Freyre, Fortin collect first Mt. Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb titles

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H – Eneas Freyre, his race day complete, stood near the finish line and looked down the hill and watched rider after rider contend with the final grueling yards of the 43rd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb.

“Wow,” Freyre said. “Look how steep that is. It’s amazing. You don’t realize that when you’re going up it. It’s such a privilege to ride this road.”

Freyre, 39 of Norwalk, Conn., who runs Total Training & Fitness – a training and retail business – took full advantage of the chance to ride up the Mt. Washington Auto Road and turned the opportunity into his first triumph on the mountain on Saturday in outstanding and atypical weather conditions on Saturday.

Freyre broke away from Eric Follen, 40, of Sanford, Maine, before the three-mile mark of the 7.6-mile, all-uphill race and cruised to the win in a time of 53 minutes. Follen, who won the Newton’s Revenge race here over the same course last month, was second, exactly a minute behind Freyre.

Veronique Fortin, 35, of Gatineau, Quebec, the Canadian national champion in 2011, won the women’s title in one hour, five minutes and 58 seconds in her first look at the mountain.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Fortin said. “I didn’t look at the profile before the race. I knew it was long and hard. I knew I was pretty out in front and I was trying to stay constant, but I lost a little power at the end. At the steepest part at the end (with a nasty 22 percent grade) the crowds and the atmosphere made it easy to finish.”

The temperature was 71 degrees under sunny skies at the start of the race at 8:35 a.m. and it was in the mid-50s with just a little wind and a touch of fog at the summit. There were 516 finishers in the race.

Freyre was third in his first Hillclimb last year.

Follen and Freyre were at a pace of about six minutes a mile over the first couple of miles.

“That’s not sustainable,” Follen said. “I backed off a bit and thought he might blow up. But he’s a really strong rider and he’s been on top in all the New England races this summer.”

James Piccoli, 23, of Montreal, finished third in 55:17; Timothy Ahearn of Woodstock, Conn., was fourth in 56:59; and Brandon Holden, 21, of Boxborough, Mass., was fifth in 58:51.

Victoria Di Savino of Buffalo, N.Y., was the second female finisher in 1:09:45; Cecelia Davis-Hayes, 26, of New York, N.Y., was third in 1:10:46; Elizabeth McClintock, 52, of Wellesley, Mass., was fourth in 1:14:28 and Andrea Myers of Danbury, Conn., fifth in 1:17:45.

Davis-Hayes, a 2011 graduate of Williams College and a medical student at Columbia University, said she’s been waiting nearly a decade to ride the race, since an Appalachian Mountain Club Wilderness leadership course she participated in during high school passed near the summit and she saw signs of the race.

“It’s been way too long,” she said. “It was spectacular. I almost didn’t do it this year because I was training for triathlon nationals last week in Milwaukee (she finished third). But then I figured, ‘Just do it all.’”

Freyre brought about a dozen riders from Total Training & Endurance to the race.

While they and his wife, Nancy, and son Caden, 8, celebrated on the mountain, there was more celebrating in Massachusetts.

“Rhys is doing flips,” Nancy told her husband.

Rhys is their 5-year-old son who was back in Marblehead, Mass., with his grandmother.

“He heard what Daddy did and says he’s doing flips,” Nancy Freyre reported.

————

Dick Devellian, 78, of Jackson, N.H. was the oldest finisher in the race in a time of 2:30:53. Devellian, who started competing in the Hillclimb in the early 1980s, had both of his knees replaced four years ago. He raced in 2013 and was traveling and missed last year’s races.

“It was a tough day but it’s nice to be here at the top,” Devellian said. “I didn’t feel too good going up. That’s what you always do: On the way up you swear up and down that you’re never going to do this again and then you get to the top and it all goes away.”

So will he be back next year?

“I’ll tell you next year,” he said. “I can’t think of that right now.”

——————

The Cadence Wealth Management $750 Prime was new this year and awarded $750 to the first male and female to the one-mile mark. Freyre colleted the $750 to go with his $1,500 check for wining. Di Savino was four seconds faster than Fortin to the mile mark and collected $750. Fortin got $1,500 for the win.

The Hillclimb is the primary fundraiser for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H. Tin Mountain offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the workings of the natural world. Information about educational programs, camps and other activities at Tin Mountain is available at www.tinmountain.org.

