Mountains of Misery 2018

Mountains of Misery is a challenging bike ride for dedicated road cyclists through the heart of southwest Virginia. The annual timed event features century (100+ mi) and double-metric century (200 km/124+ mi) options—both ending in a tough, four-mile 12%–16% graded climb to the finish.


Registration for Mountains of Misery will begin at 12:01am EST on February 1st, 2017 and often sells out within a few days. You can choose between a couple routes:

  • The Challenge Century is 104 miles, with 10,000′ of climbing.
  • The Double Metric Century is 200 kilometers, or 125 miles, with over 13,000′ of climbing

You can explore routes and elevation maps from some of last year's riders:

We do not allow transfers of ride slots, therefore there is no waiting list for Mountains of Misery. We cannot offer refunds, but riders can choose to defer their registration for a year at no cost in the case of unexpected emergency, injury, etc.


Every year we get questions about gearing.

  • If you are at all unsure of your ability to climb steep grades for long distances, use a triple. Compact doubles (34–50, etc.) are a good solution too.
  • If you insist on using a standard double (39–53), put the biggest gear on the back that you can. Even fit, professional racers would use a 25t gear in the back. Flatlanders beware!
  • The final climb to Mountain Lake is a lot harder with over 100 miles on your legs already. Consider this fair warning!


Mountain Lake Lodge

Stay at the Finish!

Memorial Day Weekend accommodations for Mountains of Misery participants at the newly renovated lodge for $99, plus taxes—you can add a grab-and-go continental breakfast on race day for $7.50 per person. All overnight guest also pay a $10 parking fee per night.

Two-night minimum required, please call 540-626-7121 to reserve.

The Inn at Virginia Tech

Mountains of Misery participants can take advantage of a special weekend rate for the 2017 event starting at $114 at the Inn at Virginia Tech.

Call (540) 231-8000 to reserve your room today.

Main Street Inn

Main Street Inn is a distinctive 34-suite hotel located in the heart of Historic Downtown Blacksburg. Ride participants can enjoy 15% off direct bookings for 2018.

Driving Directions


Directions to Newport Recreation Center from Blacksburg

The Rec. Center is approximately nine (9) miles from the center of Blacksburg, VA.

  • Head west on US-460. Turn right onto VA-42 at Newport.
  • Follow VA-42 east through the center of Newport, and as you are heading out of Newport, the Newport Recreation Center will be on your right (approximately 0.8 mi from 460.

The Newport Recreation Center (former Newport High School) is a large brick building.

Directions to Newport Recreation Center from Giles County

The Rec. Center is approximately ten (10) miles from the center of Pembroke, VA.

  • Head east on US-460. Turn left onto VA-42 at Newport.
  • Follow VA-42 east through the center of Newport, and as you are heading out of Newport, the Newport Recreation Center will be on your right (approximately 0.8 mi from 460.

The Newport Recreation Center (former Newport High School) is a large brick building.

An approximate address for the starting line and the main parking lot is:

450 Blue Grass Trail Newport, VA, 24128

The ride is in the heart of a beautiful rural area, and the NRVBA and the Mountains of Misery strongly encourage all riders to follow the above directions, however. The event waives all responsibility for incorrect GPS routes generated using the above address.

Packet Pick-up

All riders will be able to get their packets from 2pm–7pm on the Saturday before the ride. The course is well-marked, but some riders choose to print their own copy of the cue sheet from the digital copies provided by the event organizers.

Day of the Ride

The ride starts at 7:00am. Be considerate—we cannot have late arrivals driving through everyone else’s start. Please arrive early!

Riders will be released in waves separated by five (5) minutes. Your finish time will be adjusted accordingly.

The shoulder of Route 42 will be closed by VDOT. Please do not park on the shoulder of the road. Volunteers will be directing you to park at the Newport Rec. Center, and the overflow lot at the Newport Ballfield, just a quarter-mile down the road. There is plenty of parking at these locations.

We advise having a gym bag containing a change of clothes sent up to the finish. (A changing area will be available.) Bags will be collected at the start area in the hours before the ride at the Penske Truck.

  • Bags need to have your name and bib number.
  • No paper or lightweight plastic bags will be accepted.

During the Ride

Follow all guidance provided by the ride coordinators and in your information packets. This page does not contain the same material given to registered participants.

