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Three Routes, One Finish Line!

All Riders for BellRinger 2024 will finish alongside each other at Smokey Glen Farm

4 min read

We’re nearing 100 days to BellRinger 2024, and we wanted to share an exciting update on the Ride. After many years of effort and feedback from the BellRinger community, we’ve finally been able to create a single finish line for the 25-, 50-, and 100-mile routes at Smokey Glen Farm. We’re going to throw one big celebration to celebrate our impact on cancer research at Georgetown Lombardi. We’re grateful to our hosts at Smokey Glen who are opening up their space to host this year’s finish line celebration.

The 25-mile Ride will be similar to last year’s route, but instead of looping back to Glen Echo Park, we will continue northwest with the 50- and 100-mile Riders to Smokey Glen Farm. The ride will have a few more hills than last year, but features quieter roads and scenic views along the way.

The 50- and 100-mile courses are getting a complete makeover. Instead of heading north into Frederick County, we’re sticking to the backroads of Montgomery County. This means fewer steep grades for Riders and even quieter roads in scenic, rural southwest Montgomery County.

Read on for more details about BellRinger 2024 and what to expect out on the road. As a quick reminder, we’re still tweaking certain things about the ride. Some roads will change, rest stops will be added, and we’ll fine tune the entire course to ensure it’s in tip-top shape for Ride Weekend.

25-Mile Route

We’re departing Georgetown University using the same route as our first two years. We’ll head up Clara Barton Parkway together before turning north towards Potomac. Once through Potomac, Riders will head northwest along backroads toward Gaithersburg. Two rest stops will be on offer at Adat Shalom Synagogue and Greenbriar Local Park. There will be a few more hills near the end of the ride, but we are certainly avoiding the big final hill that Riders tackled in our Inaugural Ride. Because we are all finishing together at Smokey Glen, we won’t be able to offer the short-cut this year that we offered last year, but the total ride distance will only be 23 miles. We’re crediting you two miles back after making everyone ride a bit extra last year!

Turn-by-turn route:

50-Mile Route

The 50-mile course this year is seeing a big change. Riders will follow the 25 mile course for the first 23 miles. Overall, the first 35 miles are nearly the same as last year, but instead of the punishing hills of the final 15 miles, we’re going to turn south to some roads that are friendlier on the legs. 50-mile Riders will pass through Poolesville and Dawsonville on a short circuit as they link back up with the course and head back into Smokey Glen. Overall elevation change is slightly higher than in 2023, but we promise the hills will be much more gradual than what Riders experienced last year.

Turn-by-turn route:

100-Mile Route

The 100-mile course is undergoing the biggest update. Like the 50-mile course, the 100-mile course will remain identical for the first 35 miles. From there, we’ll begin a counterclockwise ride through southwest Montgomery County. This course will be significantly flatter than last year. We’ve removed a number of the punishing hills in Frederick County and replaced them with roads that feature more gradual climbing. The course will again pass through Barnesville, skirt the southern edge of Sugarloaf Mountain, and trace the Potomac River as it travels downstream towards Poolesville. We’ll stop in Poolesville and then link back up with the course and head back to Smokey Glen. We believe this will form the backbone of a new iconic BellRinger century ride.

Turn-by-turn route:

 A final note on the routes and safety

Safety is our number one priority, and BellRinger’s routes are never fully finalized until the morning of the Ride. We are constantly monitoring our routes for safety concerns and working with law enforcement to ensure we are setting our community up for a safe and enjoyable ride.

When training for BellRinger, some of the roads found on our route won’t be suitable for solo Riders on a Saturday afternoon ride. We are able to bring far more resources to the table on BellRinger Weekend to help staff intersections with law enforcement and add additional signage to alert drivers to Riders on the road. Please use caution as you select roads for your training rides, and take care to avoid busy intersections and roads that are not commonly traversed by bicyclists.

We look forward to riding with the entire BellRinger community on October 26th. Best of luck with your training and fundraising in the lead up to BellRinger Weekend!

July 11, 2024

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