Bicycling Magazine Cambridge, NY: Tour of the Battenkill 2009 

"America's Queen of the Classics" rumbles through rough, rolling roads in eastern New York, featuring dirt road climbs and descents on an unforgiving 62-mile loop.


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Author: Bicycling Magazine
Date: 3 Apr 2009 5:12:14 PM
Activity: Bicycling
State: New York (NY)
Distance: 62 mi  (Change units)
Survey Elevation: Total Gain: 4391 ft
Total Loss: 4393 ft
Net Change: -1 ft
Difficulty: 8 / 10
Tags: Albany, Buskirk, New York
Rating:   1 rating(s) Rate it

One of the largest annual races on the U.S. calendar, what "Battenkill Roubaix" lacks in cobbles, it makes up for in character. Looping 62 miles, the Tour of the Battenkill links several upstate New York bergs on a series of steep, dirt road climbs that wreak havoc on racers. A true sufferfest on race day, the route is also epic and scenic enough to warrant a ride year-round.

Starting from Cambridge, the course traces Route 313 northeast towards its first taste of dirt on Robertson Road, a lead-in to the first challenge of the day, a one-two punch of steep climbs up Perry Hill Road and Juniper Swamp Road (unpaved). Both climbs feature short, uber-steep pitches that are sure to test the limits of your lungs, legs, and gears—Juniper has been known to blow apart the field.

At the north end of the loop (26 miles in), the 2.5-mile climb up Joe Bean Road is the next significant hurdle. The average grade isn't much to speak of, but with several false summits and steep pitches, it's bound to leave a mark (even if it's paved). Just past the top, the route descends Ferguson Road, a trough-ridden dirt road sure to wring loose a waterbottle or two.

Back on pavement,  the course traces the Battenkill River for about 9 miles into Greenwich, before continuing south towards its most challenging stretch, a series of three "un-pavé" stretches on Mountain Road, Becker Road, and Meetinghouse Road. With a non-stop mix of dirt road climbing and descending, there's barely a moment to recover in between these sections.

After 55 miles, the final dirt climb up Stage Road is equally unforgiving, challenging riders over 1.3 miles with false summits and relentless steep pitches. From the top of Stage Road, 5 miles of pavement remain to the finish back in Cambridge.

-Mapped by Serotta (photos courtesy of Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com)

TO TRAILHEAD: This route departs from Main St. in Cambridge, NY.

Position Format: Datum:
Tracks

Tour of the Battenkill

Distance: 62.00 mi Points: 868
Total Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
Active Time: none Speed: 0.0 mph Pace: 0:00 / mi
# Distance Instruction Distance to next
1 0.01 mi Turn left at W Main St/NY-372 Continue to follow W Main St Then go 0.65 mi
2 0.66 mi Turn left at Maple Ave/NY-313 Then go 5.11 mi
3 5.77 mi Turn left at Eagleville Rd Then go 0.36 mi
4 6.13 mi Turn right to stay on Eagleville Rd Then go 0.35 mi
5 6.48 mi Turn right at Roberson Rd Then go 0.82 mi
6 7.30 mi Slight right at County Rte-61/Shushan Buffums Rd Then go 0.20 mi
7 7.50 mi Continue on Camden Valley Rd Then go 0.85 mi
8 8.36 mi Continue on Perry Hill Rd Then go 3.22 mi
9 11.57 mi Slight left at Juniper Swamp Rd Then go 0.11 mi
10 11.68 mi Turn left to stay on Juniper Swamp Rd Then go 3.38 mi
11 15.06 mi Turn right at Rich Rd Then go 1.14 mi
12 16.20 mi Turn left at Newman Rd/Newman Ln Then go 0.05 mi
13 16.26 mi Turn right at County Rte-61/Shushan Buffums Rd Then go 0.47 mi
14 16.73 mi Continue on County Rte-64A Then go 0.21 mi
15 16.93 mi Continue straight onto County Rte-64/Salem Shushan Rd Then go 5.06 mi
16 21.99 mi Turn right at NY-22/State Route 22 Continue to follow NY-2 Then go 0.94 mi
17 22.93 mi Turn left at W Broadway/County Rte-153/County Rte-30 Then go 3.78 mi
18 26.71 mi Turn left at Joe Bean Rd Then go 1.64 mi
19 28.35 mi Turn left at Bunker Hill Rd Then go 0.95 mi
20 29.30 mi Continue on Ferguson Rd Then go 2.22 mi
21 31.51 mi Turn left at Cossayuna Rd/County Rte-49 Then go 1.13 mi
22 32.64 mi Turn right at NY-29/State Route 29 Then go 6.75 mi
23 39.39 mi Slight left to stay on NY-29/Salem St/State Route 29 Then go 0.23 mi
24 39.62 mi Turn left at Main St/NY-372/State Route 372 Then go 0.54 mi
25 40.16 mi Slight right at County Rte-74/Eddy St Then go 0.94 mi
26 41.10 mi Turn right at Burton Rd Then go 1.92 mi
27 43.02 mi Turn left at Easton Station Rd Then go 0.06 mi
28 43.07 mi Turn right at Mountain Rd Then go 3.06 mi
29 46.13 mi Turn left at Valley Summit Rd Then go 0.30 mi
30 46.43 mi Turn right at Becker Rd Then go 1.55 mi
31 47.98 mi Turn left at Meeting House Rd Then go 0.23 mi
32 48.21 mi Slight left to stay on Meeting House Rd Then go 2.56 mi
33 50.77 mi Turn right at Brownell Rd Then go 0.35 mi
34 51.12 mi Turn left at South/Center Cambridge Rd Then go 0.11 mi
35 51.24 mi Turn right at County Rte-74/Railroad Rd Then go 1.88 mi
36 53.12 mi Turn left at S Cambridge Rd/County Rte-59A Then go 0.82 mi
37 53.93 mi Slight right at Buskirk Rd/County Rte-59 Continue to follow Buskirk R Then go 1.76 mi
38 55.69 mi Slight left at Stage Rd Then go 2.71 mi
39 58.41 mi Continue on Turnpike Rd Then go 3.37 mi
40 61.78 mi Turn right at W Main St/NY-372

