2013-07-06 16:51:57.000 – Alex Carne, Summit Intern
Biker at the Finish Line
Newton’s Revenge is an annual bicycle race that is held on the Mount Washington Auto Road. This year’s race took place today, as bikers began their ascent of the 6,288ft mountain at 8:20 this morning. Newton’s Revenge has been considered one of the toughest hill climbs in the world, with steep grades and extreme weather challenging even the best of athletes. Bikers in today’s race had to ascend 4,727ft up the 7.6 mile long auto road. The road has an average grade of 12%, with the steepest section of the road holding off until the last 100 yards of the race, where it ramps up to 22%! If the steep climb isn’t enough to challenge the bikers, Mother Nature will do a good job of hindering the racer’s progress up the mountain. Weather conditions on the summit shortly before 9am this morning displayed NW winds at 51mph gusting to 56mph. This meant that bikers were exposed to the strong crosswind though the final 1.6 miles of the race! Along with the high winds, a dense cloud layer was present over the summit through the entire morning, restricting visibility to just a few feet!
The Mount Washington Auto Road has been holding an annual bicycle race since 1973. The event quickly gained popularity, and in 2006, the Auto Road had to hold a second bike race to accommodate the increasing number of bikers. The second bike race was named Newton’s Revenge, and has been held every year since 2006. The record time for the men’s division was set at 49min 24sec in the year 2002 by Thomas Danielson, and the record women’s time was set in 2000 by Jennie Longo with a time of 58min 14sec. Interestingly, these records are similar to the record times for running up the auto road. The record men and women times for running the auto road are 56min 41sec and 1hour 8min 20sec respectively.
Alex Carne, Summit Intern