — the best view is from the elevated sidewalks along the bridge (please walk your bike if getting on the sidewalk).  Then double-check you’re fueled up when you pass through Keenesville, because roller-coaster Highland Road is next.  When you hit the dirt, you’re done with this climb; 200k riders can cruise down to the ferry, their second control.  (The ferry comes every half-hour and takes approximately 15 minutes to cross.)

300k riders will say goodbye to 200k friends old and new at the docks; they’re not quite done flirting with the Adirondacks, and there’s more lake to get around.  The second 300k control is a gas station in Port Henry.  Then it’s over the bridge into VT (the bridge was rebuilt several years ago and now has a large, clear shoulder), and back to the Champlain Bikeway until we cut inland for one last small climb on the way back to the hotel.

photos:

A bike near a Welcome to NY Sign
Entering NY on both routes
A road on a causeway with trees
The causeway heading out onto the Lake Champlain Islands
The sign outside a coffee shop
The first control at Lakeside Coffee
A snowy, partially frozen waterfall and river
Ausable Chasm — the snow should be gone by June!
A dirt road
Dirt on Highland Road
A ferry dock
The Charlotte Essex Ferry (CASH ONLY!)
A sculpture of a lake monster on a lawn
Champ seems to be a little confused about where lake monsters live!
A road leading to a bridge in the distance
Looking back at the bridge back into VT

 

And some of original route designer Mike Beganyi’s photos from the past runs:

Rolling out across the islands!

When you cross this bridge, the climbs begin!

200k riders will take the ferry across the lake for a breather.