I first heard about the Slaterville 100 route a few years ago, I believe when it was first run as a food-drop 60 mile ride through some of the nearby state forest land east of Ithaca. The route was modified in 2010, and apparently about 20 riders on cross or mountain bikes started that day, some with hopes of making this a 100 mile ride by doing two laps, but with the rain and cold weather few finished the first lap before heading back. There was no mention that I could find in the emails this year about this route being advertised, so I asked around and got the most recent route information and a few other responses from people willing to take a stab at this route again.
The route is ~53 miles from Brookton’s Market, which is 63 miles from East Hill Plaza or 73 miles from my apartment. Chris Rusin joined in from EHP on his beautiful new steel frame road bike, but with narrow tires and time commitments, he branched off after a Shindagin. Jason must have seen us roll slowly past the market and hopped out quick enough catch us there. The climb up Bald Hill Rd was just as hard as usual, and I only realized at the top that Jason was on a single speed bike! We made our way through Shindagin, and ran into Jeremy Gardener who didn’t meet us in time for the start but instead waited at the base of Level Green Rd. It was nice to see Goodrich and Blackman Hill roads on the side this time, and not have to climb up those monsters, though we had plenty of climbing on this route otherwise.
Jason took 79 back to Brooktondale, and Jeremy and I would continue on through Robinson Hollow and some gnarly descents. The Jim Schug trail in Dryden had a few other people on bikes or walking, and only one ipod zombie. Then came the best parts of the ride. Beam Hill proved too much to climb from this side, so we hiked up to the top. I was on this road early this year and came down the unpaved side when there was still about a foot of snow, and the only reliable path to take was through the small stream on the side. While there was some snow high up in the forests, we at least had fairly solid ground to walk on this time. Possibly this northern half of the route would overall be more rideable in the other direction next time.
Through Hammond Hill were plenty of ponds in the road, but it appears that many others have biked/hiked/skied here and created trails that veer off to avoid that. This was some fun cross riding through here, where sometimes the best line is just to go through the mud with a little speed, otherwise you just get stuck and have to put a foot down in soaking slop. Fortunately I was able to keep my feet dry through here, since it had never really warmed up much above 40F. Another speedy descent into Shindagin and back up, and then we were headed back to the start. My knee started to feel sore by this point, and only got worse from here, leading to taking a day off the bike and riding the bus to work today.