Tri-State Seacoast Century, September 22-23, 2012

"The Year Without The Bridge"

2012 Route Overview

Most previous Century participants and area residents know the Memorial Bridge connecting Portsmouth NH and Kittery ME is being replaced and will not be in service until July 2013. There is no viable alternative for large groups of bicyclists to cross the river at that point so the GSW has devised a detour through Dover NH by trimming a little shoreline cycling in all three states. The resulting route offers a wide variety of scenic areas past the mighty Piscataqua River, Great Bay, country roads, horse farms, golf courses, and quaint New England towns while still retaining miles along the spectacular seacoast.

For route maps, cue sheet, and GPS files, click here.

And now for the "wordy details"

Our headquarters is again the Hampton Beach State Park at Hampton Harbor, just north of the Route 1-A bridge from Seabrook. The route starts with an eight mile loop to Salisbury Beach MA for a "warm-up and shake-down ride" which brings you back to headquarters. This first rest stop allows clothing adjustments, bikes to be tweaked, stock up on more snacks, and to meet friends before heading north to Maine. Some riders elect to ride this eight-mile southern loop before signing-in thereby avoiding the check-in lines at 7:00 am.

From headquarters the route proceeds north along the NH shoreline to Washington Road past Rye Harbor where we head inland through Rye and Greenland to the rest stop in Newington NH, 22 miles from the Hampton Beach State Park (HBSP). This is also the Half-Century turnaround point. From there we cross the historic General Sullivan Bridge which is restricted for bike-ped use only. We stay on mostly low-traffic roads all the way into Dover NH where the Metric Century riders turn around at Henry Law Park. City rest rooms and many places to snack are in the area but this is not a GSW rest stop.

Our Century route leaves Dover and crosses a bridge into South Berwick, ME. Sections of the East Coast Greenway and Eastern Trail along the beautiful Piscataqua River waterfront are used as we go through Eliot ME into Kittery with the destination being the Fort McClary Picnic Area, the third rest stop. From there we head back to Dover along a more direct route which also minimizes left turns which can be problematic. Newington is the next rest stop then the final leg of the Century route goes back to headquarters.

Signs along our Century route:


Enjoy the ride -- don't break the law!

Note: Most towns along our route have strict "single file riding" laws which are enforced! All cyclists must ride in a courteous manner and share the roads with motorists. This is a bike ride, not a race, and the roads must not be blocked by cycling two or three abreast when motor traffic approaches from the rear. Signs to that effect will be posted and all participants agree to follow the rules of the road as part of the registration procedure on Key intersections will have police details or flaggers present for your safety and convenience when making turns or crossing traffic.

Maps, cue sheets, and GPS files are provided in three sections for ease of tracking and quick reference on the next page: the southern Salisbury Beach loop, the route from headquarters to Fort McClary, and the return route from Fort McClary to headquarters. Also, three versions of GPS files are provided to match various models of GPS-enabled bike computers. The turn-by-turn cue sheets are being fine-tuned to provide more information about the rest stops while the routes are definite and approved by the concerned towns and police departments. Directional arrows will be marked on the roads with red spray chalk with at least two before and a confirming arrow after each intersection. General support phone numbers will be on the printed cue sheets and maps distributed at check-in time while 911 should be used for any actual emergencies.

This event runs from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday, September 22-23, rain or shine, and no refunds due to weather, sickness, or "no-shows". A National Century Ride is to be completed within ten consecutive hours so no remote accommodations are required. All services including sag wagon calls and snacks at headquarters terminate at 5:00 pm sharp. Cars may not be left overnight inside Hampton Beach State Park and the gates are closed by 6:00 pm. Please plan your cycling time and destinations to allow your return to headquarters by 5:00 pm.

On the "technical side", three on-line services were used to map our route and experienced cyclists scouted every foot of the route several times so hopefully there will be no unwanted surprises. Google Pedometer, Map My Ride, and Ride with GPS were used extensively and compared with each other then the cue sheet from Ride with GPS was further edited. If any errors are noted after reviewing the posted copy, please email or call 603.898.5479 before printed copies are made in late August.

We hope to see you at our Seacoast Century Weekend!

GSW Seacoast Century Committee

Seacoast Century Contact