The Chain Gang, a robust group of cyclists based out of Garrett County, is featured here in Delmarva Now.
Over $40,000 dollars were raised with 602 riders participating in last month's Garrett County Gran Fondo, to benefit the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.
According to organizer Kyle Yost, feeback from riders was unanimous; "Garrett County is spectacularly beautiful and some of the best cycling roads on the continent".
Visit this link to for a slideshow of some of the best photos of the day that highlight Garrett County's beauty: http://winthefight.org/granfondo/slideshow.htm
At the following link, photos of particular individuals can be searched:
Next Up: SavageMan is coming the weekend of September 17-18 and will bring well over 1000 triathletes and family to Garrett County. As always volunteers are appreciated:
U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin announced a $50,000 Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant to Garrett County to construct a hiking/biking trail. The County expects 27,000 people annually to use the trail, which will greatly benefit the area's tourism industry and other local businesses.
ARC funds will be used to construct a 1,100-foot long paved trail between the Visitor Center in McHenry to the Fork Run Trailhead, and enable safe travel for users to access the WISP Resort, the Adventure Sports Center, and visit local businesses along Route 219. The connector trail will also link to the Continental Divide Loop Trail system, a 150-mile, multi-user, multi-surface trail connecting to the Great Allegheny Passage to the north. The project includes construction of a trailhead kiosk with benches and bike racks.
In addition to ARC funds, the state will provide $23,000, and local sources will provide $27,000, bringing the total project funding to $100,000. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works with the people of the Appalachian region to create opportunities for self-sustaining economic development and improved quality of life.
The second annual Garrett County Gran Fondo, coordinated by the organizers of the SavageMan Triathlon Festival is being held tomorrow. The event is a fundraiser for the Joanne M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation. The Gran Fondo has been chosen as a promoted event of Cycle Maryland, a program run by Maryland's Office of Tourism.
Tweethikes - Tweethikes allow you to follow hikes in real time via Twitter as contributors make their way along a trail. The Tweethike provides useful information for anyone planning to visit the trail in the future. Even if you're not planning an imminent hike, they still make for an interesting read. To find a Garrett County trail, visit the "Tags" link and look for "Garrett County". You'll find aTweethike up on the Meadow Mountain Trail at the Deep Creek Lake State Park as well as Lostland and New Germany State Park.
Trailvoice allows individuals to "adopt" a trail - that is contribute information and keeping information on the site current regarding the trail.
Trail Talk allows the end user to participate by providing details from their own experiences out on the Maryland trails.
Featured Trail gives businesses an opportunity to sponsor a trail that they are on or nearby. The business will be featured on the sites trail map, gaining great exposure with folks passing through the area.
Sales agents will be running the aid station for the cyclists at the top of Miller Hill in northern Garrett County.For more detail and directions visit the Railey Blog at http://realty.railey.com/blog/index.php/savageman-triathlon-join-railey-realty-at-the-killer-miller-aid-station/.
Registration remains open for the 3rd Annual SavageMan Triathlon Festival on September 20, 2009 in beautiful Deep Creek Lake State Park in the mountains of western Maryland. If you're thinking of participating, get registered now.
Discount rates of $150 for the SavageMan Half and $110 for the SavageMan International expire on July 1 and increase to $180 and $125 respectively.
Less than 150 slots remain for the SavageMan Half and only 200 for the SavageMan International.
Act now and for just half the price of most 70.3 events you can experience the race defending champion Björn Andersson describes as "truly one of the standout races around the world".
The following is an article regarding the Deep Creek Diabolical Double ride taking place today in Garrett County:
Ask any cyclist where they would go to find a truly epic ride, and what answers might you expect?
l’Alpe d’Huez, Galibier, and the classic Cols of the French Alps? Check.
The Mediterranean roads of Girona where the top pros go to train? Check.
Flanders, Roubaix and the wet, cobbled roads of Belgium and northern France? Check.