The Hillclimb is the second and largest of two bicycle races up the Mt. Washington Auto Road each summer. Newton’s Revenge, held in July 11, was created in 2006 to meet the demand of racers who were unable to get into the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

43rd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H – Having a double knee replacement four years ago did not deter Dick Devellian, a long-time biking man of the mountains, from continuing to tackle the gnarly and grueling challenge of the 7-.6-mile, all-uphill Mt. Washington Auto Road.

Neither did a nasty spill that sent him over the edge of the road near the summit and into the rocks below.

A couple more years were certainly not going to keep him away.

Devellian, who lives in nearby Jackson, N.H., and will celebrate his 79th birthday in early November, returns to compete in the 43rd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb on Saturday.

“All these people do these things, I think, to press themselves and push themselves a little bit,” he said. “It’s a challenge in front of you. Part of it for me is I’ve done it so many times, it’s almost a reason to do it again, I guess.”

He almost has to do the race, Devellian said, and then laughed.

“I’m afraid not to,” he said. “If I don’t, that kind of means it’s all over. But who knows how long I’ll do it. I take it one year at a time.”’

Devellian will join a full-house field of more than 600 riders in an attack on the Auto Road. He has been riding to the 6,288-foot summit of the tallest peak in the northeast longer than most, maybe all, of them.

He’s not sure of the year he competed in the race for the first time but knows he was about 45, so that would have put it around the early 1980s.

“It wasn’t a very popular bike race then,” he said. “I think they had maybe 60 people going up and they’d have a little get together after with sandwiches in the Wildcat Mountain cafeteria. It wasn’t anything special. It was pretty much a bike club thing.”

Devellian, who figures he’s ridden up the mountain about two dozen times, helped turn it into something special.

In the early 1990s, the Mt. Washington Auto Road offered the hillclimb to the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany as a fundraiser for their programs. Devellian had recently joined the Tin Mountain board and after making suggestions and comments on how to grow the race, he was made the race director. He held that post for about five years and began promoting the race as the hardest hillclimb in the world and started a process that helped boost the event toward the prestigious spot in mountain racing that it holds today.  Additionally, it has become the primary fundraiser for Tin Mountain.

One of Devellian’s latest races up the mountain was perhaps the most memorable for him.

Riding in the 2013 Newton’s Revenge – the July sibling to the Hillclimb – Devellian was blown not only off his bike, but off the Auto Road and into the rocks below it.

“I was near the top of the mountain and the wind was gusting and it was foggy and wet,” Devellian recalled. “I was near the edge of the road and a gust came through and I was off balance and I went over. It was like it was slow motion and I went over the edge and into the boulders. My helmet got dented and I cut my arm, but I was OK. The road was over my head, but I was fine. I was pretty lucky. It could have been serious. When it’s foggy and rainy like that no one knows you’re missing and no one is looking for you for a long, long time.”

Devellian climbed back up to the road and got back on his bike and finished the race.

The next month, he competed in the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hillclimb.

Last summer, Devellian was in Europe and missed both races.

Now he’s returning for the 2015 Hillclimb.

The Tin Mountain Conservation Center offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the workings of the natural world. Information about educational programs, camps and other activities at Tin Mountain is available at www.tinmountain.org.

———————–

Neither of last year’s race winners is competing in this year’s Hillclimb. Marti Shea of Marblehead, Mass., who won last year to give her a women’s record four Hillclimb victories, announced earlier this summer that she is retiring from competitive cycling because of knee problems.

John Kronborg Ebsen of Denmark, who held off two-time defending champion Cameron Cogburn to win in his first look at the mountain last year, did not enter this year. Cogburn has not been competing regularly this summer and does not intend to race either.

————————

Tour de France rider Tom Danielson of East Lyme, Conn., set the course record of 49 minutes, 24 seconds in 2002. He also won in 2003, then won the 2010 Newton’s Revenge in a time just eight seconds slower than his own record. His record is currently under investigation due to alleged performance enhancing drug use during the time it was set.

Jeannie Longo of France holds the women’s record for the Mt. Washington Auto Road, of 58:14, which she established in 2000. The course record may be set in either Newton’s Revenge or the Hillclimb.

The race starts Saturday in five waves, beginning at 8:35 a.m. with the Top Notch (elite) group and continuing at five-minute intervals with four more successive waves of riders sorted by age.

More than 600 riders are registered for the race.

