Very Special Ride: Highpoint Two-Day Ride
The Highpoint Ride does just that – brings us to the highest point in Massachusetts, and back down again.
This ride is so beautiful that we’re offering four distance options – so no one is left out. Each route is very challenging for different reasons, and each ride has Greylock’s peak as its midpoint. All Highpoint cyclists are riding to the top of Greylock on Saturday before sunset – regardless of which distance you choose.
Ridden over two days, the four distances are:
- Option 1: The Thermopylae Triple Century. This ride departs from the Ride Studio Cafe on Saturday morning – after a few kick starter espressos – and rolls beautifully through some of the most memorable roads you’ll ever see.
- Option 2: The Double Over Century. Two hundred miles is quite an achievement; a distance about which most of us only dream. With a good night’s rest at the midpoint, maybe now is the time to add this two-day-double-century to your list of ride accomplishments.
- Option 3: The Two-Times a Metric Century: This challenging and unique two hundred kilometer route promises Greylock’s gift of exceptional multiple views. And the company of tongue dragging cyclists.
- Option 4: The Climbingest Century. With 100-miles of amazing roads, this ride lovingly provides you the most climbing per mile of the four ride options. This may well be the most rewarding century you’ll ever ride. And you’ll get the prize of a sunset on Greylock.
When Is This Event? June 29-30, Saturday and Sunday.
For those doing the full 300+ miles, first rollout is at 4am. We’re all arriving at Greylock before sunset. We’ll all be back home by sunset on Sunday evening. A complete schedule for start times at the remote starting locations will be published well in advance of the ride.
Why Do This?
Massachusetts is a beautiful place to ride, and the Highpoint route explores some of that beauty we don’t typically see; and it all culminates at the top of Mount Greylock – the highest point in Massachusetts. At the top we’ll watch the sunset before we have a special private dinner at the Greylock’s Bascom Lodge. And then we’ll sleep really well. On Sunday morning we watch the sunrise from Greylock and then ride back to the Ride Studio Cafe. The Highpoint Project gives you a rare opportunity to push yourself – to ride further, to ride challenging terrain – all while having a very good safety net of a fully-supported tour. We have one vehicle for every 15 riders so you’ll never be too far from a Highpoint van.
Why Mount Greylock?
Here are a few fun facts about The Greylock:
- Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts at 3,489 feet, or 1,063 meters.
- The Highpoint climb provides about 2,700 feet of continuous climbing from the river valley to the mountain’s peak.
- Greylock is the only “Hors Categorie” climb in Massachusetts – by Strava’s standards. This means that the climb is “beyond categorization” because it’s so difficult!
- Greylock offers the longest climb in Massachusetts at 9.4 miles with an average grade of 5.9 percent.
- Greylock provides a maximum grade of more than 22 percent.
- Greylock is known for its memorable views of five states.
The Studio is providing all the food you could possibly want. Most of the food is organic and will be handmade the day before. Of course we’ll have the usual bike rider fare, too.
Think Sul Posto x 4!
We’ve planned sixteen rest stops where we’ll be providing food and drinks. Expect breakfast, lunch, and dinner, along with endless snacks at about every 15-20 miles. We will have food planned for all dietary restrictions. The menu will be provided to all participants in advance.
Lodging We have three lodging options:
- Bascom Lodge at the top of Greylock. This is a beautiful rustic lodge with limited space. Pictured here. The Studio has reserved the entire lodge we’ll have it all to ourselves. Bunk beds and a few private rooms with a few queen-sized beds are provided at Bascom. You may also sleep in your sleeping bag on the lodge’s covered porch.
- Camping near the top of Greylock. For those that want to commune more closely with nature, and have a quieter evening, there is camp ground space not far from the Greylock summit. You have to provide your own tent, but we will drive your equipment as close as vehicles can get. (A 1.3 mile hike to the site is necessary.)
- Hotels rooms at the base of Greylock. For those who want privacy, endless hot showers, and a bit of luxury, we’ve reserved rooms at two excellent hotels new Greylock. We will transport you by van to the hotel on Saturday night after dinner at the lodge, and then we’ll pick you up before dawn and bring you to Greylock’s peak to watch the sunrise. There is an upcharge for hotel rooms; let us know if you’re interested. It is certainly encouraged to have non-riding family members or friends drive out and meet up with you. We are happy to accommodate a variety of situations.
Accommodation preferences are based on sign up order; first to register (and pay) get first choice of lodging.
