Start date: 09/09/2023

Registration: opens 11/01/2022
Activity tags attached to this sportie.

Activities: Time trial 🚴🏿‍♂️, Gravel grinder, 15.6 miles

GID: 57773

In the spirit of historic advances and competition between ever evolving modes of transportation, the 3M Challenge ( Muscle  vs Machine vs Mountain) will feature a timed challenge between two of Mountain Maryland’s oldest mechanized modes of transportation, the WMSR 1309 Steam locomotive, the largest operating steam locomotive of its type in the world,  and the legs of cyclist. The event will highlight the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR), towns of Cumberland, MD, and Frostburg, MD, scenic beauty of Allegany County, and healthy outdoor lifestyle.

The Route

The Great Allegheny Passage between Cumberland and Frostburg is the only location in the country with 15.6 miles of side-by-side bike trail and scenic train. The 3M Challenge will be a timed ride from the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR) Station in Cumberland, MD, to the western end of the train platform at the Frostburg, MD, Depot

•   Individual riders and teams (of up to 6 riders) will depart Cumberland every 10 minutes, beginning as early as 8:00 AM, from the water spout on the train platform at WMSR.

•  The 4th rider finishing the race will determine the team’s time. For teams of less than 4 riders, the last rider will determine team time.

•  Ebikes - are NOT included in this event 

Rider Information

•  A team can have 2 to 6 riders.

•  All competitive challenger bicycles must be 100% human (rider) powered. No "e-bikes" in the competitive "Individual Rider" and "Team" categories.

•  Each team must donate a minimum of $250 to MMT. The donation per individual rider is $60.


About the Challenge

  • The challenge is to have a better climb time than the WMSR 1309 Steam Engine. Over 40 % of the riders beat the train in 2022

  • The individuals that beat the climb time of the locomotive will receive recognition. 

  • All participants will receive a participation gift.

Purpose of the Event

Mountain Maryland Trails is a 100% volunteer organization that works with Allegany County Government, the Great Allegheny Passage Conservancy, partner organizations and volunteers to manage the Maryland portion of the Great Allegheny Passage trail. The work of the board and volunteers focuses on maintaining a network of trails to promote: wellness, sustainable economic development, environmental stewardship and connection to cultural heritage. For over 30 years, the organization has played a critical role in getting the Great Allegheny Passage trail built as well as implementing trail improvement and safety projects like the recently completed Borden Tunnel Lighting Project. What started as a project to reclaim a defunct rail line from Cumberland, MD, to Pittsburgh, PA, the Great Allegheny Passage now welcomes 1.5 million visitors annually, generates roughly $800,000 in annual economic impact per mile of trail, and supports 1,393 jobs with a total of $52.6 million in labor income.   Serving as Mountain Maryland Trail’s top fundraising event for the year, the 3M Challenge:

  •  Raises awareness and funds for Mountain Maryland Trails (MMT) to support maintenance, development, and promotion of the Maryland portion of the Great Allegheny Passage.

  • Raises awareness for the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR), which shares the corridor from Cumberland to Frostburg with 15.6 miles of side-by-side bike trail and scenic train.

  • Raises awareness for the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, which welcomes tourists from all over the world and is enjoyed by the local community as well.

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