The steep, sun-drenched high passes of the Spanish Pyrenees? Check.
The rural, mountain roads of western Maryland? Umm, come again?
While not top on the list of cycling destinations of cyclists worldwide, Garrett County in the heart of Appalachia in western Maryland offers to cyclists some of the finest roads, scenic beauty, and hilliest terrain that can be found anywhere. The Deep Creek Diabolical Double Metric Century, at 128 miles and 15K feet of climbing, is a truly epic ride that seeks out the toughest climbs, the most remote rural roads, and the most scenic views in the area. And the result is a ride that is as beautiful and as difficult a single day ride as can be found in the world.
In fact, the Deep Creek “Diabolical Double” was selected by Rapha Continental to be included in their 2009 tour of North America’s Top 25 Epic Rides. Rapha will be sending a team of cyclists and a photography crew to Garrett County to ride and document the Deep Creek Diabolical Double on May 18 as part of their 2009 Epic Ride Tour. Read more about Rapha’s Continental’s Epic Ride project here: http://www.rapha.cc/rapha-continental. Soon after the ride occurs the preliminary journal entry for Rapha’s experience in Garrett County and the Diabolical Double will be available at http://rapha.cc/mchenry-md.
Appalachia – A Cyclists Paradise?
What makes cycling in western Maryland so unique and conducive to an epic ride on par with the classic rides around the globe? A number of factors come together in western Maryland to produce cycling there that is as enjoyable, tough, and scenic as can be found anywhere.
First, western Maryland is in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, where the climbs are not terribly long but they are terribly steep. This is the region of the country that Race Across America (RAAM) riders dread the most due to the extreme severity of the climbing. Few climbs last over a few miles in length or gain over 1500 feet elevation at a time, but the roads regularly go up at pitches in excess of 15 and even 20% for long enough stretches to sap even the strongest legs. This is the same region as the SavageMan Triathlon, known for its extremely challenging bike course and 31% Westernport Wall.
Second, the scenery and views are spectacular. Western Maryland and nearby West Virginia are very sparsely populated and consist of rural farmland and expansive state and national forests, which in combination with the mountainous terrain provide for remarkable views of working farms, true back-country Appalachia, and large, protected forests. And, best of all for cyclists, the secondary roads of Garrett County are immaculately maintained and receive almost no traffic. Roads that in nearby West Virginia and Pennsylvania are dirt or gravel roads are beautiful, pothole-free pavement in Garrett County. It is cycling heaven - provided you have adequate gears and don’t mind climbing!
The History of The Deep Creek “Diabolical Double”
Like the SavageMan Triathlon, The “Diabolical Double” starts and finishes at Deep Creek Lake in Swanton, MD, but the “Diabolical Double” route has been designed to highlight roads and climbs not included in the triathlon. The ride twice crosses the Eastern Continental Divide, and regularly tackles ridgelines and mountain passes from seemingly each and every direction. The entire ride fluctuates between 900 and 3000 feet in elevation with countless mile-long climbs that gain 500-700 feet to simply plunge down the other side to then climb back up the next one. At 128 miles and 15K feet of climbing, it is a lot of climbing by any measure, but more importantly it is steep, quad-busting climbing. The entire route can be viewed online at http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/Diabolical-Double
To date, the “Diabolical Double” has been attempted twice and completed just once. For the last seven years a group of triathlon training partners from Washington, DC have converged at Deep Creek Lake for a mid-summer week of training culminating in a 110 mile “Deep Creek Epic Ride”. It was on these early rides that the inspiration and vision for the SavageMan Triathlon was formed. In 2008, however, the challenge of the “Deep Creek Epic Ride” was stepped up a notch with a redesigned route that sought out additional tough climbs and a sojourn into West Virginia, and the 128 mile ride was dubbed the Deep Creek Diabolical Double Metric Century. In cycling parlance, a double metric is a 200 kilometer ride, or 125 miles.
Two attempts at the “Diabolical Double” were made in 2008. The first attempt took place over Memorial Day weekend with a small group of ambitious cyclists underestimating the task ahead. At the mile 62 rest stop a critical decision needed to be made. Continue on for another 66 miles of the relentless climbing onslaught or admit defeat and head home via a more direct route. A memorable quote from a strong cyclist and very tough Marine who concluded that “anyone, no matter how strong, completing 128 miles of this borders on the outer edges of feasibility” sealed their fate and the cyclists making the first ever attempt at the “Diabolical Double” headed straight home humbled.
Having been beaten once there was now real incentive to conquer the “Diabolical Double”. The second and final attempt occurred later that summer with a group of strong triathletes culminating their preparation for an Ironman triathlon with training in the Garrett County hills. 128 miles, 15K feet of steep climbing, and over 9 hours later, this group of 11 became the first – and currently only - to ever complete the “Diabolical Double”. It was unanimous that the “Diabolical Double” was the most incredible, most beautiful, and most challenging ride any had ever attempted.
On May 18 a team of experienced cyclists from Rapha Continental with support crew and photographer will descend on Garrett County to experience the Deep Creek Diabolical Double themselves and experience firsthand the beauty and severity of Garrett County’s terrain.
About the Author
Kyle Yost is an avid cyclist and triathlete and is the founder and course designer of both the SavageMan Triathlon and the Deep Creek “Diabolical Double”. Kyle has traveled the globe with his bike, including having ridden the entire 2007 Tour de France route on the same rigorous schedule as the professionals (despite suffering a broken collarbone just 3 days before the first stage). He has ridden the 170 mile Tour of Flanders and its wet, steep cobbled climbs, and he has trained extensively in the cycling paradises of Girona and Majorca, Spain. Kyle has ridden his bike across Africa from Cairo to Nairobi in the inaugural Tour d’Afrique. When it comes to epic rides, Kyle is an authority, so if he claims a ride is as challenging a single day ride as can be found in the world – consider yourself forewarned!
On Thursday evening, September 4, 2008, Garrett Trails celebrated the importance of recreational trails to the county and its residents and announced the launch of a private nonprofit organization to continue building the trail network.
Senator George Edwards, Commissioner Ernie Gregg, Robin Summerfield, a representative from Senator Ben Cardin’s office, Rodney Glotfelty, Health Officer, Duane Yoder, President of Garrett County Community Action, and Charlie Ross, President of the Chamber of Commerce were among those in attendance. Senator Edwards spoke about the economic impact that The Allegheny Highlands Trail has had on small businesses near its route in Allegany County, MD, while Mike Dreisbach, owner of Savage River Lodge told a story about a couple who stayed at their lodge recently while biking the trail who spent $10,000 on their trip. Commissioner Gregg spoke about his long term support for a network of trails in the county, the advisors from agencies that the Commissioners recently appointed to advise Garrett Trails, and the importance of trails to local residents. Rodney Glotfelty concurred with Commissioner Gregg noting that access to inexpensive recreation for county residents was an important part of the Health Department’s Strategic Plan. Tom Carr, picked up the theme of trails and local families, calling trails, “nature’s gymnasium” and encouraging kids and families to use trails for physical activity.
Steve Green, President of Garrett Trails and co-owner of High Mountain Sports, thanked the many long time supporters and advocates who were in attendance and welcomed new volunteers to the recently launched Garrett Trails. Garrett Trails is a private nonprofit organization that seeks to develop a well used network of outstanding quality trails that provide access to Garrett County’s historic, municipal and environmental treasures and that link to trails outside the county. The new organization is the evolution of a long term Commissioner Task Force—The Recreational Trails Task Force—and Chamber of Commerce Committee. The new organization structure is intended to support the expansion of the private resources and volunteers working on trails in the county.
For more information about Garrett Trails or to volunteer, please contact Paige at GarrettTrails@gmail.com