There is plenty of cool news to report about this year's Allen Clark Hill Climb, the annual bike time trial up Appalachian Gap this Sunday, October 1, starting at 10 a.m. For starters, the registration numbers are up significantly over last year, which means more money to be raised for the beneficiary, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.
A more compelling story for this year's event is that, for the first time ever, a hand cyclist will be participating in the race. And not just any hand cyclist -- Alicia Dana won world championship gold in 2014 and can also lay claim to a Paralympics silver medal. Her Allen Clark participation is especially meaningful in an event that is a Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports (VASS) fundraiser.
Another storyline for this year's event is that all Allen Clark proceeds will, for the first time, go directly to a new initiative launched by Vermont Adaptive and the Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce. With the chamber's new Welcome Center located at the start of the race, collaborating on Allen Clark seemed like a natural fit. This year and in the future, Allen Clark money will be used to provide grants enabling local businesses to make their facilities more accessible to all Valley residents and visitors. This partnership has developed into a newly launched community-wide initiative called accessMRV -- https://www.madrivervalley.com/accessmrv/.
Once almost exclusively a local event, the Allen Clark race now draws participants from all over the Northeast and eastern Canada. In fact, there is currently just one Valley rider registered -- the ever-dependable Marc Hammond. Those who want to bump up local participation and join Hammond -- and Alicia Dana -- to help raise money for the new accessMRV initiative, register here: https://www.bikereg.com/allen-clark-hill-climb . Online registration closes at midnight on Friday, September 29, although race-day registration is possible, with a $10 surcharge added. Those who don’t enjoy punishing themselves on a tough, uphill bike ride can join the fundraising effort anyway. There is a non-racing category on the registration page for people make a donation. All event info is at achillclimb.org.