Tour of the Catskills

This years edition of the Tour of the Catskills marks the 14th annual running.  A compelling regional event for anyone living the greater tri-state area.  As the event name implies, the ride represents a beautiful and challenging tour through the Catskills mountain range of Southeastern New York.  The event is characterized as a Pro-Am because professionals and amateurs take part.   The main route at 75 miles and +5,622 doesn’t look terribly imposing on first glance, however make special note of the Devil’s Kitchen climb near the end of the race/ride.  The climb has an elevation gain of 1,350 feet over just under 3 miles, an average gradient of 10.9%, and sections exceeding 15% gradient.  Climbing centric gearing is strongly recommended.  It’s not unusual to see very fit people walking or jogging sections of the grade.  Since the event runs in August you can expect hot and humid conditions adding more challenge.  The event has a wonderful local vibe and Tannersville offers all kinds of great watering holes and restaurants to recharge after the ride.  The vacation region also represents a great opportunity to spend the weekend with tons of great B&B’s and home rental options.

12 Hours of Bradbury Mountain

The famous 12 Hours of Bradbury Mountian is back in 2022 for its 15th iteration with a bang! A truly classic and locally known favorite, this 12-hour endurance race loops a standardized 7-mile loop in the visually stunning Bradbury State Park. If you have never attended a 12 or 24-hour mountain bike race; when well organized they are absolutely off the charts and a garnetted amazing time if doing with partners. The 12 hours of Bradbury Mountain is no different and can be considered one of the best and well attended 12/24 hour mountain bike events in the entire US! Like the traditional 12/24 hour mountain bike races, there are the options of a 4 person team, 3 person team, 2 people, and for the craziest of the crazy a solo category. For the team categories, there are sub-options when signing up for woman-only and men-only teams as well as co-ed. At the tenting and main area where the race starts and stops per lap, there will be a full-fledged nutritional aid station, some great food, and drinks for the riders taking a rest and for families. An extremely popular endurance race in the Northeast and the United States in total, the 12 Hours of Bradbury is destined to not disappoint and Strambecco can not recommend this exceptional mountain bike event enough.

Bearscat 50

The Bearscat 50 is returning on September 17th, 2022 for its 11th iteration! There will be two ride lengths offered with the first being 25 miles and the second being an endurance 50 miles. There is a standardized loop of 25 miles to the 50-mile riders will do this loop twice. The mountain biking takes place in beautiful Wawayanda State Park featuring some lovely but rough single tracks sure to challenge many levels of riders. The race is organized by Black Bear Cycling, which offers some other similar great mountain bike races in New Jersey. There will be two aid stations along the course for refueling.                             Interactive Course Details Below:


Tour de Shunk

The Tour De Shunk takes place in Monroeton Pennsylvania.  The race dates back to the mid-’90s where a few cycling-obsessed locals decided to link some of the best rides in the area into a race route and a few decades later we have the well attended and physically challenging Tour De Shunk. Over the years of the Tour, proceeds have always graciously been donated to charity and the race organizers have raised over 100,000 dollars since the event’s inception! The Tour de Shunk is normally a road riding event specifically (the road event will be in a separate Strambecco listing here). 2022 brings two routes that are specifically first and gravel, suitable for a gravel bike and a lightweight mountain bike on the beautiful Pennsylvania state roads which are nicely surfaced. There will be a 74-mile distance and a 52-mile variant with close to 4,000 feet of climbing. An always positive bonus is a post-ride pasta dinner for every rider to restore their energy banks. The advanced interactive views of the routes are listed below. The Tour De Shunk is a challenging mixed Surace off-road route taking place on some beautiful roads in Northeast Pennsylvania. A recommended new race!

Bond Brook Tread Fest

The Bond Brook Tread Fest is a well-attended mountain bike event held in Augusta Maine.  The event provides a classic cross country race format with a standardized loop and several individual categories differing with varying loops offering a great challenge for all rider types.  The one-loop, or 15km, category is open and prizes are awarded for the top men, women, and kids of 26 years old and younger. The second race category is 2 laps or 30 km, and prizes are awarded to the top men and women. For the racers wanting an even harder challenge, there is the 3 lap category or 45 kilometers; of course, there are prizes for the top genders. An always fun addition in bike racing is a relay option that offers 3 laps making up 45 kilometers where a team of three switched every lap. The Tread Fest is hosted at Augusta Trails which is the local town trial network that boasts some seriously great and well maintained single track. AThe Bond Brooke Tread fest is a premiere mountain biking event in the New England and worth a visit!

