Date: Aug 21, 2021
Location: New Hampshire, Sargent’s Purchase
Direction: Get Direction
Mt Washington Hill Climb
August 21, 2021 will be the 48th running of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hill Climb which benefits the Tin Mountain Conservation Center. The “Auto” reference relates to the events association with the auto race that goes by the same name. Lest there be any doubt, they run on different dates and the cycling hill climb is all about peddle power. The event organizers bill the event as the hardest hill climb in the world. Whether or not that is true, at 7.6 miles and +4500 feet of elevation gain, it’s a beast of a climb. The average course gradient is 12% with extended sections of 18% and 22% at the very top.
Although the event is technically a race, it is open to anyone who feels they can do the climb. Naturally it takes solid preparation (there is a practice ride available on July 19) and a climbing (low) gear ratio is strongly recommended. You also need to keep a careful eye on the weather. Mt. Washington is known for some of the worst weather on earth and has the world record for non-tornadic winds speed at 231 MPH. August 16 is make-up day for the race in the event there is a weather problem on the 15th.
This event is very special for several other reasons. First, because it’s a private road, there are only a handful of times a year bicycles are allowed on the private Mt. Washington Auto Road. Second, the post race meal is a full Thanksgiving Turkey feast. Third, you can’t ride your bike down Mt Washington and must arrange for ride in, fittingly, in an auto! Finally, the surrounding Mt. Washington area is quintessential New Hampshire and along with the event festivities makes for a very unique, albeit challenging, weekend.