Mount Equinox, VT – This course climbs Skyline Drive to the summit of Equinox Mountain. Bikes have not been allowed on this private auto road for many years. The Gear Up for Lyme race in 2004 was the first chance for hillclimbers to test their mettle on this beast.
They say the road to Equinox Mountain’s summit has a short 28% grade section, but when I raced this mountain, I never had the impression that any stretch was steeper than 15, perhaps 16%.
The climb has one brief, fast descent the prevents it from being a truly monotonic climb. For the last few years, a $500 cash prime has been offered for the first ride to pass the one-mile mark. $500 for a mile? How hard could that be? Oh, to collect the prize, you must also finish the race within a cutoff window.
The view from the summit is spectacular. Mt Equinox is steep and one of the highest peaks around, so great views abound from several vantage points, especially from the open ridgeline leading to the summit. The road is smoothly paved, tollbooth to the summit. Unfortunately, like Mt Washington, cyclists are not allowed to ride their bikes back down.