From its humble beginning in 2009, the Hell of Hunterdon quickly emerged as the premier Spring Classic & Mixed Surface Ride in the Mid Atlantic.
The event pays tribute to the Northern European Spring Classics, in particular to the Ronde van Vlaanderen. The goal was to create a ride that is roughly half of the distance of the professional races with a course that is challenging, but doable, for serious recreational cyclists and amateur racers. We wanted to celebrate the beginning of a new cycling season, so we created a festive atmosphere and a post ride party. We are humbled by the response from the participants.
March 25, 2017
The Princeton Elks were so fascinated by the participants ability to ride in cold weather and then consume massive quantities of food and beer, that they wanted to host us again.
The field limit once again was reached quickly, and we were treated to warmer than normal temperatures. Prior to the ride, TruBrew again provided complimentary coffee to go along with the Stroopwafels provided by the organizers. Unfortunately a light rain began to fall late in the morning, just enough to make things a little messy for part of the field, but fortunately it was just a small shower. We kept the course identical to the 2016 course.
We decided to mix up the post ride celebration a little bit; while The Catering Company of Blawenburg Market still prepared Belgian Style Food, we had a mini beer tasting festival with 2 small breweries (Bucks County Brewing and Rubber Soul) providing 2 beers each. Bucks County brewed a Belgian Pale Ale especially for the occasion.
81.5 Miles, 5200′ of Climbing, 19 unpaved roads. Course Map
March 26, 2016
The Princeton Elks Lodge kept good on their promise to allow us to return in 2016 for the 8th edition, and the field limit was reached shortly after registration opened.
The ride started under cold conditions, but the temperatures quickly rose, and it became a very pleasant spring day. The best news was the high speed winds on 2015 did not return. Stonybrook Rd was repaired, so we were able to return to the traditional route with the full complement of 19 unpaved roads.
A new partner, TruBrew provided complimentary coffee prior to the start, which went well with the Stroopwafels provided by the organizers. Nothing gets a ride going like a caffeine and sugar rush.
The biggest change was Weyerbacher came on board as our brewery partner, providing a choice of 3 different beers, keeping the bartenders very busy. The Catering Company of Blawenburg Market once again prepared Belgian Style Food.
81.5 Miles, 5200′ of Climbing, 19 unpaved roads. Course Map
April 4, 2015
Our 7th Edition in 2015 was our most traumatic. We recognized that the event had outgrew Lambertville (parking was a huge issue, and we exceeded the capacity of YMAC’s catering hall), so we moved the Start/Finish to the Elks Lodge in Montgomery Township.
This required us to re-lay out the course; the Cifelli’s became the 1st aid station (the previous year they were the 2nd), and Wheelfine Imports hosted the 2nd. The field limit of 800 riders sold out in just 22.5 hours, with 538 riders signing up the night on-line registration opened. Montgomery, Hopewell and Delaware Townships all provided Police Services.
A storm the day before the ride (originally scheduled for March 21, 2015) dropped >8″ of snow; we knew the parking lots of the venues would not be plowed in time, the aid stations would be snowed in, and most of the unpaved roads would not be passable. We were fortunate to be able to reschedule the event to April 4th, which was a clear, but windy day; wind gusts exceeding 35 MPH, knocked down trees, ripped the banners off our start/finish truss, knocked over barricades, and tore our Lion of Flanders Flag on the Elk’s flagpole. The course had to be modified to avoid a damaged unpaved road.
The Catering Company of Blawenburg Market prepared Belgian Style Food, and River Horse, now back in full swing, provided us with Kegs. 4 bartenders were kept busy pouring it all afternoon. It was the largest, craziest event the Elks have ever hosted. And they invited us back!
79 Miles, 5100′ of Climbing, 17 unpaved roads. Course Map
The 6th Edition saw another increase in field limit, and the event sold out 725 slots in 42 hours.
