5-24-19 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb

Group rides and events including the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb help shape the valley’s cycling season. (MARTY BASCH PHOTO)

There are plenty of events and group rides this cycling season for thin- to knobby-tired riders across the valley.

The White Mountains chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association is rolling out the debut of the Spring Sender on Saturday, May 25. It’s billed as a day of group rides for all abilities from Cranmore Mountain followed by entertainment and auction on the deck of Zip’s Pub from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Meet at Zip’s at 9:30 a.m. for the led rides. REI will be on-site with bike techs to assist with repairs. Take a spin and see what’s new.

The weekly Wednesday evening Pinkie Buster Rides started May 15. The intermediate group rides are held rain or shine and tend to be in the 6 to 10 mile range. The rides start at 5 p.m. from the Hemlock Lane kiosk near Walmart with access to trails on the east side of North Conway. The location could change in the future.

The chapter’s 19th annual trail building weekend is scheduled for July 27 to 28 while the Tuesday TNT crews have been out sprucing up area trails.

Facebook is a good source for the White Mountains New England Mountain Bike Association Group updates on rides and events.

The Mason & Mason Insurance Mountain Bike Series returns to Great Glen Trails this summer. The Tuesday night series from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. runs from July 9 to Aug. 27. This family-centric mellow event has mountain bikers using a melange of trails over a variety of terrain in a race against the clock.

There are three courses to choose from under the glow of Mount Washington. From kids to those older than dirt, entrants who compete five of the eight weeks are eligible for a prize lottery. Do the whole series or test it out with a race or two.

Downhill and enduro racers will see the Megabowl series back to the trails of the Attitash Mountain Bike Park. Held on select weekends in July, August and September, the four races are open to both pros and amateurs with the pros getting cash prizes and amateurs, well, just prizes.

Timed with Ski Club Timing software, downhill races are best of two runs. Enduros have a five-stage format with a day of practice offered the day before and are timed with the Sportident Chip Timing System.The first race, a downhill, is July 27 followed by an enduro stage race Aug. 10 to 11 (practice Saturday with the race Sunday). The series finale takes place Sept. 21 to 22 with a downhill and enduro race. The downhill is Sept. 21 and enduro with a field capped at 100 is Sept. 22.

Ride 109 miles during the Mt. Washington Century-plus Ride July 27. The challenging century, a Tin Mountain fundraiser, has five aid stations along the way as it goes through some of the most scenic areas in the White Mountains. Registration is ongoing and group rates are available.

Some 635 elite and amateur cyclists have signed up for the 47th annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb on Aug. 17, also a Tin Mountain benefit. The 7.6 mile road has an average grade of 12 percent with the last spectator-filled 100 yards at the summit having an incredible 22 percent grade. The practice ride is July 14.

The Mount Washington Valley Bicycling Club has group rides for varying abilities five or six times a week. They have some specialty ones, including an introduction to group cycling and a preparatory ride for those training for a century.

The Coos Cycling Club holds weekly mountain bike rides on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 p.m. from the group camping area in Moose Brook State Park and also has Trail Work Days (and Nights) throughout the season like June 9, July 6 and July 18 (night).

The Tour de Borderlands finale — showcasing seven united mountain bike systems across three states and two countries — is Sept. 21. The second bike-packing Coos Log Jam is in the works. The Deer Farm CX returns for its fourth year to Applegate Deer Farm in West Newfield, Maine, on Sept. 28.

And there are a couple of events to pencil in for 2020. North Conway Public Library’s Bike for Books is on hiatus for 2019 while 24 Hours of Great Glen returns after a five-year break in 2020 to kick-start that season a year away.

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