The Snallygaster 200
The THIRD edition of the Snallygaster 200/100 will roll out on September 14th, 2024 at 7 AM from the bike shop. This is the first, and only, ultra-distance bikepacking race/gravel route in western Maryland and Preston County. Registration will become available in February.
And just what is a Snallygaster, you ask? Well, they're sorta like a modern day pterodactyl, but with nasty big pointy teeth. They're dinosaur-adjacent, you might say. Or maybe the Snallygaster is a folk tale that German immigrants in western Maryland created to keep their kids in bed. Either way, Snallygasters clearly live in remote, beautiful locations around Garrett and Preston Counties where they feast on unsuspecting bikepackers and tasty berries when in season. Word has it that they also love Hammer Gels, though, so maybe just keep a few extras.
In seriousness, this amazing and difficult route will go through 4 of the 7 state parks in Garrett County, run the entire length of the Meadow Mtn Trail, scoot around the rim of the Blackwater Canyon, visit countless gorgeous and forgotten dirt/gravel roads in Preston County (Hile Run, Snake Road, Mount Olivet Road, Peddler's Glory) and incredible roads in the north of Garrett County (Blooming Rose Road, for instance). Best of all, there are a ton of towns and gas stations along the way for resupply and plenty of places to camp. Not to mention, you'll always be within an hour of Oakland, so if something goes terribly wrong, getting a ride back to the start won't be a massive pain in the you-know-what.
The stats/fine print:
Snallygaster 200 Route:
Total actual distance: 197.1 miles
Total elevation: Approx. 22,000 ft. of climbing.
Surface type: 65-70% gravel/dirt/rural roads and 30-35% actual pavement.
Snallygaster 100 Route:
Total actual distance: 104 miles
Total elevation gain: Approx. 12,000 ft. of climbing
Start time: 7 AM on 9/16/2023 at the Oakland Town Lot
Suggested bike: Gravel or mountain bike
Suggested tire size: 700x40 gravel tires or greater (I promise, this is not an exaggeration. It's definitely not a course for underbiking! You might even be better off bringing a mountain bike.)
Please remember this ride will be an unsanctioned and self-supported event through remote areas where cell service is often non-existent. Snallygaster 200 racers will be required to have, or rent, a GPS tracking device to make sure the entire route is followed. Further, outside aid will not be permitted (i.e. your spouse can't meet you every twenty miles and give you food and water.) You're more than welcome -- and encouraged! -- to use any publicly available gas stations, restaurants, hotels, etc., as these are available to everyone and fall within the realm of fair play.
Route Files (UPDATED 8/31/22):
Snallygaster 200 Route on Strava: https://www.strava.com/routes/2904474614211000968
Snallygaster 200 Route on MapMyRide: https://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/4770886624
Snallygaster 200 Route on RideWithGPS: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40782322
Snallygaster 100 Route on Strava: https://www.strava.com/routes/2929057359063392646
NEWLY ADDED: Data Sheet/Points of Interest: https://docs.google.com/.../18IpFtB5KURf0wfYuKOe.../edit...