Remote Starting Locations
More information about exact parking areas for the remote starts along the route will be available well before the ride. If you are starting at a remote location, we will tell you where to park your car and when your ride will begin. (Only the riders starting at RSC have a 4am start.) Luggage for all riders will be driven to Bascom Lodge so your things will be waiting for you when you arrive at the lodge. The details surrounding the remote starts and luggage handling will be announced once the route is finalized.
It is very important to be realistic in your riding abilities when choosing which distance to ride. This is a difficult route that is constantly going up or down and it will feel like there is a lot more up than down, especially on Saturday.
Riders are required to maintain at least a 12 mph average in order to finish in time for sunset. The 12 mph includes stopping time. If a rider falls behind the last support vehicle (which will be driving to maintain this 12 mph average), the rider will be expected to sag the rest of that day. There will be plenty of opportunities to stop for food, bathrooms and to snap photos if you choose. The time, however, can add up quickly making for rushed stops. In considering your pace, don’t forget the chance of mechanicals and how much slower it is to ride uphill than on terrain we usually find in the greater Boston area. You won’t want to stop for too long. Stopping often for short periods is better than a few long breaks.
The Ride Studio Cafe is hosting a training series for anyone that wants to ease into 300 miles of cycling. Each ride also covers rider safety, good cycling behavior, and proper etiquette. In order to join the Highpoint ride you agree to participate in at least one of these scheduled rides – and whatever ride is required for the Highpoint distance you’d like to complete. The training ride schedule is:
Saturday, June 1 – Done!
- Matt Nunnelly, RSC Racer, is leading an 87-mile ride to Hollis, NH that’s leaving at 8:50 (Matt, note the 10-minute time change). The pace will be a steady 17mph (this is fairly fast considering the terrain and distance). This is a drop ride. Bring money for lunch in Hollis. http://ridewithgps.com/routes/
- A shorter 67-mile ride that’s not quite as quick is leaving at 9am. Ride Studio Cafe racers and club members will lead, but don’t worry about getting dropped from this one so long as you can maintain a 15 mph average pace: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/
2602899 (There will be a sweeper, no drop.)
Sunday, June 2 – Done!
- Ready for a century? We’re not so that’s why we are attempting one Sunday with the destination being Hollis, NH: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/
2602822 Led by Patria of RSC, it will be a rolling average of 15mph and we’ll stop in Hollis for food. Ride departs at 8:30am. Bring 2 spare tubes, extra CO2 cartridges and more food than you’d typically ride with. Two large water bottles are a requirement.
- June 8, Saturday: Ride will be happening on June 9, instead, to avoid the rain.
- June 9, Sunday: 7am start (RSC opens specially for riders at 6:30) - 120 mile training ride. The route is called Redemption Rock, it’s a 125 mile challenging spin around Mt Wachusett. Total elevation gain is 8,900 feet. There will be two speed groups – 15mph average led by Pamela Blalock and a quicker group, speed TBD. Take a look and notice the food and water stops: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2643904
- June 15, Saturday:
- Distance 91 miles, 5000 feet of climbing. Ride leaves from RSC at 7am, we will open early at 6:30 for riders. Route: LostLake_Hrvrd_91. Pace of the leader: 15-16mph, but there will be faster people going out if you want to keep pace with them. If you’re not up for the whole thing, the Harvard General Store is at mile 43 and an easy return to the Studio is 20 miles long from there. The leader will be doing the full 91, however. (Ask us for the short return route.)
- June 22nd, Sunday: Highpoint extra special training ride: 52 miles of paceline training, rider safety training, good cycling behavior, and proper etiquette. This is highly recommended training for cyclists at all levels to learn to ride faster, safer and smoother.
On all of these rides, expect to learn more about skills essential to making this ride more fun. Included will be paceline training, rider safety training, good cycling behavior, and proper etiquette. The June 22nd ride is led by Richard Fries and this will be the most in-depth rider training ride. Requirements for All Participants
- Your Bike is Safe: Your road bike passes the Ride Studio Cafe’s safety check – and is tuned up by RSC. This is a free service to all Highpoint registrants.
- You wear a helmet: You must wear your helmet at all times you are on your bike.
- Use a Garmin Computer: You own a Garmin 200 or higher.
- Know How to Use a Garmin: If you’re new to Garmin the Studio is providing a training class. This class is free to all Highpoint registrants.
- Know How to Read a Cue Sheet: The Studio has a document for this.
