3/23: Be sure to read the most recent Rider Communique

Registration open on BikeReg –  Closes 5pm Friday 25th

March 26, 2023

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, Thompson, CT

Beginners Discouraged. Novices Warned. Weather be Damned. The fourth edition of “The Quiet Hell” will feature some modest changes to this exploration of the most formidable roads in Connecticut’s Northeast corner. Here are some details: 

  • All entrants will receive a souvenir bandana, a number plate with timing chip, route inventory sticker, rest stops, SAG service, post ride meal, beer ticket, raffle ticket and results. 
  • Additional meal ($25) and drink ($6) tickets will be available at registration. Friends and family are welcome to join. 
  • A Supporter’s Tour auto map will be avaiable online and printed out at registration. The map will guide supporters to key course locations as well as bakeries, cafes, orchards, farm stands, a winery, a cidery, shops and scenic elements of the region. 
  • There will be a mass start for each category for which flaggers will provide guidance for ONLY the first six miles. Riders may start on their own during the 30 minute period after the designated start time. Riders may not start early.


  • The 32-mile Express option will be at a tourist pace with three support riders. 
  • The route has six unpaved sectors, one of which is challenging, and 1,730 feet of climbing. 
  • Although the route includes Sector 18 (aka Le Cuisinart), timid riders may take a paved bailout route. 
  • There will be a Junior Express Category. Boys start two minutes before girls. There is a single timed segment. Top three finishers in each category will be recognized. 
  • The Express route will have a water stop at Putnam Cyclery. 
  • The Express is a friendly tour, but each rider will be timed for one segment. 


  • The Explorer route is 61 miles with 15 unpaved sectors and 3,900 feet of climbing.
  • The Explorer will have a minimum of four timed segments. 


  • The Epic is 82.5 miles with 18 unpaved sectors and a minimum of five timed segments. 
  • The total elevation gain is 4,600 feet.


  • There will be two rest stops for the Epic and Explorer riders. 
  • The Epic and Explorer routes will be scored as Gravel Fondos with timed segments using computer chips. Course signage will be placed to alert riders to the start and finish of each timed segment.  
  • Riders will be scored based on the cumulative time of all segments. 
  • For the Epic and Explorer categories, gift baskets and awards will be presented to the top three finishers in the following age groups for each gender: Open, 45-plus, 55-plus. 
  • Riders must finish by 3 p.m. to be eligible for awards. 
  • All riders must finish by 5 p.m.  

Although the course will be marked, riders are responsible for navigation. Digital routes will be distributed via email prior to the event. Cue sheets will be available at registration. 

Although SAG service and rolling mechanics will patrol the route, riders should be equipped and prepared to make their own roadside repairs. 

Rain bag service will be available at Rest Stop 1. Riders may pack dry clothes at the start area and/or shed clothes at each Rest Stop to be returned to the finish area. Drawstring bags available upon request at Rest Stop 1. 

Organizers reserve the right to shorten the route due to foul weather.

Putnam Cyclery
11 a.m.
Limited to 100 riders, this will be a 32-mile review of the Express Route at a show-and-go pace with veteran riders providing guidance. The route will include six of the unpaved sectors featured in Sunday’s Epic, two of which will be used for timing purposes Sunday. Beginners are welcome and a bailout option allows riders to avoid the dreaded Wakefield Pond Road (aka Le Cuisinart) sector. Pre-ride coffee and pastries will be served along with some post-ride libations. Packet pickup and event merchandise will also be available.

Note: all proceeds benefit the Connecticut Cycling Advancement Program.

To register, click here: https://www.bikereg.com/natchaug-recon.

Saturday, March 25, 2023
Pedal Power
Willimantic, CT
4 p.m. Free.

Those interested in bike packing and adventure cycling, will not want to miss this presentation. Two amazing riders will recall tales of over-the-edge adventures. Chris Brits will recall how he successfully completed the world’s toughest cycling event, the Silk Road Mountain Race, a self-supported bike-packing adventure across Kyrgyzstan. Chris will have his tricked-out Specialized rig on display and fantastic photos from this amazing route, most of which is above 9,000 feet of elevation.

