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Spring Series, Washington – Cumberland – Washington 400K ACP Brevet

May 13, 2023 @ 4:00 am - May 14, 2023 @ 7:00 am EDT


For 2023, we’re dusting off one of our oldest routes…the AMCUP (Allegheny Mountains Cruel and Unusual Punishment) 400.

It starts and finishes in Washington, PA, and includes some of the more exciting climbs in the Laurel Highlands. It also includes a mind-boggling FIVE Sheetz controles, although we do reuse them on occasion.


Let me start by being very clear: this is the hardest ride we have in our catalog. It includes climbs of Chestnut Ridge and Mt Davis, and is, frankly, unrelentingly non-flat until Meyersdale at mile 150. It has 18000′ of climbing, of which more than 2/3rds is in the first 150 miles.

That said: it’s also a beautiful route, featuring gorgeous views, remote farm roads, and all the Sheetz that anyone could ask for.

Route Notes

We’ll leave Washington PA bright and early, escaping town as quickly as possible via 136. At this hour, it’ll be very low traffic, rolling road all the way to the bank of the Monongahela River and the first Sheetz controle. From there, we’ll cross the Mon and head upriver for a few miles until climbing the ridge and heading through Perryopolis and Vanderbilt on the way to Dunbar.
In Dunbar, the first major climb of the route begins…8 miles of Furnace Hill Rd, before cresting Chestnut Ridge. It’s shaded and pleasant for most of the climb, with only a couple of particularly steep spots…but it is a very long, steady climb, so be prepared.
Once atop the ridge, we’ll narrowly miss visiting Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob (as the road betwixt there and Ohiopyle is too hazardous for official routing), and work our way around some undulating ridge top roads before plummeting to Ohiopyle State Park, the next controle at Falls Market, and a brief respite from climbing on the GAP trail to Confluence.  (Note that no services are available on-route after Ohiopyle for nearly 50 miles, although some are available off-route in Confluence.)
In Confluence, we’ll bid farewell to the GAP for a while, and head to our second major climb on Mt Davis Rd. While we won’t go all the way to the highest point in PA, we’ll certainly get within yelling distance thereof. Much like Furnace Hill Rd out of Dunbar, this is a very long, steady climb with a couple of steeper parts; however, it’s more open country, so the views will be significantly more expansive, and shade will be less.
After the main climb up Mt Davis, the route bends south into Maryland and a long drop through Frostburg (and another Sheetz controle) into the outskirts of Cumberland. Rather than fight traffic on the way back up the hill, we’ll pick up the GAP at the Cash Valley Trailhead and take it back to Frostburg in relative ease and comfort.
From Frostburg (see the note of caution and suggestion of alternate route below), another 20ish hilly miles remain before the Meyersdale Sheetz controle. Of particular note: on Sand Springs Rd, we pass directly through a wind farm with a couple of windmills immediately off route to left and right; depending on your affinity for windmills, this may make the poor road surface of Sand Springs Rd worthwhile. Alternatively, those who do not relish potholed gravel roads (or potentially riding them in the dark) should consider the alternative routing for safety purposes.
After Meyersdale, we finally have a real reprieve from climbing…it’s 55 miles of gentle flat riding on hard packed limestone trail from here until Connellsville, with the only real concerns being lack of places to resupply, and (potentially cranky) Ohiopyle park rangers who don’t want to deal with cyclists at night.
Out of Connellsville, it’s a brief grunt over the hill back to Vanderbilt, then following rolling Rt 201 to the bank of the Mon River, and a return to the Sheetz in Monongahela for the last controle. From there, in order to avoid potential boozy post-bar traffic, we take back roads mostly paralleling I-70 all the way to the finish in Washington.

Specific route notes
  • At mile 26.3, when crossing Rostraver Rd, there’s a sign ahead indicating road closure. It is closed to traffic when crossing I-70 at mile 27.5, but is passable if one wishes to do so. The alternative is a fairly unpleasant detour on Rostraver to a short stretch on the shoulder of I-70 to the next off ramp, then looping around via Tyrol Blvd to Pricedale to Finley.
  • When coming into Frostburg at mile 133, I recommend considering the time of day and your condition. The on-road leg from here to Meyersdale includes Sand Spring Rd, which is a poorly surfaced at best, and is dirt, gravel, and the odd pothole for much of its length. If you do not have confidence in your ability to make it 20 hilly miles to Meyersdale by dusk, I both grant permission and explicitly recommend that you stay on the trail from Frostburg to Meyersdale, then simply duck down to the Sheez controle before continuing on the trail to Confluence.
  • When returning to the hotel, there’s only one law-abiding way to do it (Right at TFL by the Amoco onto Rte 19/Murtland Ave, down the hill to make a U-turn at the next TFL and back up the hill). In theory, one might also go straight through the TFL by the Amoco to cross 19 into the construction site across the street, then find a creative way to cut through to the back of the hotel parking lot, or walk the verge of Rte 19 for 75 feet to get to the hotel.
Key refueling options
Mile 19/km 31, Controle 2: Monongahela Sheetz
Mile 43/km 69, Sweet Pea’s Convenience Store
Mile 68/km 110, Controle 3: Ohiopyle Falls Market, no services on route for next 50 miles
Mile 79/km 127, Confluence stores, off route
Mile 115/km 184, Controle 4: Frostburg Sheetz
Mile 150/km 241, Controle 6: Meyersdale Sheetz, no services for next 60 miles
Mile 207/km 333, Controle 7: Connellsville Sheetz
Mile 238/km 382, Controle 8: Monongahela Sheetz


Registration closes: Thursday May 11th 2023

Inspection opens: Saturday May 13th 3:30 AM

Requirements: current RUSA membership, signed waiver, headlight/taillight/reflective gear

Ride start: Saturday May 13th 4:00 AM (27:00 time limit)



May 13, 2023 @ 4:00 am EDT
May 14, 2023 @ 7:00 am EDT
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Dan Blumenfeld
(412) 915-6206


Washington Hampton Inn & Suites
119 Murtland Ave
Washington, PA 15301 United States
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