Climb to the Clouds: COVID-19 Edition

By: 
Steve Carlson

 

We hope each of you have been staying safe through this rather difficult time. It’s pretty surreal, right? Who would have imagined in our life time we would have experienced a pandemic?  It has been a pretty rough few months as we have wrestled with this reality. However, on the bright side, for many of us our safe escape has been solo bike riding!  We are delighted to see the CRW library being accessed frequently as folks search for their favorite rides. Ironically, many of you are likely in your best early season riding condition as all your other favorite pastimes, including your children’s activities, are on hold. With group rides cancelled for the foreseeable future, the Century Committee has decided we want to inspire you to utilize that new found strength to join us on our first ever Climb to the Clouds Solo Century!

What exactly is this event?   Simply stated, we would like our members to complete one of the four rides we were to offer on our cancelled May 30th CTTC Century.  The ride is to be done solo, with family members or one/two socially distanced friends.  We are asking each interested member to ride the route of their choosing between May 28th and June 22nd.  Upon completion we would ask that you upload your results on our CTTC COVID Edition Rider Results Form to record your participation and accomplishment.

Why would I ever do this?  We all love to bike, these are great routes, the weather is fantastic, and you can do this COVID Safe!    We also want to encourage everyone to share their photos and the personal experiences of your ride on our Facebook page.  We will select three individuals for a $50 prize for the best photo, the most creative, funny or inspiring story!  Oh, and of course, bonus points for selfies showing off those CRW kits!  Please let us all enjoy the fun of your ride and who knows, maybe you will go viral (lifelong goal: check). 

We also know there are some true climbers out there, so we also have set up a climb segment on each of the routes.  If you register for the segment challenge before you do your ride, we will report the KOM (king of the mountain) for the climbs in our next Wheel People and you will be awarded bragging rights (never expires). The photo is from CTTC 2011. The mountain top is still there, but don't expect to see other riders.

 

A few things to consider:

  • Vehicular traffic is expected to be open on Mt. Wachusett after Memorial Day, so please ascend and descend safely.  There also will be pedestrian traffic on the road.
  • As this is an unsupported solo ride, bring adequate water and nutrition, as refueling locations will be sparse, if at all.
  • Dress appropriately, better yet pick a blue bird day!  Do we need to remind you of the weather we had on the 2019 CTTC?
  • Bring a spare tube and necessary tools…UBER bailouts may not be possible!
  • Comply with all COVID-19 restrictions.

Remember: When your ride is complete; post your ride to CRW's Facebook page, your RWGPS account or Strava account.  Let us know where you posted by registering your ride at CTTC COVID Edition Rider Results Form (log in to your CRW account first).

Have fun with this!  It might be a personal best for a solo distance or even the first time you’ve climbed to Wachusett.  Regardless of what inspires you, we know you will have fun on the backroads on these epic routes!   Until we meet again, be safe! .

For further information, please see the following links and look for a ride posting on the CRW calendar:

 

  • Routes and RWGPS Files (find your route):

              https://www.crw.org/content/cttc-covid-edition

  • CTTC COVID Edition Rider Results Form (enter after your ride):

              https://www.crw.org/content/virtual-climb-clouds

  • Segment Challenge Sign-up (you must sign up before you ride):

              https://ridewithgps.com/events/84088-2020-cttc-covid-segment-challenge

  • Charles River Wheelers Facebook Group (post your story and photos):

              https://www.facebook.com/groups/crwheelers/