south mountain summer smackdown

2015 Schedule!  (Assume a 6:00 pm start time unless otherwise noted.)

Wednesday  5/13        SMSS #1: Big Flat Hill Climb, EAST SIDE (map)
Wednesday  5/27        Iron Masters Time Trial
Wednesday  6/10        SMSS #2: Pine Grove Road Race (map)
Wednesday  6/24        SMSS #3: Iron Masters Merckx-Style Time Trial
Wednesday  7/8         Iron Masters Time Trial (map)
Wednesday  7/22        SMSS #4: Pine Grove - Caledonia - Pine Grove (map)
Wednesday  8/12        Iron Masters Time Trial (map)
Tuesday    8/25        SMSS #5: Horse Killer Lite (not climbing horse killer; map)       
Tuesday    9/8         King's Gap Time Trial (map)
Tuesday    9/22        SMSS #6: Iron Masters Merckx-Style TEAM Time Trial

Dates in bold indicate SMSS events.  The rest are standard Iron Masters ITT (or TTT) events.  (All Iron Masters ITT events begin at the Iron Masters Mansion, Pine Grove Furnace State Park.)

For the latest up-to-date info and any weather-related cancellations, click here and enter your email (I promise no more than two emails a week).  For results, check the Ship Cycling blog.  For pictures and live blogging, follow @nathangoates on Twitter or search #SMSS.


Back in the day, the South Mountain Velo Club (based largely in Adams County) and Yellow Breeches Racing (in Cumberland County) had battled it out for south-central Pee-Aay club supremacy with a series of "races" staged at various locations in and around South Mountain.  Now its open to anyone who wants to play.  Its a club challenge.  A battle for South Mountain club supremacy!

Because the SMSS is a club deal, each event is scored like a cross country meet, where the individual placings of the top several riders (in our case three) are totaled, and the lowest score wins.  A club's fourth and fifth riders don't score points, but offset the points of other riders placing further down.

If you do NOT have a team it's still OK. Just come. We'll put you on a team or let you race solo. Whatever. It's for everyone.


Big Flat Hill Climb (EAST SIDE!).  Perhaps the most challenging climb in the area. Starting from the Arendtsville Fair Grounds, we proceed west through the scenic narrows and only climb gradually. But after turning off Rt 234 the pitch of the road increases abruptly, then again, then a brief descent, and then the final long, steep grind from Rt. 233 to the 2000' Big Flat area.

Pine Grove Furnace Road Race.  Beginning at Pine Grove Furnace State Park, riders headed southwest on Pine Rd/Route 233, left at Shippensburg Rd., left on Wenksville Rd, then, NEW IN 2015, take a left on Old Railroad Rd. Old Railroad starts steep (and paved) and after a bit calms in pitch, but the tarmac ends and there's about a three mile stretch of dirt road from the top of Old Railroad along Pine Mountain Ridge Road until you once again encounter tarmac at the ATV parking lot at the summit of Bendersville Rd. Turn left, descend into Pine Grove Furnace State Park, then take a right on Pine Grove Rd. The finish is in a mile or so atop the second roller. About 2,000 feet of elevation gain along the route.

King's Gap Time Trial.  Begins at the FIRST bridge on King's Gap Rd (prior to the parking area on the left).  Finish is at the flagpole in front of the mansion.  A map.

Pine Grove - Caledonia - Pine Grove.  As with the Pine Grove Furnace Road Race, the race begins at the Laurel Lake parking lot, Pine Grove Furnace State Park.  Riders proceed southwest on Pine Rd/Route 233 for approximately 15 miles, then back again to Pine Grove Furnace.  Turnaround is at the main entrance to Caledonia State Park.  Finish line is at the top of the first roller you ride on the way out--maybe 300m from where the ride began.  A map (29.5 miles, 1900' of elevation gain).

Horse Killer Lite. A nostalgic loop around the "easy" Horse Killer Road Race course. Beginning at the baseball fields in Southampton Township (NOT Southampton Township Park, but about a mile south of there on Neil Rd.), we head northeast on Gilbert Rd and onto the TNR course. Near the top of the Strohmsburg we take a left off the TNR course onto Chestnut Grove. A right on Rehoboth, another right on Furnace Hollow, then we hug the edge of the mountain south for a few short climbs and then loop back around past the baseball fields and finish about two miles on at the regular TNR finish line on Gilbert Rd. We'll do two laps...add the two mile stretch to the finish and that makes for about a 27.5 mile course. Here's your map.


2014: Faulkner Nissan Racing (1st), SMVC (2nd), Shippensburg Univ (students, alumni, friends; 3rd)
2013: (I was keeping track through the 5th round, but I can't remember how the final round or the final turned out.  I'm a bad record keeper...)
2012: SMVC (1st), Ship Cycling (2nd), Mountainside Ski & Sport (3rd)
2011: I can't remember exactly how it turned out, but I know SMVC won.
2010: Ship Cycling (1st), SMVC (2nd), YBR (3rd)
SMVC (1st), Ship Cycling (2nd), YBR (3rd)

(I'm pretty sure this is right.  If not, feel free to correct me by leaving a comment below.)