Thursday Night Suffer Fest Bike Ride & Running Series

Date: Jul 25 2019

Whatever you do, don't come to this group gravel ride and run at Bolton on Thursday nights.  It's called the Suffer Fest because that's exactly what it is.  Grueling, relentless uphill, week after week.

Bolton Valley Suffer Fest Mountain Biking Every Thursday

The Bolton Valley Access Road has a special kind of notoriety in Vermont's road biking circles.  It climbs just shy of 2000 vertical feet in 4.5 miles with surprisingly few reprieves along the way.  And for the hearty corps of mountain bikers that have kept the handful of downhill mountain bike trails from getting overgrown during the past decade, they know how brutal the climb is to get to the top - above and beyond where the access road stops. 

Bolton Valley has combined both of these nightmarish climbs into one soul-crushing gravel ride that repeats week after week at 5:30 every Thursday night starting June 20th until noone can take it any longer.  The only consolation is that following each ride, the beer and food will be flowing from Bolton Valley's legendary James Moore Taven and Fireside Flatbread where you can continue to fight your way through tremendous beer, food, billiards, darts, and lawn games set up off the tavern deck. 

Riders can choose their weapon, whether it's a mountain bike, off-road bike, cyclo-cross set-up or a beach cruiser. Not into biking but really enjoy suffering? No worries, we'll have a separate group of runners headed out each night as well. But the course remains the same.  Suffer Fest Riders will park at the Sugar Shack parking lot about a third of the way up the access road.  From there, they'll climb about a half-mile of pavement before turning to climb up "Broadway" - the 2-mile long Nordic trail/double track that climbs about a thousand vertical feet up the other side of the valley and re-emerges behind the main Base Lodge at the mountain.

The course continues up around the pavilion in front of the lodge, past the rider/runner emergency checkpoint before continuing up the alpine ski trails "work road" double track that climbs for another 900 vertical feet to the summit of the Vista Chairlift in about a mile and a half.

Only the strong will survive.  And nobody will blame you if you don't make it past the emergency checkpoint.  But one thing is sure.  If you want to get in shape for gravel grinder rides or running events this fall, there's no better way to kick your butt into shape than subjecting it to a weekly Thursday night suffer fest at Bolton Valley.

But please... for your own sake, don't try it.  It's a horrible, awful climb by anyone's standards.  See you there!