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How to succeed in the Tour of the White Mountains

  • By Stephanie Jones
  • Published Sep. 14, 2012
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:39 PM EST
2011 Tour of the White Mountains. Photo: Bennett Barthelemy


Those who haven’t had the pleasure of riding in the area can rest assured that pretty much any steed from the stable would be suitable for riding this course. The climbs are gentle enough to cater to those favoring a beefier full-suspension and the trails are smooth enough that riding 60 miles on a hardtail isn’t going to beat anyone up…too badly.

Wheel size superiority, as always, could be debatable; however, 29 inch wheels will favor the open jeep road climbs and flowing, undulating trail system. It would behoove singlespeeders to run their taller gears and roll the momentum of this not too steeply-graded roller coaster of a ride.

As for the few who may consider running fully rigid rigs or a ‘cross bike, it’s been done successfully before, though perhaps the former moreso than the latter.

Luckily for the weight weenies, a lighter tire will fare pretty well on this terrain but there are still some baby head and sneaky rocks in a few course sections. Those more cautious to avoid flats would be satisfied running a medium-weight tire with sidewall reinforcement.

Participants are gifted the opportunity to race light with multiple fully-stocked aid stations along the course that are manned by the friendliest volunteers one could ask for when in need of fluid and calorie replenishments.

Many of the aid station volunteers are members of T.R.A.C.K.S., a local group comprised of outdoor aficionados who are responsible for the care, upkeep and protection of the White Mountain trail system.

This time of year, there’s always the looming threat of rainfall that has a tendency to turn the dirt into sticky peanut butter. Keeping an eye of the forecast and being armed with a light rain jacket in case of sprinkles is really the only way one can prepare for this unfortunate possibility.

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