Points of Interest

Rough Road

Location: 43.176515, -73.413220
Ferguson offers up a few bumps for riders. As the pavement returns, a rolling, 9-mile stretch to Greenwich offers a bit of calm before the storm on the southern half of the loop. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Cambridge

Location: 43.027867, -73.381248
The 62-mile loop begins and ends on Main Street (at Broad) in Cambridge, NY. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Route 313

Location: 43.036274, -73.358116
Rolling out of Cambridge, the paved NY 313 is the calm before the storm. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Eagleville Road

Location: 43.083151, -73.313828
Crossing the Battenkill River over a covered bridge, the route approaches its first taste of dirt on Robertson Road before it picks up Camden Valley Road, tracing West Camden Creek on the approach to Perry Hill Road. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Perry Hill Road

Location: 43.143646, -73.306789
The first significant climb of the ride, Perry Hill Road hits at an average 6-percent grade for half a mile. It's the first jab of a one-two punch with Juniper Swamp waiting in the wings. After descending Perry Hill, the second dirt section awaits on the lead-in to the Juniper Swamp climb. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Juniper Swamp Road

Location: 43.135535, -73.321166
A punch in the gut for Tour of the Battenkill racers, the dirt road climb up Juniper Swamp Road often splits the field. The meat of the climb is just 0.4-mile long, but it features brutal pitches near 18 percent. After topping out, Juniper Swamp Road heads south over a series of persistent rollers. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Dirt Section 3

Location: 43.102510, -73.321499
Turning off the paved stretch of Juniper Swamp, the route turns onto its third dirt section, a 1.1-mile stretch on Rich Road.

Over the Tracks

Location: 43.091644, -73.336315
© Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Salem, NY

Location: 43.171790, -73.330050
© Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Joe Bean Road

Location: 43.193632, -73.383050
Riders begin the route's fourth significant climb on Joe Bean Road. With several false summits (and short, steep pitches), this 2.5-mile climb is often difficult for racers to gauge. © Ian Campbell, ICPhoto.com

Ferguson Road

Location: 43.179144, -73.413820
The route plows through its fifth section of dirt on a downhill stretch on Ferguson Road.

Greenwich, NY

Location: 43.090485, -73.499265
A popular spot for spectators to cheer on racers, Greenwich is also ideally located for a mid-ride pit stop for recreational riders tackling this route year-round.

Approaching Feedzone 1

Location: 43.091613, -73.344898
On race day, look for the second feedzone as the route turns north on Route 64A.

Approaching Feedzone 2

Location: 43.072430, -73.496475

Mountain Road: Dirt Section 5

Location: 43.049102, -73.514628
The first of three sustained dirt sections, Mountain Road makes a brief but brutal climb up the shoulder of Whelden Mountain before tracing contour lines south past Willard Mountain. Here, the unpaved road makes for a rough ascent and an equally tough descent.

Becker Road: Dirt Section 6

Location: 43.010798, -73.527288
Becker Road climbs the shallow side of Becker Hill, but it's still an unwelcome challenge right after Mountain Road.

Meeting House Road: Dirt Section 7

Location: 42.992155, -73.528833
The topography evens out briefly on Meeting House Road, but the pavement stays rough. Ahead, a climb that would ordinarily seem pretty tame will most likely feel pretty brutal.

Stage Road: Dirt Section 8

Location: 42.959061, -73.432574
If they haven't yet, Stage Road, the final climb of the ride, is where your legs are likely to become detached from your body. The 1.3-mile climb is rough, unpaved, and littered with steep pitches and false summits. From the top of the climb, just 5 miles remain to the finish back in Cambridge.

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