2018 Garrett County Gran Fondo - Announcement
With just one month remaining before the 2018 Garrett County Gran Fondo, we have some important announcements to make. Please read in entirety.
No Limestone Hill climb in 2018. In 2017 Garrett County chose to divest itself of Limestone Hill - the dirt climb on Accident-Friendsville Rd - and this section of road is now privately owned. Despite herculean efforts by Garrett Trails to secure permission from the new owners of the road to allow us to utilize it for two hours one day a year, the effort has failed, and as a result we must alter our ride routes and KOM Competition climbs. We held out as long as we could on announcing this, hoping for a change in heart and that an agreement could be made, but to no avail.
So, what does this mean? For details on each individual course refer to the individual ride pages, but in summary:
- All rides except the Garrett's Greatest 25 are impacted by the loss of Limestone Hill.
- The Fabulous 44 becomes 42.6 miles and loses one big climb to be replaced by a long gradual one.
- The Masochistic Metric and the Diabolical Double use an altered route between AS1 - Friendsville and the base of Bowman Hill (shortly after AS2 - Stockyards). This altered route replaces the loss of Limestone Hill with a whole lot of hard and steep climbing and descending. Both routes actually gain total distance and total elevation in the process, so we made sure to not make things easier! The Masochistic Metric becomes 64.8 miles and the Diabolical Double 126.2 miles.
- The Savage Century is where the largest route changes occur. Rather than also doing all the new weaving and bobbing and steep ups and downs between AS1-Friendsville and AS2-Stockyards that the Masochistic Metric and Diabolical Double now do, the Savage Century instead shoots straight across town from AS1 - Friendsville to the base of Bowman hill, skipping AS2 entirely. By eliminating all those miles and climbs between AS1 and the base of Bowman Hill, the Savage Century riders now get to venture into new territory late in the ride that in previous years only the Diabolical Double riders ever got the pleasure to ride: specifically the amazing Blue Lick Rd, Four Mile Ridge, the 7 mile descent into Lonaconing, the monster 4 mile Michael Rd climb out of Barton, Big Savage Mountain, etc...
The Savage Century now becomes 101 miles or 106 miles depending on whether the rider chooses to divert up timed KOM climb #3 - Sam Friend Rd or skip it and head direct to AS3 and save 5 miles and some energy for the monster climbs to come late in the ride...
KOM competition - obviously the loss of a timed climb impacts the KOM competition. Details of the timed climbs included in the competition are on the KOM Climbs page, but one change is that the final 3 miles of all routes is now a timed climb - so all rides (25 included) will be on the clock from the base of Negro Mountain Rd to the finish line!
- There will be no Pre-Ride Dinner & Presentation at Garrett College this year. Instead all riders will receive coupons for $10 off meals at local restaurants. Packet pickup remains at Garrett College both Friday afternoon and early Saturday morning.
- The Team Climbing Competition is off for 2018. A lack of interest by riders combined with the difficulty in managing this niche competition and the complexities introduced by the changes to the KOM climbs this year have resulted in the decision that it's best to focus our limited resources elsewhere.
Thank you for your understanding regarding these changes for 2018. We are doing our best to ensure that these forced changes result in an improved event with improved routes and that, as always, the Garrett County Gran Fondo will be your best ride of the year!
- The Garrett County Gran Fondo Team