DURHAM, N.H. – Bicycling 100 miles through the White Mountains is an impressive feat for any cyclist. Doing so without the use of your legs approaches insanity. In September, 300 bicyclists of all abilities, including some paraplegics on handcycles, will tackle three scenic but grueling notches – Franconia, Crawford and the Kancamagus Highway – in the annual Three Notch Century to benefit the University of New Hampshire’s Northeast Passage program. This year’s event, which lets participants choose to complete the course in one, two or three days, is Sept. 6 - 8, 2013.
“The Three Notch Century will always be my favorite ride,” says cyclist Tonya Knightly, who has participated in the ride since its inception. “The route is challenging. The scenery is breathtaking. The support staff takes care of you, but the best part is the relationships that are formed. When you ride three days with a disabled cyclist you stop seeing a person with a disability and start seeing the person.”
Three- and two-day rides start in Lincoln and cycle to the Flume and the State Forest Recreation Trail, nine miles of rolling hills that crisscross the Pemigewasset River to Profile Lake. After climbing through Franconia and Crawford notches (three-day riders will stay overnight at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center), cyclists cruise a speedy descent into North Conway, where they connect with the one-day cyclists for a celebration dinner at the North Conway Grand Hotel. Two- and three-day riders “crank the Kanc” on Sunday and finish back in Lincoln.
A 40-mile option on Saturday, Sept. 7, is ideal for friends and family of century riders. This loop from North Conway goes over Bear Notch Road.
“The Three Notch is our marquee event,” says Jill Gravink, Northeast Passage executive director. “It is critical to our fundraising and highlights our mission by providing an all-inclusive, accessible opportunity for individuals with and without disabilities.”
“I rode in the first Three Notch Challenge, when a small group of thirteen set out to conquer 100 miles of the White Mountains,” says Knightly, who, with her husband, owns event sponsor Envirovantage. “Now it has grown into Northeast Passage’s largest fundraiser, but it is still about the individual testing themselves regardless of ability. It’s not a race. It’s not about beating the other cyclists. It’s about conquering the mountains.”
Northeast Passage is a program of the University of New Hampshire’s College of Health and Human Services and an affiliate of Disabled Sports USA. Northeast Passage develops and delivers innovative, barrier free recreation and health promotion programs. All proceeds from this event directly benefit Northeast Passage’s programs. The Three Notch Century is sponsored by Envirovantage.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Photographs available to download:
Caption: “Cranking the Kanc” along the Kancamagus Highway in the Three Notch Century.
Credit: Ed Harrigan
Caption: Cyclists of all abilities participate in the Three Notch Century to benefit Northeast Passage.
Credit: Cynthia Tokos
Watch a video of the Three Notch Century: http://vimeo.com/12460747
rtheast Passage staff and participants will be available all weekend for interviews and photo opportunities. On Friday, Sept. 6, we will be riding through the Franconia Notch recreation trail, past the Mount Washington Hotel to the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Highland Center in Crawford Notch. Please contact us at 802-598-8542 for specific times and locations. B-roll footage from previous years is available.
Secondary Contact: Keely Ames | 603-862-0070 | Northeast Passage