Also on hand will be Perri Mertens, who completed the “Real Ride” in 2017. This 5,000 mile, mostly unpaved cross-country trek raised funds and awareness for innovative educational facilities.

The event will be moderated by Ron Manizza, of the Bicycle Talk podcast and radio show featured on WHUS-FM. Ron will be gathering up content for his show. And he would love to learn about your adventures, past or future, during this fun discussion.

66 Main Street
East Hampton, CT 06424
166 Main Street 
Westerly, RI 02891
20 Jolma Road 
Worcester, MA 01604 
1171 Main Street
Willimantic, CT 06226 
58 Pomfret Street 
Putnam, CT 06260 
930 Main Street 
Southbridge, MA 01550
*Official Natchaug Epic merchandise partner, host of the Saturday morning Recon Ride. 
** Host of the Saturday afternoon Chris Brits’ Silk Road Mountain Race presentation

The Comfort Inn and Suites in Dayville (Killingly) is our official lodging partner. They can be reached at 860-779-3200. The hotel is located at 16 Tracy Road, just off Interstate 395. This is a clean and affordable hotel. They offer a discounted rate for Natchaug Epic riders for those who book prior to Feb. 26. Please use this link to take secure the discounted rate: https://www.choicehotels.com/reservations/groups/KT87C2


There will be limited on-site camping at the Thompson Speedway on a first-come, first-serve basis. Portable toilets will be in position and the Raceway Restaurant is open Saturday until 11 p.m.

These premier coaching services are offering discounted packages and select amenities for riders seeking to use Natchaug Epic as an early season test of both fitness and skills.

Each coaching service will be offering unique packages to guide a client up to and through the event. Participating riders will receive a discounted entry and enjoy special on-site amenities established for each coaching service.

Registration for the coaching promotion ends on February 15, 2023. Please contact coaches for more information.

Charles Coaching and Nutritional Services Logo“We get to look at a lot of fitness data from our clients but the Natchaug Epic format allows us to actually ride alongside our clients, hit those segments hard, and then offer some coaching adjustments throughout the event,” said Aidan Charles, founder of Charles Coaching and Nutritional Services

Velo Legitimo Logo“There is so much more to riding an event such as this than improving your power-to-weight ratio,” said Chris Brits, founder of Velo Legitimo coaching. “It’s a long event that presents great challenges for athletes who have only 12 weeks to prepare.” 

PRO thirteen Logo“To have a stable of athletes all on the same calendar schedule is a fantastic coaching opportunity,” said Bart Lipinski of ProThirteen Coaching. “Moving them from a lot of indoor work to a challenging outdoor event – which includes logistics, clothing, nutrition and hydration – will be like prepping a pro team for a spring classic.”

The CT Cycling Advancement Program aims to put every child in Connecticut on a bike.

The CT Cycling Advancement Program aims to put every child in Connecticut on a bike. Click to learn more.

The Last Green Valley Logo

The Last Green Valley is the 35-town National Heritage Corridor in eastern Connecticut and south-central Massachusetts. Click to learn more.

Wyndham Land Trust Logo

The Wyndham Land Trust is working hard to protect land in the Quiet Corner of Northeast Connecticut. Click to learn more.

Hole in the Wall Gang Camp Logo
The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is providing medically-supervised summer camps and programs free of charge to children with serious illnesses and their families throughout the Northeast. Click to learn more.

Best Buddies Logo

Best Buddies in Connecticut offers One-to-One Friendship and Leadership Development programs for individuals with and without intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in Connecticut. Click to learn more.

WINY Radio logo
WINY is a heritage radio station that transmits in AM stereo on 1350 kHz. Its studios and transmitter are located in Putnam, Connecticut. Click to learn more.

Bicycle Talk Logo

Ron Manizza’s weekly podcast, Bicycle Talk. Click to give it a listen

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