Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb
August 18, 2018 – 8:35-8:55 a.m.
Pinkham Notch, NH—Cyclists who like the idea of racing up New Hampshire’s famously steep and scenic Mt. Washington Auto Road this summer can register for the opportunity beginning the first day of February. The field of entrants for the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is filled on a first-come, first-served basis, with registration beginning February 1 and continuing until the field reaches its capacity of 635 riders.
Riders can sign up for the Hillclimb at www.bikereg.com/mwarbh. The entry fee of $350 includes a charitable contribution to the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, which sponsors the race together with the Auto Road. The balance of the fee covers the substantial logistical cost of staging this remarkable event. This year’s race starts at 8:35 a.m. on August 18, with the Top Notch (elite) riders, followed by the rest of the cyclists in four waves at five-minute intervals.
Now in its 46th year, the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb attracts Olympians, hardcore bicycle road racers, mountain bikers, triathletes, all-around adventure athletes, tandem teams and even the occasional unicyclist. They are drawn to this grueling event by the Hillclimb’s reputation as the toughest uphill race in America, a reputation enhanced not only by the steepness of the road but also by Mt. Washington’s notorious winds and unpredictable precipitation.
The challenge of biking up the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road, with its average grade of 12 percent, has generated such demand that the Auto Road must limit the number of entries. In some years the Hillclimb has reached its capacity within a few hours of the opening of registration; in others, within a few days or weeks.
To encourage junior cyclists, the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb invites bicycle clubs to create teams of five riders under the age of 18, plus one adult and a sponsor who will contribute $500. That team can participate in the Hillclimb Practice Ride on July 15th, and then one member of the team will race in the August 18 Hillclimb.
Founded in 1980, the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H., provides environmental and recreational education for children, schools and families in communities in the White Mountains and the Mt. Washington Valley. The center’s programs include nature talks, hikes, camps, school projects and teacher workshops, and cycling, including both the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and the Century+, a ride of 60, 80 or 100 miles around the Presidential Range. This year’s Century+ will take place on July 28.