The Mt. Washington summit is known for its sometimes brutal and unforgiving weather conditions. If conditions do not allow the race to be held on Saturday, it will take place on Sunday with the same 8:35 starting time.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

New 3 Hour Guided Tour

Pinkham Notch, NH – The Mt. Washington Auto Road has expanded guided tour options with a 3-hour version offering guests additional ways to explore Mount Washington. The Auto Road will now offer 2- and 3-hour versions of their guided tours allowing guests to spend more time exploring scenic areas along the Road as well the option to spend more time on the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.

The newly-added, 3-hour guided tours are meant to provide guests the opportunity to explore the Auto Road anywhere from the base at Great Glen Trails to the summit of Mount Washington. Where current 2-hour tours are spent mostly on the summit, the 3-hour tour provides opportunities to stop and explore more of the opportunities along the Road itself – or to spend additional time on the summit.

“There’s so much to see and do along the way to the summit”, explains Dan Houde, Marketing Director at the Auto Road and Great Glen Trails. “Everyone knows that the summit is exciting no matter what the weather may be, but there are countless opportunities for adventure along the way. Guests who choose to drive their own vehicles can spend the entire day exploring the pull-offs, short hikes, alpine flowers and vistas, but with one of our knowledgeable guides leading the way, you can learn so much more and discover some of the hidden gems along the Auto Road.”

Guided Tours, mt washington auto Road, mt washington, tours

The 3-hour extended guided tours are available most days (weather permitting) throughout the regular season at 9 a.m and 1 p.m with at least 24 hours of advance reservation. Two adults or children are $60 per person, while groups of 3 to 4 persons are $55 per person and 5 or more are just $50 per person. The best way to book an extended 3-hour tour is to call the Auto Road staff at (603) 466-3988.

Regular 2-hour tours are available without reservation from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. each day (weather permitting) and run on a first-come, first-served basis. Departures are usually within 30 minutes of purchasing your tickets. Pricing is $35 for adults, $30 for seniors (62+) and children ages 5-12 are just $15. Children ages 4 and under are free. Regular 2-hour tours can also be reserved online 24 hours in advance for the 9:00 a.m. tour for $5 off per person.

Guided tours of the paddling variety are also available at Great Glen Trails located at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Guests can enjoy a guided kayak trip along scenic lakes and rivers of northern NH away from the crowds with brilliant mountain views and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s original and oldest man-made attraction. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road is now open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., weather permitting. For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call (603) 446-3988.

Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mt. Washington hosts Lamborghini Giro

Automobili Lamborghini America includes the Mt. Washington Auto Road on tour of most scenic routes across America.

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH – The Automobii Lamborghini America made a visit to the Mt. Washington Auto Road on the Lamborghini Giro, an annual tour taken on some of the most scenic roads in America. Owners of twenty-four Lamborghini’s, a mix of mostly 610HP V10 Huracán’s and the 700HP V12 Aventador’s, enjoyed lunch at the base of the Mt. Washington Road and Great Glen Trails after enjoying a thrilling ride to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.
lamborghini, mt washington auto road, tour, mt washington

“Dan Houde/Mt. Washington Auto Road” photo library

The Giro (meaning tour in Italian) offers top clients from Lamborghini a curated luxury experience with spirited driving along some of the most scenic routes across America coupled with the finest dining and relaxation. They are joined by like-minded Lamborghini enthusiasts and members from the Lamborghini executive team. Lamborghini owners come from all over North America and ship their personal cars to join the tour. This year’s excursion included a tour of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, with a stop at America’s first and oldest man-made attraction, the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

David Hill from Arlington, MA, owner of a black-on-black, 2010 Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder joined the Giro tour for the third year with previous visits to Italy, France for the Grande Giro and Sonoma Valley. “I appreciate meeting and talking with owners from around the world, and visiting some absolutely stunning places.” mentioned Hill as he prepared to leave the Auto Road. “Participating in this tour of New England has been amazing and driving the Auto Road and actually being above the clouds was just awesome.”

The group, mostly from North America, had their cars shipped to Cape Elizabeth, Maine where the tour began. From the coast of Maine the Giro proceeded through back roads into New Hampshire via North Conway. After their mid-day stop at the Mt. Washington Auto Road, the group continued onto Stowe, Vermont and will wrap up their tour in Boston with a farewell party.

Scott Lieberman shipped his red Lamborghini Aventador to Boston and flew in from Tyler, Texas for the trip. “I have many ties to New England and I wasn’t about to miss this one.” Said Lieberman. “Watching the brightly-colored cars moving up the Auto Road from a distance actually reminded me of skittles moving along. It’s a day we’ll remember for a very long time.”

