To close out the 2013 Climbing Series where else would we be but the Catoctin Mountain range. It'll be a long day in the saddle as we cover 70 miles and over 7,500 feet of climbing, including 5 primary climbs and few wee bumps (but hey no Coxey Brown).
This time we start at Thurmont Park, in Thurmont, MD, about 20 min north of Frederick. This is the same start location as the Civil War Century. There will be two full rest stops @ miles 42 and 54 as well as a water/restroom stop at the park visitor center @ mile 15-16 (if needed)
While not mandatory it is highly recommended that if you attend this ride that you have previously attended one of my longer Climbing Series rides (so you know exactly what you are signing up for). This ride is not for the flatlanders but rather for the person that likes to climb, and climb, and climb....
Please note that due to the amount of climbing & distance this ride will naturally split apart. While some regrouping may occur at the rest stops, I typically want to spend no more then 10-15 min at the rest stops, so full regrouping is not a given. Hopefully everyone will be able to keep in smaller groups but if you plan on riding you must be comfortable riding alone (i.e. self sufficient) as most areas are very rural with limited/no cell phone service.
General Ride description
we will be up and down all day long as there is rarely a flat road along the route. The most flat is probably the 5.5 mile warm up from the start before the first climb of the day at mile 5.5 (please note on warm up there is a 1/2 mile stretch on Route 15, take caution crossing Rt 15 and stay on the wide shoulder).
Climb 1 - Catoctin Hollow Road - Start @ mi 5.5 - 5.4 miles, 1,276 ft climbing, 4.6% avg grade (deceiving due to a couple quick downhill/flat sections) - a few quite steep sections, easily in mid to high teens grade
A nice long descent follows before
Rest stop 1 at Visitor Center at entrance to Park Center Road - Water & Restroom only. Then its back to climbing
Climb 2 - Park Center Road @ mile 15.5 - 2.8 miles, 934 ft, 6.3% avg grade,
this is followed by another nice long descent on Foxville Deerfield Rd (take note because we will be going up it later in the day)
then comes our first wee bump of Elyers Valley Rd @ mile 25 - 1.4 miles, 351 ft, 4.7% avg grade
and another wee bump @ mi 28 - .9 miles, 205 ft, 4.3% avg grade; then
Climb 3 - gradual Sabillasville/Fort Ritchie climb to Raven Rock - start @ mi 30 - 4.3 miles, 718 ft, 3.2% avg grade -some gradual areas & some kick up areas including Fort Ritchie Rd (Ft Ritchie Rd section is about 1 mi and avg 7.3%), hey, we've gone down Fort Ritchie Road so many times, eventually we had to climb it, right?
another wee bump on Ritchie Rd @ mi 35.5 - .5 miles, 210 ft, 8.0% avg grade; then
the 6 mile descent down Raven Rock, what? going down Raven Rock, that's unheard of, and into our favorite rest stop - the Dollar Store at mile around mile 42.
then its straight back to climbing. Since we enjoyed it so much early in the season, its a repeat appearance of
Climb 4 - Wolfsville in reverse @ mile 42.5 - 2.1 miles, 655 ft, 5.9% avg grade
Then onto a wee bump along Pleasant Valley @ mile 45.5 - 1.3 miles, 250 ft, 3.6% avg grade
some call it a climb but its only a mile or so in the Catoctin rides its only a WEE BUMP of HELLS DELIGHT @ mile 49 - 1.0 miles, 425 ft, 8% avg grade (eventually you knew I'd add it)
we stay on the ridge line for a few miles, including back onto the top of Raven Rock, before we hit the last rest stop at around mile 53.7.
from there its a couple mile descent down to
the last long climb Climb 5 begins at mile 58.5 - Foxville/Deerfield & Park Central - 5 miles, 896 ft, 3.4% avg grade
Then its all down hill from mile 64 to the end, including a great fast 2.5 mile sweeping descent down Park Central to the visitor Center.
Total distance:approx 70 miles
Total elevation climbed: approx 7,500 feet
Pace: Medium: 14ish avg mph (including CLIMBING, not avg mph on a flat course) Category B/B+ ride
Terrain: hills, hills, and more hills - lots of up, lots of down
Start/Finish: Thurmont Community Park, Thurmont, MD - carpooling recommended. Closest metro is Branch Avenue off I-270 for those that want to co-ordinate carpooling from metro
Highlights: Catoctin Mountain range, from many different vantage points, Camp David (at least via cycle by, secret service/police don't like it when you stop to take photos)
Word of caution - while climbing is difficult, there is more risk descending so you should be comfortable descending at speed. There will be long descents, with traffic, some road will be narrow and/or with some technical cornering involved. Know your skill and comfort level when descending.
The route/cue sheet can be viewed at the link below (subject to change):
I will have cue sheets available but it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the ride route prior to the ride as the group will split up.
- HELMETS ARE REQUIRED FOR PARTICIPATION
- WAIVERS WILL NEED TO BE SIGNED AT THE RIDE START - NO WAIVER - NO RIDE
ID, spare tube, tools to repair flats, are required (you should be able to change you own tires).
- Snacks and liquids can be purchased at the rest stops.
- The event will be cancelled/postponed if it rains.
- Email me if you have any questions