We were finally able to convince Lambertville to close a road for us for the Start/Finish. The 2nd aid station moved from Bulls Island to the Cifelli residence, one of our riders. 2 bridge construction projects forced a change of the route, eliminating 2 unpaved roads. YMAC planned for even more pasta, and still had to make more, when they realized they were running out again. River Horse Brewery had moved out of Lambertville to a larger facility, which impacted their production schedule, so they couldn’t supply us. However Neshaminy Brewing Company stepped in; we provided another Belgian Beer Glass to serve it in.
77 Miles, 4900’ of Climbing, 17 unpaved roads. Course Map
March 30, 2013
With the 5th edition, we were no longer under the radar. YMAC in Lambertville hosted the festivities, giving us an indoor registration area, and indoor/outdoor party space. 600 registration slots sold out in 2 weeks. Pizza was out, and pasta was in; YMAC underestimated the amount of food to be consumed and had to make more. River Horse provided kegs instead of bottles, making our finisher’s trophy a necessity. The weather was gorgeous; outside was more popular than inside.
77 Miles, 4800’ of Climbing, 19 unpaved roads: Course Map
March 31, 2012
The Field Limit for our 4th edition was increased yet again, and sold out a month before the event. 379 riders participated.
River Walk hosted the stat/finish. An earlier flood of the Delaware River destroyed Caffe Galleria, forcing them to relocate. Thus Giuseppe’s of Lambertville provided the pizza.
The weather was horrible; temperatures in the low 40s and raining; we had a true Spring Classic! Most stories about the event use the word “epic”. We introduced our now famous “Finisher’s Trophy” (a HoH Belgian Style Beer Glass) to serve the River Horse Beer in.
77 Miles, 4800’ of Climbing, 19 Unpaved Roads: Course Map
March 26, 2011
The 3rd Edition on March 26, 2011 saw us increase the field limit again, the ride sold out the week before the ride. 272 riders participated in the event.
We outgrew Pure Energy’s Parking Lot, so we moved the start/finish and post ride festivities around the corner to River Walk in Lambertville. We also outgrew the Peacock General Store’s space, thus we began our valued relationship with D&R Greenway, who gave us use of their Stonybrook Reserve for our aid station. To accommodate this, we had to modify the course, which gave us a longer, but more scenic course. We also added a second aid station, located at Bulls Island.
It was a cold but sunny day, but it warmed up enough for people to enjoy the outdoor post ride party. Caffe Galleria was at their limit making pizza for us; we consumed >100 pizzas. We had to make 2 runs to River Horse pick up the beer required.
77 Miles, 4350’ of Climbing, 18 Unpaved Roads Course Map
April 3, 2010
The 2nd edition was a true, albeit small event. We formalized things and set-up a registration page on BikeReg; to our great surprise, the event sold out during the pre-registration period. This was a huge milestone for us, as we were told that we’d never get 100 people on a ride like this, and we blew past that metric with ease!
140 people took to the start, this time with the course marked, and with a staffed aid station at the Peacock General Store. Once again, River Horse provided us with beer, Caffe Galleria made the pizza, and our new sponsor Lazer Helmets provided us with a Grand Prize. The Pure Energy Parking Lot was filled!
The course was identical to 2009: 76 Miles, 4700′ of Climbing, 18 Unpaved Roads
April 25, 2015
The first edition was a glorified Shop & Club Ride run in a Randonee’ fashion (everyone was on their own; there was no support) based out of the Pure Energy Bike Shop parking lot in Lambertville, NJ. The course was designed by Brian Ignatin, with assistance from Gary Snyder.
Approximately 35 people, with cue sheets in hand, informally rolled out on a gorgeous spring morning. Riders refueled at the Peacock and Sergeanstville General Stores. Pure Energy provided post ride pizza, Lambertville based River Horse Brewing Company provided cold beer, Hutchinson Tires provided some raffle prizes. All had a great time; we knew we had to do this again! Thus a tradition was born.
76 Miles, 4700′ of climbing, 18 Unpaved Roads Course Map