The Mt. Washington Auto Road has a long history of hosting car clubs over the years, from electric Teslas to Adventure Truck clubs and even outings such as “MINI’s On Top”, an annual gathering of as many as 250 MINI Coopers which meet at the base of the Auto Road for a BBQ and then head up to the summit for sunset gatherings.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s original and oldest man-made attraction. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road is open daily from 7:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., weather permitting. For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call (603) 446-3988.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

40th Anniversary of Alt Energy Summit!

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH – The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be celebrating the 40th year of the ALT Energy Summit, on Saturday, July 25th, 2015. Free to the public, the ALT Energy Summit is one of the largest gatherings of renewable energy transportation in New England, featuring major manufacturers, electric vehicle enthusiasts, industry suppliers and individual “makers” and inventors as the Auto Road continues as a proving ground and playground for new and evolving technologies.

Alt Energy Summit, mt washington auto road, alternative energy

The list of builders, manufacturers and organizations attending this year’s event may be the most impressive to date with vehicles such as the first-ever, bacon-fueled bio-diesel motorcycle. The Hormel “Driven By Bacon” motorcycle, built to tour the US and promote the launch of it’s new “Black Line” bacon in the Driven by Bacon US tour, is sure to attract a crowd. The bacon bio-diesel bike is reportedly nearly carbon-neutral, meaning it contributes almost zero emissions to the environment. Bike and driver are reportedly planning to summit Mount Washington during their New England tour.

Entropy Racing, a veteran of the Mt Washington Climb to the Clouds race with Tim O’Neill at the wheel, will return for a fascinating account of their experience at Pikes Peak – including their crash and loss of one of three cars in practice. Entropy builds and races the revolutionary Electric Vehicle Sports Racer (EVSR), which has set new standards for affordable, safe and environmentally-friendly racing.

To help celebrate the Summit’s 40 year history, the team has offered a special treat: Entropy will allow people to drive a fully race-prepped electric race car to the summit of Mount Washington (for a fee, and speed-limited to comply with Auto Road regulations) or around the grounds at the base of the Auto Road.  See the Entropy Racing team at day of the event for further details.

Jeff Disinger, Electrafunk Racing’s Electracutioner – Land Speed Record holder and veteran of the electric drag racing scene, will also be present with the bike that set the record, and make a bid for the summit.  Don’t miss this chance to see a world-class electric performance machine in person.

alt energy summit, mt washington auto road, alternative energy

Visitors can watch the parade of vehicles in the Auto Road’s main field, follow them to the summit as they make their bid, or stroll the field and chat with owners and builders once they return. Presentations at 1:00PM and 2:30PM are free and open to all.

“We’re delighted to celebrate forty years of innovation and experimentation in renewable transportation”, remarked Howie Wemyss, GM of the Mt Washington Auto Road. “The event started in the years of the Energy Crisis of the mid ’70s, and what was then considered “alternative” and slightly off-beat, is now mainstream, as can be seen by the Plug-In Electric, Hybrid, and Biodiesel vehicles that come to our event every year. The Mt. Washington Auto Road has seen the evolution of transportation play out on its eight-mile path to the summit. Today, that evolution leads to a future that is 100% renewable.”

Saturday’s schedule begins at 8:00AM with breakfast at the Great Glen base lodge leading up to the Regatta parade preparation, exhibitor and participant setup at 9:00AM. At 10:00AM the pedal-powered vehicles will begin the parade to the summit followed all other vehicles by 11:00AM. By 1:00PM all participants will return back down to the base area from the summit attempt for exhibition, demonstrations and reports from their summit trip.

Saturday at 1:00PM, the “Three Amigos of Electric Motorcycles”, Terry Hershner, Ben Rich and Stéphane Melançon, world record holders and legends in the electric motorcycle community, will give a talk on their tech innovations, work with streamlining, charging and legendary feats of endurance and distance. Also, Troy Rank, Guinness World Record holding e-bike distance rider will be showing off his latest creation, the Maxwell Motorbikes EV0, and regaling the crowd with stories of his world record-setting exploits.

Saturday afternoon at 2:30PM, EVSR’s Charlie Greenhaus and the Entropy Racing team return to the scene of their first world-class hillclimb victory to talk about their recent conquest of Pikes Peak – crashes, hail, sleet and cheers as they placed 3rd and 4th in their class.

Presenting Sponsor, NH Electric Co-op, represented by Gary LeMay, will be on hand to answer NH renewable and sustainable energy questions and show off their plug-in electric Line Truck.

