Whiteface Mountain is situated on the outskirts of Lake Placid and offers a vertical challenge that can only be rivaled by Mt. Washington.
Before 2012, Wilmington was the start of the course and the climb was 3,500 feet over an 8 mile stretch. Today the bike race begins at the ski area and stretches 11 miles.
When you first start the race you’ll be heading downhill before starting your climb. During the majority of the ride you’ll be facing an 8% grade but for the first 3 miles you’ll be challenging a 9% grade.
Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway
There are 2 ways to attack this mountain: you can either sign up for the hillclimb or you can pay a toll to climb at other times when the toll booth is open.
You’ll be traveling along the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway in order to reach the summit at 4,867 feet. This is the 5th highest mountain peak in New York and the view from the top is absolutely stunning.
You’ll be looking over miles and miles of raw nature both in Vermont and reaching into Canada. At the top you’ll also find a native stone-built castle, a gift shop, a restaurant and an elevator that has been carved into the mountaintop. This is a one-of-a-kind experience and one that should definitely be put on your cycling bucket list.
The Hillclimb is an annual event that attracts cyclists of all ages and abilities. The cost of the race is $65 for an adult and $45 for a junior, which includes beverages, snacks and fruit at the finish line and a meal following the race.
There are awards handed out for winners in both the women’s and men’s categories along with prizes. This is a great race that promises excellent road conditions and you are able to ride down without having to organize a pickup. Once you’ve made it all the way to the top it’s always exhilarating to be able to take the trip down.
Map And Elevation Info Made With MapMyRide
If you’re up to the challenge you’ll love this bike course. It offers a consistent and relentless 8% grade all the way up to the top. You won’t have an opportunity to take a rest on a flat surface until you reach the peak. The pain will follow you from the bottom to the top but it will feel oh so good once your feet hit the mountaintop and you can proudly say “I did it!”
Keep in mind that the constant grade up doesn’t give you a lot of chances to recover or take a rest so you should make a steady effort up the mountain. Don’t take off too hard. This way you won’t find yourself struggling during the last few miles of the route.
Mt. Equinox is another you may want to consider: more info here.
The slope and the distance on this mountain have been compared to the Alpe D’Huez in the French Alps. You’ll be able to experience a European type of mountain climb right here at home.
You’ll want to be sure to bring along a bag of warm clothes that you can put on once you reach the summit. There is a drastic difference in temperature between the bottom and the top. For your convenience there is a bag truck you can use if you’re racing in the Whiteface Mountain Hillclimb and it will transport your bags to the peak for you. It’s hard enough just getting your bike to the peak so this is a welcome service.
Once you pass the toll booth take a look around for the Taylor and Franklin Falls Ponds that will be just to your north and during your ride take a peek to see Lake Placid through the forest breaks. Enjoy the countryside as you follow the route. It is incredible!
You won’t have to worry about a lot of traffic here especially on weekdays and it is one of the best cycle- friendly routes in New England. You’ll see a lot of signs asking motorists to share the road making this a safe ride to the top and then back down again.
The Ride down Is the Ultimate Reward
Many avid cyclers take on the mountain not only for the climb up, but for the exhilarating ride down. In 2015 the road was resurfaced so you can expect a smooth descent.
The bike ride down is guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping with long straight areas between the turns. You’ll be able to gather up a lot of speed on the way but you’ll need to make sure that you watch out for slower drivers to avoid a collision. You may just find that this is the fastest descent that you’ve ever made in your cycling career!
Crank The Kanc: Odd name; Cool ride.