Cresting Rt 100 near Mt. Snow after 11.5 miles of climbing, 1,740' elevation gain, 180 miles into the ride.

See Vermont in a Day!

The 8th running of the "real" 100/200

The 100/200 has returned as a group ride!
Click here for more information!

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It took two years to talk Jeanne into sagging another 100/200 for me, but we pulled it off and had the best run ever. I had planned to break with tradition and do the ride from south to north this time. A week out, the weather reports seemed to be favorable for this. I reserved a motel room (actually a cabin) in Massachusetts near the end of Route 100 for Saturday night, the 23rd. The plan was to drive down Saturday and do the ride in reverse, ending up at the Canadian border in North Troy. By Thursday afternoon the forecast had changed, with thunderstorms and light rain in the mix. The outlook for Saturday was much more favorable, so we made a last-minute decision to ride the traditional north to south direction.

We set the alarm for 2:30 AM and made the border for a 5:30 start. That's about an hour later than I wanted to get going; 4:30 AM is about the earliest you can start riding near the summer solstice and have enough light to see the road without a lighting system; but it was well within the acceptable time frame for starting this ride. The breeze was already starting to kick up primarily as a tailwind, and the temperature was in the low 50s.

The favorable breeze helped me keep up a good pace. It was cooler than normal all day and I never switched to a short-sleeved jersey. The sun was in and out of the clouds most of the day and it felt good when it was shining, yet I seldom felt chilled and then it was usually just after a stop or starting a descent from a cool mountain top.

I was able to maintain an average speed of 18 MPH for 170 miles, until I hit the climb up Mt. Snow. My average for the entire 212 mile ride was 17.35 MPH, for a total ride time of 12:21. The fastest speed I reached was 49 MPH down Rt 4 out of Killington. Typically, it's the descent down the south side of Terrible Mountain that takes the honors, but the wind really buffeted me there and slowed me down at least 5 MPH.


Rt 101 south of North Troy

Jeanne strongly hinted at the intelligence of taking the traditional route into Brattleboro along Rt 30, but I opted to follow the original "true" 100/200 route, continuing down Rt 100 at East Jamaica, heading up the 11 1/2 mile climb up Mt. Snow. This is by far the worse climb of the ride, with a long, gradual pull for a number of miles, getting gradually steeper until the final pull at the end. Still, I felt really strong at the top and it's a great feeling knowing that the worse part of the ride is done.

I have always wanted to do the entire length of Rt 100, but there are a few problems with this. It wouldn't have been possible at any rate, as Rt 100 between Moretown and Waterbury was all ripped up for reconstruction, forcing a detour unto the more scenic and easier 100B through Middlesex. There's also the fact that you have to go out of your way to pick up the north end of Rt 100, since Rt 101 is a more direct route to the border. Then there's the "dog-leg" at the southern end, with Rt 100 swerving northwest after approaching the border at Readsboro, returning to the Mass. border 13 miles later. Perhaps someday I'll do the entire length, but we were ready to make that sweet downhill run to the border at Readsboro.

From the finish it was only a short skip down to the motel, with just a quick stop to see the east end of the historic Hoosic Tunnel. I had reserved a cabin at the Whitcomb Summit Motel because they allow dogs at no extra charge. They like to call the cabins "rustic" and "a step up from camping." As it turned out, the only real downside was that the cabin had no heat. It was fine when we got there, but a tad chilly in the morning. In spite of the peeling paint, the cabin was roomy, clean and tidy and had a great shower. Our host told us a great story about how the cabin had been dragged by horses from the Hairpin Turn on the Mohawk Trail several miles away where it had served as a gift shop because, with the mechanical brakes of the time, too many 1920s vintage cars had run into it.

Here are some photos from the ride and tips for the route if you decide to do it yourself. We liked being able to take a leisurely return trip home the next day and it was especially fun to run into our friend Philip Galiga on the way back. He was leading a POMG bicycle tour doing the same route, but taking a much more sane two days for the trip.


Looking fresh at the North Troy border crossing.
The camera makes it seem lighter than it was.


Typical bucolic scene on Rt 100, south of Troy. Those are cows, of course.


This barn north of Lowell has been disintegrating for as long as I can recall, but it's still standing.

An attractive remodeled barn in North Hyde Park

Looking east, north of Hyde Park

Mt Mansfield, summit in the morning clouds,
north of Hyde Park

Dropping down to the intersection with Rt 15.

Here's a shortcut to avoid Morrisville traffic. Continue across 15 onto Church St. Turn left at the end and take the second right onto Cady Falls Rd., which will take you across the narrowest bridge in Vermont. At the end, take a left back to Rt 100, or you can pick up hilly Stagecoach Rd a little earlier and rejoin Rt 100 near Stowe, avoiding some traffic.

Rt 100B detour. Some people prefer this slightly longer route, as it is scenic, low-traffic, and avoids the Duxbury climb.

Looking down into the Mad River at Moretown

Mad River valley, north of Waitsfield

Time to repaint the roof of this barn, south of Granville


Easy climb up Granville Gulf


Jeanne & Kelli at the Granville Gulf falls. I wouldn't have been able to do this ride without Jeanne's support.


Descending Granville Gulf

Lovely farm just south of Pittsfield at the Giorgetti
covered bridge. For some reason, this bridge does
not appear on road maps.

Amherst Lake, north of Tyson

One of the 31 other riders I passed on the road over the course of 212 miles. Vermont has a lot of cyclists during
the warmer months and I would have expected to see
more riders, but I suspect the wind kept most indoors
or doing other things.

When you see this railroad bridge in Ludlow,
you know the climb up Terrible Mountain is about to begin

Terrible Mountain comes at the 140 mile mark and can be a bugger if you are not in good shape.

A classic New England church in Weston. Be sure to stop at the Vermont Country Store while you are in town.

Here's another shortcut you might want to take. Almost at the 200 mile mark, take the Wilmington Cross Rd (sign may say cut-off) before Jacksonville. This will save you a steep climb out of town. The only problem is you'll miss watching your mileage turn 200 while descending at the 40 MPH speed limit. What a rush!

The Deerfield River at Readsboro drains the Harriman Reservoir. The left turn after the bridge is Tunnel Road, named for the Hoosic RR tunnel. This route avoids the Route 100 dogleg, and allows you to scoot down an easy shortcut to the border if you're dog-tired.


It might be worth your while to take the Dam Rd to view the drain for Harriman Reservoir. Photo from Google Earth.


This funky sign next to the Sherman Reservoir marks the end of the ride! You can also tell because Massachusetts paves the road to Vermont much better than Vermont paves the road to Massachusetts.


The Hoosic Tunnel is almost 5 miles long. Originally proposed in 1819, construction started in 1851 and wasn't completed until 1876. Many engineering hurdles needed to be overcome and new tunneling techniques were developed including pneumatic drilling and the replacement of black powder blasting with nitroglycerin set off with blasting caps. 195 workers died as a result of tunnel construction accidents, but these brave men performed work so accurately that less than an inch difference was found when the opposite ends met. More information on Massachusetts' original Big Dig may be found at http://www.hoosictunnel.net

The elevation graph shows the major climbs.
The entire route map can be viewed at http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/100-200-2007-Route.
Most people choose to avoid the Mt Snow climb by following the West River down to Brattleboro on Rte. 30,
crossing the Mass. border on Rte. 5 or Rte. 142.


More information about the 100/200 and a description of my 2005 ride may be found here.

Questions and comments may be directed to

Created June 25, 2007