For more information, or to register your own vehicle or exhibit for the “Mt. Washington Auto Road ALT Energy Summit” event at the Mt. Washington Auto Road, visit www.altenergysummit.org, email Event Director Ted Dillard at ted@altenergysummit.com, or call at (978) 621-5178.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Newton’s Revenge July 11, 2015

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. – Same storyline. Different year.

Massachusetts bicycle racing standouts Cameron Cogburn and Marti Shea are once again defending champions in Newton’s Revenge, an arduous 7.6-mile bicycle race up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the 6,288-foot summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.

Cogburn, 29 of Cambridge, and Shea, 52 of Marblehead and a former All American runner out of Boston University, are both undefeated in their Newton’s Revenge trips up the Auto Road.

The challenge now is to keep those perfect records intact in the 10th Newton’s Revenge on Saturday, July 11. The race begins at 8:40 a.m.

Shea and Cogburn both rode to impressive wins in the race last July. For Shea, it was her seventh Newton’s Revenge win and for Cogburn his second.

Newton’s Revenge is the first of two bicycle races up the Mt. Washington Auto Road each summer. The 43rd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, a fundraiser for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H., is set for Saturday, Aug. 15.

The newer race was added to the schedule to accommodate racers who were not able to gain entry to the Hillclimb, which traditionally fills up quickly. The field for both races is capped at about 635 riders. There are still spots available for Newton’s Revenge for this year. Registration and information are available at http://newtonsrevenge.com/

Cogburn and Shea are big fans of the races up the Auto Road and have entered both races again this year. Cogburn, though, says he is riding more for fun than competitively this year and will not make a final decision on whether to race in Newton’s until the days before the event.

Shea has four Hillclimb wins, including last year’s, to her credit. Cogburn won the first two Hillclimbs he entered and finished runnerup to John Kronborg Ebsen of Denmark last year.

“It’s in a league of its own,” Cogburn says of the rugged ride to the top of the mountain and its unpredictable and sometimes nasty weather. “Definitely, there’s nothing like it. It’s basically as pure an athletic race as it gets, I think. . . . I would say it’s the hardest hour, or however long it takes you to go up it, possible. From a racing perspective, it’s perhaps the quintessential climb. It’s so steep and long. If you go over your limit, you can crack.”

Cogburn overcame a tough start to turn in a time of 53 minutes, 12 seconds in his Newton’s Revenge win last year.

He had hoped to take a run at the bicycle race record for the mountain (it’s 49:24 and was set by Tom Danielson of Connecticut in 2002 and can be broken in either race) but those plans were dashed when the chain fell off his bike sprocket in the first mile. Several riders passed him while he fixed his chain and then he gave chase.

Cogburn caught them all and finished 56 seconds ahead of Eric Follen of Sanford, Maine. Cogburn’s best time on the mountain is a 50:48 he posted while winning the 2013 Hillclimb.

Shea, who previously raced out of Manchester, N.H., won last year’s Newton’s Revenge in 1:05:53, more than six minutes ahead of her closest challenger, Silke Wunderwald of Hopkinton, R.I.

Shea won the Hillclimb three straight years from 2010 to 2012 and did not compete in the race in 2013. In her 2012 Hillclimb victory, she put up her best time – and the second best of any woman ever on the mountain, 1:03:14. Jeannie Longo of France holds the women’s record of 58:14, which she set in 2000.

                    ———-

If severe weather makes the course unmanageable on race day for either Newton’s Revenge or the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, the weather postponement date for each race is the next day: Sunday, July 12 for Newton’s Revenge and Sunday, Aug. 16 for the Hillclimb.

The entry fee for Newton’s Revenge is $300, of which a portion supports the activities of the Mt. Washington Valley Bicycling Club.  Riders who are already registered for the Hillclimb may enter Newton’s Revenge for $150.  On-line registration for Newton’s Revenge closes on Thursday, July 9 at 5 p.m. On-site registration is available for last-minute entrants on Friday, July 10, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

                        ———–

Seasoned Mt. Washington veteran Jonah Thompson of Albuquerque, N.M., will be one of the younger entrants in both races this summer. Now 16, Thompson was nine years old the first time he competed in this race. Thompson finished last year’s Newton’s Revenge in 1:09:25, placing 17th overall.