Bear Brook Classic

The Bear Brooke Classic is back for its 5th edition in October 2021. The event takes place in the beautiful Bear Brooke State park in Allenstown New Hampshire which offers many miles of well-maintained mountain bike single track. The Bear Brooke Classic is formatted closely to a US Cycling sanctioned event with multiple event categories from category 3 to pro. A great feature of the Classic is the inclusivity for kids as well as the adult racers with a short one-lap race for girls and boys under the age of twelve which is free with medals for both genders. Now for everyone else; the ‘Cat 3’ grouping will race 10 miles and there are 9 total individual categories within each main category (cat 1, 2, 3) which offers medals and prizes for different age and gender classifications. Category 2 boats 20 miles of racing and Category 1, or pro, also race 20 miles but there are multiple cash prizes for the top racers in certain categories. Beyond the cross country and kids races, there is also a marathon/endurance race which is a whopping 40 miles of leg pumping single track. To top off the wide array of race types and categories there is also a checky 20-mile fat bike race over the same course. All races follow the same course for simplicity’s sake which is unknown at the moment but ranges from 6-10 miles at the time of race day. The Bear Brooke Classic is a premier mountain bike event in New Hampshire and the Northeast as a whole.

Freetown 50

Called the toughest mountain bike event in the Northeast, the Freetown 50 has made a name for itself as being a challenging and extremely well-attended endurance mountain bike race in Assnoet, Massachusetts. Put on by Rock Hard Racing who hosts a handful of other mountain bike events in Massachussets and beyond.  There are multiple categories to suit every rider level. There is a junior race for thee youngsters aged 12 and under and 13-15, which is 5 miles. The Novice Category is 16.8 miles and has every sub-age category within it. Then there is the 50k event or 35 miles, which takes 2 laps around the standardized course with multiple age and gender categories, all with individual prizes in this category. Then there is the classic and famous full 50-mile event which is three laps of the standardized course. A fun addition to the race categories is a Cape Epic style entry in the 50k and 50-mile categories where you and another rider can relay the course, one doing the first half and the other the second. the Freetown 50 is an epic event that brings over a hundred racers every year to Assnoet to let their legs burn and suffer in one of the Northeasts top mountain bike events of the year.

The Hibernator

The Hibernator is an epic off-road/gravel endurance race that takes place in the beautiful and famous off-road biking area of West Burke Vermont. There are two race lengths with the shorter at 50 kilometers and the metric century of 100 hundred kilometers with over 9,000 feet of climbing! It seems this is a unique event in terms of terrain with a gravel bike being sufficient while the rough terrain means many opt for a full mountain bike to complete the grueling course. October will bring the third version of the quickly growing race which saw 70 riders in 2020 and at the time of writing this article there are already 100 riders signed up. This mixed terrain event taking place in the mountain bike capital of the northeast is sure to be a challenge for all levels of rider and destined to become an increasingly popular event in the coming years.

The Overland

The Overland is one of the most popular and longest running gravel events in the US.  The extremely scenic route spans 54-miles, features 7,000 feet of climbing, seven sectors of “Vermont pavé” (unmaintained ancient public roads), and two well-fortified sag stops. It’s the ultimate overland adventure ride. Open dirt roads, amazing scenery and an epic course unlike any you’ve ever ridden before, all within a beautiful Vermont pastoral setting.  Don’t be fooled though by the rolling nature of Vermont’s Green Mountain roads, the route comes with a barrage of short punchy climbs throughout.

With over 1,500 participants, this is one of the most popular gravel events in the country, let along New England.  This event sells out very quickly.  Registration opens annually on Jan 1 at 10 am, so it’s important to mark your calendar.

The event is produced by Vermont Overland, an organization dedicated to promoting a variety of gravel, adventure cycling, and running events every year — all with the purpose of sharing the spirit of adventure and making it possible for people to go explore Vermont on their own.  The Overland specifically benefits the Reading/West Windsor Food Shelf and Ascutney Outdoors, both integral organizations in the event’s host town of Reading/West Windsor.

Peak Races Woodsplitter 6 HR Challenge

As it might give away in the name, the Peak Woodsplitter is a 6 hour endurance mountian bike race that takes place annually in Pittsfield Vermont. With a shorter loop length, riders are tested on how many laps they can complete within the designated time. Taking place in the famous vermont Green Mountain Trails system, the route is guaranteed to enjoy some awesome single track as your lungs are suffering.