  1. You must wear an acceptable helmet.
  2. You must wear a MOM bib, with the number visible from the back. Bicycle numbers must be placed on the bike frame. 
  3. You cannot wear headphones or otherwise impede your hearing.
  4. You cannot accept assistance from a personal SAG vehicle. Personal SAG involves any vehicle which is on the course specifically to give you support, including but not limited to fuel, fluids, clothing, cheering, etc.
  5. There are several opportunities near the Newport Rec. Center for spectators to see their rider, so please stay off the course. The more vehicles on the course, the greater the chance of an accident or incident.
  6. You must obey the directions of ride marshals and any volunteer:
    1. Stop at intersections when directed to by a marshal—they are to stop you, not cars.
    2. Stop at a rest stop when directed to by a marshal—there may be a problem ahead.
    3. Obey any other instructions—this is for your safety and the safety of others.
  7. All SAG (support and gear) vehicle personnel should be regarded as marshals – you must obey their directions, for your safety.
  8. The Race Director may halt the ride, delay the ride or prohibit any riders to proceed past a certain point due to severe weather, unsafe conditions or other emergencies—you must comply with these decisions, which Marshals will communicate to you.
  9. Be polite, respectful, and calm with the public, whether on foot or in a vehicle—even if they are frustrated or verbal—do not respond in kind. 
  10. RIDERS WHO DROP FROM THE RIDE FOR ANY REASON MUST LET A RIDE OFFICIAL KNOW BEFORE LEAVING THE EVENT AREA. If you are not going to finish the ride, please find the nearest ride volunteer (rest area volunteer, HAM operator, SAG driver, ride marshal, etc.) and make sure they have your name and bib number. This is for the safety of all participants and necessary to keep track of all riders.
  11. You must return your timing chip or you will be assessed a $30 fee.
  12. ALL RIDERS MUST BE IN THE STARTING CORRAL AT THE NEWPORT REC. CENTER BEFORE 7AM. We are chip timing and you must come from the corral to start the ride. Even if you are in the last wave, you must be inside the start area by 7:00AM.

You must obey all local and state traffic laws, follow all event rules provided by the ride coordinators and directions from ride marshals. Violations will be cause for immediate ejection from the race.

  1. You must obey all traffic laws, including posted speed limits.
  2. You must come to a full stop at stop signs, flashing red, or other traffic control devices.
  3. You cannot ride more than two abreast—the peloton cannot block the traffic lane.
  4. You must allow vehicles behind you to pass you, by forming up single file.
  5. You must stay on your side of the double-yellow line at all times.
  6. When you hear sirens and see lights, you must pull over to the side of the road and stop to allow emergency vehicles behind you to pass safely.
  7. You must not litter on the course—this includes dropping your wrappings from energy bars and gels.

Course Information

The Century route is approximately 102 miles. The Double Metric is approximately 125 miles.

The split for the Century and Double Metric occurs at the 28-mile mark. Please be aware of turning cyclists, and cyclists re-entering the Double Metric Course from Rest Stop #2.

The course is clearly marked; it is your responsibility to pay attention and know the course. There should be marshals at any questionable turns, but do not count on a marshal. Sometimes they must leave their posts for unforeseen reasons. Pay attention to the road markings!

Make sure you are very aware of any “Caution” or “Slow” signs/markings on the course. These mark dangerous areas and you must be careful!

There will be two-way bike traffic on Route 601 in Clover Hollow—please be extra careful and be courteous to riders and vehicles trying to pass.

Rest Stops

There are eight rest stops for Century riders and ten for the Double Metric, approximately every 10–15 miles throughout the course.

All rest stops will have food, water, sodas, Gatorade, nutrition gels/capsules, and Port-A-Johns. Some rest stops will have tools.

Because of time considerations, there is a 4:30pm cut-off time at the Newport Rec. Center, before the final climb to Mountain Lake. No rider may proceed past this point after 4:30pm. The finish line closes at 7:00pm.

Riders who don’t think they can finish by 7:00pm should end their ride in Newport.

Support and Gear (SAG)

SAG, Mechanical Support, and HAM vehicles will be roaming the course, and HAM will be stationed at every rest stop. For assistance, give a “thumbs down” signal. 

SAG and Mechanical Support will have yellow flags and lights for identification, and HAM (communication) will have identification marks on the vehicle windows. 

If you have any problems along the route please notify SAG, HAM or Rest Stops immediately. 

No personal SAG vehicles are allowed. If we discover you have a personal SAG vehicle, your finish time will not be recorded or posted. Only ride finishers will receive the famous Finishers Shirt!

Severe Weather

Shelters have been arranged at most rest stops in the case of severe weather such as thunderstorms. 

If, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 20 before hearing thunder, seek shelter at a rest stop or nearby building. If you are not close to a rest stop and cannot find shelter in a building, follow this guidance from the National Weather Service:

If caught outdoors and no shelter is nearby:

  • Find a low spot away from trees, fences, and poles. Make sure the place you pick is not subject to flooding.
  • If you are in the woods, take shelter under the shorter trees.
  • If you feel your skin tingle or your hair stand on end, squat low to the ground and make yourself the smallest target possible.

The Finish

When you finish, volunteers will immediately stop you from continuing on and will take your bike. Please remove computers and personal belongings from your bike, empty your water bottles, and make sure your bicycle number is attached to your frame. Your bike will be safely transported to the Newport Rec. Center for pickup. Be sure to keep your bib number and your timing chip with you to claim your bicycle.

Congratulations! Mountains of Misery is a challenging course, and not everyone who starts will make it up the final Category 1 climb. Enjoy the catered food and drinks at the top and relax.

Massage therapists available for $1/minute—please have cash.

When you're ready, regular passenger shuttle service will return riders and spectators to the Newport Rec. Center and parking area.


There is no parking at the finish area for riders, family members, or spectators. Please park in Newport, and use the shuttles to get to the finish area.

From Newport to Mountain Lake

Begins at 10:30am, continues every 20 minutes as needed.

From Mountain Lake to Newport

Begins at 11am, continues every 20 minutes as needed.

Bicycle Pick-Up

Enter at the rear of the Newport Rec. Center to claim your bicycle—do not wait for the truck. You will be required to show your rider bib number and to provide your name before claiming your bicycle.