- Know What Safe Riding Entails: Participation in at least one of RSC’s Highpoint training rides. These rides are free.
- Agree to Ride Safely: Sign the Ride Studio Cafe Liability Waiver (included in the online registration form).
- Complete the Highpoint pre-ride questionnaire (included in the online registration form).
- Be Prepared: Bring to the ride all the equipment specified in the Equipment section.
- Capable of Completing the Ride: You have completed a 100-mile ride this season. You must have a GPS or RUSA record of the ride. If you haven’t ridden a century yet there are many ways to accomplish this before June 29:
- The Studio is hosting a 100-mile ride on June 2.
- You can join other organized century ride or ride a solo century if you prefer.
- Capable of averaging 12-Miles per Hour for 13-Hours: This includes rest stops. If can’t do this you will be in the van because we don’t want any cyclists riding unsupported or in the dark in the Greylock area. If the last van passes you at any point, the van will pick you up. This van will be maintaining a 12-mile per hour average speed.
Requirements for 200- and 300-Mile Participants You have completed a ride 1/2 of the total distance of your Highpoint ride total this season or hilly 150 miles – rather than the 100 mile ride described above. You must have a GPS or RUSA record of the ride. If you haven’t ridden one yet there are many ways to accomplish this before June 29:
- The Studio is hosting long rides on June 8 & June 15.
- You can join other organized rides of around 150-miles, one example is
- June 15, Saturday: Brewery to Brewery Ride
- Ride a solo 150-160 miles if you prefer.
Price: $345. Club Member Price: $295
This price includes:
- Comprehensive Rider Support: from 4am on Saturday morning through Sunday at 10pm. We have multiple vans along the route; you’ll never be farther than thirty-minutes away from a van, good food, and technical support. We also have backup bikes, wheels, and all things bike related so we can assure that your bike won’t stop you from riding.
- Lodging: Saturday evening lodging either at Greylock’s Bascom Lodge, at their campsite, or at a hotel at the base of Greylock. Lodging space is determined by those that sign up first; they get lodging preference.
- All Food and Drink, including:
- Private dinner on Saturday evening at Bascom Lodge
- All food along the route on Saturday and Sunday, including breakfast, lunch, and any snack you could possibly want
- Highpoint T-Shirt: A limited edition US made organic t-shirt with a very special design.
- Highpoint Waterbottles: You get two 26-ounce BPA-free commemorative bottles.
- Bike Tune-Up and Safety Check certification by Ride Studio Cafe.
- Garmin Training: A computer training class designed specifically for the Highpoint ride. (Date tba.)
- Rider Training: RSC is providing a ride series to help cyclists train for 300 miles, along with helping improve rider safety and etiquette.
- Commemorative Cue Sheets: RSC laminated sheets for the entire ride and all the great stops along the way.
- Optional custom Highpoint Rapha jersey: We’ve designed a really cool Highpoint jersey with Rapha. This is a one-time design that’s available only to Highpoint participants. Prices and details available here soon.
Sign Up Deadline We’re offering only sixty spaces for Highpoint. We’re expecting to sell out very quickly. Reserve your space today! Payment is due at the time of registration to reserve your spot. Cash payment at the Studio is acceptable during bike shop hours, but your space won’t be reserved until payment is received.
The Equipment List is extensive & a printable version will be posted here by the end of this weekend. The good news is that most of everything you bring will ride in one of our support vehicles. The list contains suggested and required items so you have a good ride. Feel free to bring other personal necessities that we haven’t included. What’s most important for you to know at this time is that we are requiring use of a Garmin GPS so everyone stays on course (this is critical for full support and there isn’t a lot of extra time in the day to spend navigating).
Other special equipment that is on the list that you may not have is the proper gearing on your bike. Our Endurance Team who regularly completes very long rides and races on difficult terrain such as this route all ride a small 34-tooth front chainring and biggest cog in the rear cassette has 32 teeth. Gearing much higher than this will make the ride much less pleasant.
We can’t emphasize enough how challenging this route is and anyone who attempts the 160 mile ride really needs to be ready for the difficulty. We want everyone to have a great ride and will sag riders who fall behind, but that would be too bad to have to be in a van during the
Where it comes to tires, nothing skinner than a 23 should be on the road and we advise wider than that for fewer flats and a more comfortable ride.
Contact the Ride Studio Cafe by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Phone: 339-970-0187
After reading all of this through, hopefully you are as excited as we are about going on this adventure.
We look forward to enjoying this weekend at the end of June with you.