                         —–—-

Bicycle racing began on Mt. Washington in 1973 with the Mount Washington Invitational Hillclimb sanctioned by the Amateur Bicycle League of America. In 2006, responding to the excess demand for entry to the Hillclimb, the Mt. Washington Auto Road company created Newton’s Revenge as an additional bike race on the same course.

In 2007, the Mt. Washington Auto Road management and race organizers were forced to cancel that year’s Newton’s Revenge because of horrible weather.  Fog, severe winds gusting to 72 mph. and temperatures hovering around freezing hammered the mountain on race day morning, and the following day’s weather was just as bad.  Nearly identical conditions the weekend of the Hillclimb that year canceled that race as well. Since then, both races have taken place as scheduled.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge are two of ten events in the Bike Up the Mountain Point Series, familiarly known as B.U.M.P.S. The series includes Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts and Whiteface Mountain in New York State, and other uphill races. For further information see www.hillclimbseries.com.

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Runners, Bikers To Take Mt. Washington Auto Road Tests

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – The historic Mt. Washington Auto Road is ready and open for business, cleared of the massive amounts of snow that buried it during the winter.

The question now: Are the runners and the bicycle riders who attack it each summer – the folks with an “elevation addiction” as one race official likes to call it – ready for their next challenge?

Three athletic contests up the Mt. Washington Auto Road each summer stand as perhaps the Northeast’s most pure and supreme tests of fitness, determination and stamina.

The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, Newton’s Revenge bicycle race and Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb offer a one-a-month smorgasbord of challenges for ever-eager outdoors enthusiasts.

  • The 55th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race is set for Saturday, June 20 at 9 a.m.
  • The 10th Newton’s Revenge is Saturday, July 11 at 8:40 a.m.
  • The 43rd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 8:40 a.m.

The races each travel the all-uphill and grueling 7.6 miles of the Mt. Washington Auto Road – which celebrates its 154th birthday this year and is America’s oldest manmade attraction – from the base of the Auto Road north of Pinkham Notch on Route 16 to the 6,288-foot summit of the mountain. The road rises at an average grade of 12 percent and has a net gain of 4,650 feet.

Each race also challenges the famously unpredictable weather at Mt. Washington. The bike races have a weather postponement date on the day following the scheduled event. Only once in its history, in 2002, has the foot race been shortened because of unsafe weather on the summit.

———

The bulk of the field for the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race is filled rapidly by a lottery each March and is capped at just over 1,300 runners for safety and logistical reasons. The race features some of the best mountain runners in the country and world as well as invited and elite runners who participate in endurance and other types of events.

Jonathan Wyatt of Wellington, New Zealand, and Ethiopian Shewarge Amare own the open records for the Road Race. Wyatt set the men’s record of 56 minutes and 41 seconds in 2004. Amare established the women’s standard of 1:08:20.4 in 2010.

The men’s and women’s winner each earn $1,500 and there are various other cash awards in the race. Setting the male or female record for the race pays $5,000.

More information on the race is available at http://mountwashingtonroadrace.com/.

———

The runners and bikers who challenge the mountain are proud owners of an “elevation addiction,” says Jotham Oliver, spokesperson for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center. Many of them come back year after year in an attempt to cure, or more accurately satisfy, their ailment.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the major fundraiser for Tin Mountain, located in Albany, N.H, and an educational non-profit organization that offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the working of the natural world. Most of the $350 entry fee for the Hillclimb goes to support environmental programs through Tin Mountain. The cost of registration is tax deductible and some costs may be offset by fundraising.

Newton’s Revenge was added to the list of athletic events on the Auto Road in 2006 to accommodate the bicyclists who were not able to get into the Bicycle Hillclimb. The fee for Newton’s Revenge is $300. Riders who are entered in the Hillclimb may register for Newton’s Revenge for the discounted rate of $150.

There are still spots remaining in the field for each of this summer’s bike races.

The course records for both males and females are more than a decade old. The record may be set in either the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb or Newton’s Revenge. Tom Danielson set the men’s record of 49:24 in 2002 and French cyclist Jeannie Longo owns the women’s mark of 58:14, established in 2000.

The female and male winners of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge also are awarded $1,500. The bike races, too, pay $5,000 to a male or female who breaks the course record.

New this year for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the Cadence Wealth Management $750 Prime. Cadence Wealth Management will award $750 to the first male and female rider who reaches the one-mile mark of the race as long as the rider finishes the race in less than an hour and 30 minutes.

Registrations and more information on the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is available at http://www.mwarbh.org/ and on Newton’s Revenge at http://newtonsrevenge.com/.

Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mt. Washington Auto Road Opens to Summit for 154th Season

Pinkham Notch, NH  The Mt. Washington Auto Road has officially opened to the summit as of May 14 for its 154th season. The 7.6-mile, privately-owned Auto Road will be open for guided tours, as well as for guests to drive themselves by car, light truck or motorcycle (weather permitting).

mt washington auto road, mt washington, summit, drive yourself

Despite near record snowfall and colder than average temperatures this winter and spring, the Auto Road Road crew has moved swiftly from the base of the Road to the summit removing ice and snow drifts of over 20 feet in places. As recently as fifty years ago, it was considered a success if the Mt. Washington Auto Road was open to the summit by Independence Day. Updates as well as photos and video showing the intricate process of clearing the Auto Road are available at www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com.

The May 14 base-to-summit opening takes place more than a week earlier than the Memorial Day weekend opening of 2015. “We never really know what Mt. Washington will throw at us in the way of weather as we try to reach the summit every spring,” said Howie Wemyss, General Manager. “In spite of the heavy snow this winter and a cold lingering spring on the mountain, our very experienced crew has done an admirable job getting us open for the season. We’re excited to be offering this incredible experience to the public this early.”

Regular pricing for the Auto Road is set at $28 for car and driver and each additional passenger is $8. Kids ages 5-12 are just $6 while children under 5 are free. Season passes for the 2015 season are available for $150 per person providing unlimited access to the Auto Road for the passholder, vehicle and all occupants. The season pass also includes admission to the new-in-2014 Mt. Washington Observatory Museum “Extreme Mount Washington” at the summit as well to all three sunrise drives on June 21, July 26 and August30.

Guided tours are also available on the Auto Road. Guided tours offer a unique opportunity to learn the true nature and history of Mt. Washington and the Auto Road. Two-hour guided tours are available without reservation from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM (8:30 AM until 4:00 PM after Sept 27), weather permitting. Two-hour Guided Tours offer a full hour on the summit. Reservations can be made online for early morning trips leaving at 9:00 AM and 9:45 AM. Pricing for two-hour guided tours are $35 for adults while children ages 5-12 are $15 and under 5 are free. Seniors (62+) and military are $30.

New in 2015, three-hour extended guided tours have been added and are available by advance reservation to explore additional areas of the Auto Road as well as the summit. Pricing for extended guided tours are $60 per adult or child with discounts available for more than 3 in a group.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road also offers a hiker shuttle service from the top of Mt. Washington back to the AMC Pinkham Notch Camp, the Great Gulf Trailhead and the base of the Auto Road as well as one-way up trips for those hiking down. One-way up or down hiker shuttle rates are available at $30 per person.

Memorial Day weekend will mark the opening of the The Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum, adjacent to the main lodge at the base of the Auto Road. In addition to objects and memorabilia from the Auto Road’s history, you can see some of the vehicles that once made the 8-mile journey to the summit including an original 1870’s Abbot-Downing Concord Coach, a 12 passenger Mountain Wagon, a 1918 Pierce-Arrow from the fleet of the 20’s, a 1938 Ford Woodie Station Wagon and a 1963 International Travelall. Admission to the museum is free of charge.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s first oldest man-made attraction. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be open daily, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for private vehicles and 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., weather permitting for guided tours. Extended hours will become available beginning on May 23 (Memorial Day weekend). For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call 603.446.3988.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb – August 15, 2015

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – Up for a mighty mountain challenge? Ready to tackle the bicycling Beast of the East?

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is looking for a few good bicyclists willing to take on the grueling 7.6-mile journey to the 6,288-foot summit of the highest peak in the Northeast. Weather conditions to be determined.

Actually the weather may have already played a bit of a role in this year’s race. The field for the Hillclimb did not fill as quickly as usual, likely at least in part to a snowy and extended winter that wreaked havoc with the training regimen of many bicyclists. The good news is an opportunity has been created for people to jump into the popular race now.

A limited number of openings remain for the 43rd edition of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hillclimb, which is set for Saturday, Aug. 15. The field is capped at just over 600 riders. Limits on the number of riders are necessary to allow road crews and race officials to monitor the safety of all participants and also by the number of vehicles that can be parked at the summit to bring bicyclists back down from the peak after the race.

