April 22nd 2023 – Wachusett & Purgatory 200k

Ride Information
Notable Points: DCR Mt. Wachusett Visitor Center and DCR Purgatory Chasm
Start/Finish Location: Bike Parking and Picnic Area Behind Welch’s Building, 300 Baker Ave., West Concord, MA.  Coordinates: (42.459134, -71.390452), See Map Below.
Start Time: 07:00
Length: 200k / 124.5mi
Time Limit: 13.5 Hours (20:30 is the Cutoff time)
Lights & Reflective Gear: Optional if finish before sunset at 19:35
Ride Leaders: Tsun Au Yeung
Controls: Princeton, Oakham, and Sutton, MA
Sanctioning: RUSA and ACP.
Cue Sheet: See RWGPS Link Below
Online Map/GPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/42053443 Check Year! Very minor differences at Purgatory Control Location and Start/Finish Location.  Final Version verified 4/14/2023!

Registration: BikeReg; Closes 23:59 on Thursday April 20th.
Parking Info: Parking will be available in Start/Finish.  If you are driving to the start and need a place to park, please park in the complex near the train track away from the building (On the most Southern Side of the lot so we organizer can keep track of finishers/stragglers.)

The route is largely the same as 2022 with the same tweaks due to Fruit Street Bridge Closure in Hopkinton. We’ll have snacks at Oakham and again at the DCR Purgatory Chasm control.  Note that the Wachusett control is untimed as the first leg is the hilliest of the route. Water fountain and restroom is available at Wachusett and if the rider has time in the bank the Mountainside Bakery at 213 Mountain Rd about 1 miles on route down from the control is a good place to refill.

Road condition generally is above average for MA standard except 3 deplorable downhill sections at Pleasant St in Rochdale, Rochdale St in Oxford, and Leicster St in Auburn (Mile 68.7 to 73.5).  Please exercise caution to dodge the large potholes on the road.

2018 Pre-ride report & Photos

2017 Pre-Ride Photos

Route Description:

This is a challenging route, with approximately 7500 ft of ascent, with much of the climbing occurring in the first 51 miles to Wachusette then Oakham, but there are significant hills in the latter part of the ride as well.

The first leg has the most elevation gain, topping out at about 1400 feet at the first control at Mt. Wachusett State Reservation.  The info control will be at Wachusett visitor center.  The summit is not on the route, but those seeking extra credit can ride to the top if they wish (assuming the road is open). Slower riders are well advised not to tarry along this first and second section, as the cutoff time at Oakham is 5 hour and 28 minutes after the start.  Oakham is mile 51.3.  The town common itself feels like a summit on its own as one can see the tall white church building from route 148 and it just keep appearing on the right hand side of the road just up ahead.  Riders will find friendly volunteer at the Gazebo and Bathroom will be available for riders who gets to Oakham between 10 to Noon inside the library across the street from the Gazebo.

After Oakham riders get a break in general for the next 33 miles on their way to Purgatory Chasm, winding through first the rural towns of Spencer and Rochdale, then to the southern suburbia towns of Auburn, Millbury and Sutton in Worcester County, before arriving at Purgatory Chasm. The control will be along the road (on the opposite side of the visitor center instead of the pavilion as previous year due to constructions), but as before, anyone who wants extra credit can hike to the Chasm if they wish.

The final leg from Purgatory Chasm to West Concord is the longest at about 40 miles. Big climbs are done, but there are a few hills sprinkled about here and there.  Riders will be on a lot of side roads and like last year rides will ride through an extra Suburbia development due to Fruit Street Bridge closure in Hopkinton before coming back to West Concord through Upton, Southborogh, Marlborough, and Sudbury.  We will serve pizza at the finish.

The Oakham and Sutton controls will be staffed with NER volunteers and light snacks.  Mountainside Bakery and Cafe is a worthy stop if one has time in the bank after climbing up to Wachusett.  Water fountains and restrooms are available at both DCR properties.  There are other services along the route if needed but services are particularly hard to come by before Spencer at mile 60ish.

Pictures & Ride Reports:

Jesse Morrow’s 2017 Ride Report

2016 and Prior Route Ride Pictures:

13950966622_643918c1f4_zPhoto by Sara Huston

13974130283_2e021b16f7_zPhoto by Sara Huston

NE Rando 200k - Margot shift at RSC 013Photo by Henry van den Broek

NE Rando 200k - Margot shift at RSC 011Photo by Henry van den Broek

NE Rando 200k - Margot shift at RSC 004Photo by Henry van den Broek

NE Rando 200k - Margot shift at RSC 019Photo by Henry van den Broek

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