Wintertide is an archaic term for wintertime. The Wintertide Ride is an archaic form of riding bikes in the harshest of conditions.
What makes this ride so unusual is that we're riding, regardless of the conditions. Overland has hosted a number of rides like this over the years. We show up and enjoy whatever weather Dame Nature presents to us. Sometimes it's two feet of snow; sometimes it's slush; sometimes it's just cold. Whatever is under our wheels is what we ride.
Fortunately, one of the many aspects that makes the Wintertide Ride different from our typical winter ride is that we're providing breakfast, lunch, dinner, and food along the route. We're also providing a warm fire and rustic shelter at a few points along the way; you'll have multiple opportunities to warm up and dry out throughout the day. And, of course, we have a support vehicle that will be well heated if you need it. Test your limits in a safe environment.
When: Saturday, February 10, 2018. Breakfast served at 5:30 am. We roll out at 7:00 am, 8:00 am or 10:00 am depending on your route choice.
Where: Starting and ending at a big warm home Worcester County, Massachusetts.
Registration for the Wintertide will be open soon. Email us to reserve your spot now.
We offer two categories for the Wintertide Ride: Team and Indy. Details about what it means to be a Wintertide team are below.
What's Included with Registration
- Too much food: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Large all. And lots of trail foods and warm drinks.
- Full vehicle support along the entire route.
- Two wood fires -- one at the start and finish and one along the way. A chance to warm up, dry out, and re-energize.
- Eligibility to purchase a custom handmade Overland Base Camp winter collar. This merino wool piece is available for $55 and will be a good friend through all kinds of harsh winter weather.
- GPX files of the routes.
- Motivation to ride in the challenging season. Ride to train and ride for fun. Winter riding can be the funnest riding of the year.
- An opportunity to test your limits and learn something about yourself. Do it all in a safe and supportive environment.
Distance: We have three options, all of which depart from the same wood fire and return to the same point for a hearty meal:
- The Hyperborean Haul: 90-miles
- The Tipping Point: 60-miles
- The Snowball Run: 45-miles
Terrain: It depends on the weather. We'll definitely have lots of dirt roads and quiet pavement. We'll have as much singletrack as weather will permit. Even if it's zero singletrack, the dirt roads are fantastic and the terrain is perfect.
Weather: Whatever. Definitely cold; sometimes dark. It doesn't matter what the climate is doing; we roll no matter what. We're rolling out just before sunrise and some riders will return after sunset.
Route: One of the unusual aspects of the Wintertide is that we're providing numerous opportunities to warm up throughout the event. We're not trying to freeze anyone. While this is a serious challenge, it's not supposed to be harrowing. We have organized stops every 15 miles. So, you only have to focus on making it to the next stop that's never more than 15 miles away. Depending on the weather conditions that's about 1-2 hours between stops. Here's what it looks like:
|90-Mile Route||60-Mile Route||45-Mile Route||Warm Food & Drink?||A Real Wood Fire?||Warm Indoors & Toilet|
|The Start||The Start||The Start||Big Homemade Breakfast!||Multiple Fireplaces :)||The Big Home|
|Mile 15||Mile 15||Mile 15||Cafe Stop||No :(||Yes|
|Mile 30||Mile 30||Special Stop with food & drink||Yes :)||Yes|
|Mile 45||Cafe Stop||No :(||Yes|
|Mile 60||Special Stop with food & drink||Yes :)||Yes|
|Mile 75||Mile 45||Mile 30||Cafe Stop||No :(||Yes|
|The Finish||The Finish||The Finish||Big Homemade Dinner!||Multiple Fireplaces :)||The Big Home, Again|
The appropriate bike depends on the weather.
Warm and snowless: This probably means wet, too. A randonee bike with 28c tires or wider. If it's slushy and warm a wider tire will be appreciated on all the dirt roads.
Dry and snowless: A standard mixed-terrain bike will work really well. The ground will be frozen so traction will be excellent -- and unforgiving. For these conditions we recommend dropbars, 33c or wider knobby tires, and a low gear of at least 34-32t.
Snow on the ground of less than about 3 inches: A bike that handles either 40c studded tires will be ideal. A non-studded 33c tire will work, too, but you'll be working a lot harder.
Snow on the ground of more than about 3 inches: A bike that handles either 40c studded tires or a fat bike that handles 4" tires or, even better, studded 4" tires. Or anything in between 40c and 4" tires.
Additional Unusual Requirements To Join Us
- GPS Device that will get you through up to 14-hours of riding time. The only way to navigate the route is with a dedicated GPS device - like a Garmin 1000 or similar unit.
- Backup Battery & Charging Cable: You'll likely need this to keep your GPS device going for 14-hours.
- Lights: You have to have headlights and a taillight that will last for 4 hours. We're rolling out in the dark and many riders will come home in the dark. If there's a threat of snow you'll want lights on for the entire ride.
- Warm Clothing: Particularly feet, hands, ears, and neck.
We have some other strong recommendations for this kind of climate; if you register you'll receive all out tips and tricks on cold weather riding -- from how to protect your batteries from dying at 15 degrees and how to keep your hands warm for 10+ hours of sub-freezing riding.
We strongly recommend riding with at least one other person. This is for safety and funness. Putting together a team is by no means a requirement. We have a solo rider category and we understand that, for some, riding solo in the harsh weather for 12-plus hours can be cathartic. For those that prefer to share the challenge, here are the simple team rules:
- A Wintertide team consists of 2 to 6 riders. Teams get a discount for working together.
- At least two members of the team must have a GPS unit, and know how to navigate with a GPS.
- The team rides together. Finish together.
- If a team member can't complete the ride for any reason, all team members are responsible to ensure the exiting rider gets picked up by the Overland support vehicle. Don't leave anyone alone at any time.
##Skyward During the Wintertide Ride
|Day Length||10 Hours 43 Minutes|
|Moon at Meridian||5:29 am|