The 2017 WCBC Icicle may be your first chance to stretch your legs on a long ride after the cold winter months. Choose from routes of varying distances (three to four routes are under design as of the writing of this message) of between 23 and 167 kilometers (14 to 100 miles) covering moderately hilly terrain in the areas west and north of Newark, Delaware. Snacks will be available at the start and the traditional well-stocked, indoor food stop will add to the camaraderie of the day.
All routes are loops that begin and end at the starting location, so you can do a single 23 kilometer (14 mile) loop or combine loops to get up to 167 kilometers (100 miles). You can decide how far you want to go after you have completed a loop and have taken a break. Easy to follow cue sheets and different color route markings will keep you on track no matter which route or routes you decide to follow.
All registrants will receive a choice of a souvenir of the ride. This is a great way to start the season!
Icicle Event Information
- Choose routes of varying mileage of between 23 and 167 kms (14 and 100 miles)
- Riders can decide on how far they want to ride at the end of each loop
- You will receive an event souvenir, fully-marked routes, cue sheets, food stops, use of tools and pumps, and SAG support until 3:00 pm.
- For more info contact Brian Donovan at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Date: Saturday, March 25, 2017
- Time: Ride Starts 8:00 am (No Mass Start)
- Route closes 3:00 pm
- Day-of registration open between 7am to 9am
Cherry Hill Middle School, 2535 Singerly Road, Elkton, MD 21921.
From 95 North or South:
Exit onto MD Route 279 South (Exit 109 Elkton/Newark) toward Elkton. Continue south on MD Route 279 (Elkton Rd) for 3.3 miles, turning right onto MD Route 213 (N. Bridge St). Stay on MD Route 213 for 4.1 miles, passing through the traffic circle, and Cherry Hill Middle School will be on your left.
From US 1 North or South:
Exit onto PA Route 841 South and proceed for 10 miles to the PA/MD state line where PA Route 841 will become MD Route 213. Continue on MD Route 213 for another 3.7 miles and Cherry Hill Middle School will be on your right.
Primary parking – limited parking will be provided at the start location (Cherry Hill Middle School, 2535 Singerly Road, Elkton, MD 21921)
Overflow parking – because of their continued involvement and support of the cycling community, Gore has offered to allow event parking at the Gore Cherry Hill facility, about 1,000 feet to the south of the starting location.
Registration fees for the event are as follows:
- December 1 to February 11, 2017 – $20.00
- February 12 to March 11, 2017 – $25.00
- March 12 through closing March 17, 2017 – $30.00
- Walk-up Day-of registration fee $30.00
List of Routes, Suggested Combinations and links to download GPS-type files
Pre-registrants will be emailed the cue sheets and route information prior to the event. Look for this email now, it was sent Thursday afternoon.
The 2017 major event brochure is available for download.
A Brief History of the WCBC Icicle Ride Written by Carol Ireland
How old is the Icicle ride? This simple question to me from this year’s ride coordinator, Ted Ryser, motivated me to check back through the library of old Tailwinds and piece together the story of WCBC’s Icicle ride.
The WCBC History on the WCBC website describes some of the early history of the club. Wally Hertler reminded me that mention is made there of a club ride dubbed an “Icicle Century”, that was a 100-mile club ride led by Rod Brice in the winter of 1973-1974.
The first invitational Icicle ride was held on February 1, 1975. This was truly an “icicle” event. As a result of freezing rain during part of the ride, Dave Bundas wrote “I still recall the icicles hanging from my bottom bracket…”. On the 25th anniversary of the ride, in 2000, Dave wrote an account of the event, as a memorial to Rod Brice, one of the WCBC founders who was killed as he tried to complete the century route. Note, this was 100 miles, not 100 kilometers like it is today! You can find Dave’s account in the WCBC History on the WCBC website in a document titled “In Memoriam”. Wally Hertler included his own account of that 1975 ride in the WCBC History text.
The 1982 Icicle Century was promoted as the “9th Annual” ride. This would suggest that the first Icicle ride was in 1974, not 1975. But Dave Bundas refers to the 1975 ride as the “inaugural Icicle Century of the fledgling White Clay Bicycle Club.” I guess the difference is whether you count the 1973-1974 club 100-mile ride as the first Icicle or not.
The first eighteen Icicle rides were 100-mile rides, with a 50 mile option. The first loop was in Maryland. After a single rest stop at around 45 miles, the second loop continued in southern New Castle County (including below the canal). After fifteen years, a 25 mile option was added.
After the 1975 experience, dates for these rides ranged from February 25 to March 29. But that didn’t avoid bad weather. In 1990, the ride was canceled the morning of the event because of rain and below freezing temperatures. A report in the Tailwind indicated that ten days earlier, the temperature had been 85º! It was noted that “A few riders ventured out and returned with icicles on their spokes, iced up cogs and frozen derailleurs…” Refund checks had to be sent to 103 cyclists.
In 1991, it was “pouring down cats and dogs” and none of the 106 cyclists chose to do 100 miles. That was the end of the century option for the Icicle. In 1992, the ride was April 4 (!) and the 100 K , 50K and 25K routes, in Maryland and Pennsylvania, were introduced. The lower New Castle County route was abandoned.
Dave Bundas, on reviewing my write-up, indicated that there is still a small group of riders (including Marty Lessner and Nancy Waddell) that include the lower route each year for old time’s sake. It’s a reunion for a number of riders who remember the days of yore!
The Icicle has been consistently the end of March ever since. Around 2000, the Tailwind started including meeting minutes, and the April meetings usually included a summary of the Icicle. In 2000, there were 450 riders. In 2001, there were 305, and it was noted that “people were still signing up despite the fact that it was raining and [sleeting]!”
The rider numbers in 2002, 2003 and 2004 were 337, 400 and 418, respectively. In 2005, a new record was set at 573 riders. 2008 saw even more, 604 riders. That seems to be an all-time high. The rider number dropped in 2009 to 284, with a mention of poor weather. 2010 and 2011 Icicle rides attracted 389 and 394 riders respectively. Ted Ryser introduced a new route in 2011, which was well received and was used for the 2012 Icicle ride.
The Icicle ride certainly has a rich history, one filled not only with intrepid riders, but also with dedicated volunteer coordinators and many volunteers working registration and the rest stop, driving the SAG vehicles, and providing home-baked goodies. Thanks to all those volunteers over the years!