An exciting new addition to the Hillclimb this year is a race within the race: The Cadence Wealth Management $750 prime will present that amount to the first male and female rider reaching the one-mile mark of the race, as long as the rider finishes the race in less than an hour and 30 minutes. The top male and female finisher in the race each earns a $1,500 prize and a $5,000 is awarded to a racer setting a new course record.

The Hillclimb is the oldest of two bicycle races up the Mt. Washington Auto Road each summer.

Newton’s Revenge, scheduled for July 11 this year, was created in 2006 to meet the demand of racers who were unable to get into the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb.

Both races attract a topnotch field of amateur and professional riders, cover the same 7.6-mile route, have an associated practice ride (the cost of which is included in the respective registration) and are the exclusive opportunities to climb the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road via bicycle.  The Newton’s Revenge practice ride is scheduled for June 14, and the Hillclimb practice ride is scheduled for July 19.

John Kronborg Ebsen of Denmark beat two-time defending champion Cameron Cogburn of Cambridge, Mass., to win his first Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in his initial look at the course last year. Ebsen finished in a time of 52 minutes and 53 seconds, almost a minute in front of Cogburn’s 53:50. The first nine racers finished in under an hour.

Marti Shea of Marblehead, Mass., turned in a time of 1:06:01 to win a record fourth women’s title in 2014. Silke Wunderwald of Hopkinton, R.I., was second in 1:13:55 and Stefanie Sydlik of Cambridge, Mass., was third in 1:16:39.

The men’s and women’s records for the 7.6-mile trek up the hill – which can be set in either the Hillclimb or Newton’s Revenge – belongs to Tom Danielson and Jeannie Longo. Danielson, the top American in the Tour de France in 2011, set the overall mark at 49 minutes 24 seconds in 2002. Longo, the legendary French racer, established the women’s record of 58:14 in 2000.

Riders may register for this year’s Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb at https://www.bikereg.com/mwarhc. Registration is open for Newton’s Revenge at http://newtonsrevenge.com/race-details/registration/. More information on the Hillclimb, Newton’s Revenge or any of the other myriad events scheduled for the upcoming season at the Mt. Washington Auto Road is available at http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/events/.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the primary annual fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, an educational non-profit organization in Albany, N.H. Tin Mountain offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the working of the natural world. Most of the $350 entry fee for the race goes to support environmental programs through Tin Mountain. The rest covers the cost of substantial logistical support, commemorative shirt and other expenses associated with staging the event. Most of the cost of registration is tax deductible and some costs may be offset by fundraising. More information is available at www.tinmtn.org.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road begins at the base of the mountain on Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch and climbs to the 6288-foot summit at an average grade of 12 percent and a net altitude gain of 4650 feet.  The riders battle not only each other but the sheer force of gravity and Mt. Washington’s famously severe winds and unpredictable weather conditions

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Mt. Washington Auto Road Opens to Treeline for 154th Season!

Pinkham Notch, N– The Mt. Washington Auto Road will open for its 154th season on Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00am for guests to drive their own vehicles to treeline at 4,200 feet. The 4.5 mile drive to treeline provides stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks and offers a true taste of the Mt. Washington experience. Reminder vehicles CANNOT be left unattended in this parking lot, hiking from here to ski is not permitted.

Mt washington auto road, spring clearing, treeline, drive yourself

Despite near record snowfall and colder than average temperatures this winter and spring, the Road crew has moved swiftly from the base of the Road to the 6-mile point removing ice and snow drifts of over 20 feet in places. Because of these snow levels, operations to the summit are not yet possible. Updates as well as photos and video showing the intricate process of clearing the Auto Road are available at  www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com.

Mt washington auto road, spring clearing, snow

The May 2nd opening is the earliest the Auto Road has opened, even to treeline, in 10 years. “Lead by 40-year veteran Road Foreman, John Gardner, along with the rest of a very experienced road crew, we’ve been moving quickly in spite of the snow depths and cold spring weather,” said Howie Wemyss, General Manager. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this Mt Washington experience so early in the season.”

As recently as fifty years ago, it was considered a success if the Mt. Washington Auto Road was open to the summit by Independence Day, but weather permitting, the Mt. Washington Auto Road hopes to open to the summit before Memorial Day weekend. Guided tours will also be offered at that time.

Early season pricing, in effect until Auto Road opens to the summit, is set at $28 for car and driver while passengers are free. Season passes are available for $150 per person and valid through the 2015 season during regular operating hours and allows access for the vehicle and all occupants.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is the first and oldest man-made attraction in America. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be open daily during this early season from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., weather permitting. For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com or call 603.446.3988.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment