The stage is set for this year's Memorial weekend tour of the gaps. Due to increased interest, riders will be starting out in three separate groups at different times on Saturday. Hopefully this keeps everybody moving at their own comfortable pace. A small C-group plans to do their own thing starting in Warren at 6:30am. A B-group plans to start in Rochester at 7:30am. 10 riders plan to join that group, most of them mountain bikers that compete in 100 mile races. The A-group leaves at 9am with 15 riders. Looking at the A-group roster, there's no doubt after the ride I'll feel like I've been beaten about the head with my own legs that were ripped off during the ride. With any luck, the A-group will catch the B-group before the end of the ride so we can finish together.
At one point, I had at least 35 names interested in riding Saturday. Kind of scary. I got a lot of emails like "where do I sign up?" or "how much does it cost?" I kind of freak when I get those, as the rider's expectations may be way different than what the ride entails. Of course, the ride is completely unsupported, and it is not a no-drop ride. There is no sag-wag or sweep at the end of the day. When I send my first email out to the list of interested riders I collect over several months, no doubt some are scared away. Later this summer there will be a semi-supported 6-gaps ride. Learn about the Chet Warman ride.
What I would like to do for next year is start a dedicated 6-gaps forum. Riders are looking for others to ride with all summer long. A forum linked to the website would make it much easier to find ride mates. If it gains traction, it would get me out of the loop (and out of the way!). I don't mind answering email. I get many hundreds each summer. Peaky periods seem to be around 6-gaps and the Mt Washington hillclimb race. The Mt Washington race already has an active forum. A 6-gaps forum hopefully would enable more riders to plan their own epic events.
What is interesting is how many other people like myself are organizing 6-gaps group rides throughout the summer. One guy that rode with me a couple years ago is organizing a ride with riders coming in from as far away as Alaska. The ride has really gained notoriety. It will be my seventh year organizing a ride. In 2003, Joey Bracchitta and I did the loop in about 8.6hrs riding time, or over 11hrs elapsed time. We did stop for a sit-down lunch midway. I think those days are gone, as the Hill Junkie ride has morphed into a throw-down. It's all good though. I'm not getting any younger. 6-gaps, along with maybe the D2R2 ride, are the hardest things I do on a bike each year. It keeps you honest. You are reminded who the boss is. It's them hills in the Green Mountains.