Come With Me on a Lovingly Curated Backwoods Gravel Dirt Sand Wood Road Bike Ride

Hey!  Let's go ride some bikes.

This spring I got elected to be on the NEBRA Board.  NEBRA is a bunch of people who donate their time to making New England Bike Racing bettAr.    And one of my jobs as a NEBRA board member (other than sending emails... oh god so many emails) was coming up with the route for the NEBRA August Adventure, because I am a map dork who lives in the Pioneer Valley and that's where we're doing this thing.

The reason we're doing a gravel adventure ride is because (1) we like riding bikes, duh and (2) we're trying to raise some money for the bettArment  of New England cycling via grants for stuff like race motos, official training, junior development, and other stuff that makes your life as a bike racer qualitatively bettAr.

wait a minute, I have to race against juniors.

but motos are the only reason we could do a Greenfield Crit at all...ok yup this makes my life better

So what are you doing on Sunday, August 7th?  Do you have a road bike with 25+mm tires, or a cross bike you just built up for cross season?  Do you want to go on an adventure ride and then drink some beers and eat pizza?

I guarantee you've never ridden these roads before.  D2R2?  Fundo?  Those are on the west side of the river.  Dude, west side is sooooo played out.  We're riding on the EAST SIDE.   Even if you live in Northampton, you never ride over here.  That river is like a goddamn forcefield.  If you did ride through here, you were probably with Uri and didn't know you were lost until you hit the New Hampshire border.

"Yo I've totally ridden through Erving State Forest"

No you haven't, I looked at the Strava heatmap, there ain't NO ONE riding bikes up there.

But it's pretty cool, so let's go check it out.  There was this one spot where there was a frost heave in the pavement that was so big, I doubled off it onto the next frost heave.

Wait, frost heaves in July?  Ok, those were probably giant tree roots.  Either way.  ROAD BIKE DOUBLES!

If you're on the long route there's a section that is absolutely STUPID to ride on a road bike.  It's so stupid that we had to map a ride-around option for people who want to GRIND GRAVEL instead of GET STUPID.  Obviously I will be on the stupid route, because I love stupid road bike tricks.   If you're on a cross bike you'll crush it, but if you clean that climb on a road bike with 25s you'll be able to talk some TRASH.
wtf look at this there's not even a road I don't have cell service I might die out here

There's also two bridges that are closed to vehicle traffic.  Do you like bridges?  I like bridges.  There was actually 3 no-car bridges on the route, but one of them was like, legit-you-are-probably-trespassing closed, so we decided we can't tell you to ride that one (but I'll tell you where it is if you ask me).   There's also another closed bridge next to the last aid station so you can go ride back and forth on that as many times as you want while your friends fill bottles.
This bridge is 100% legal 

There is also a sand section.  Remember that #cxiscoming hashtag?  Let's ride some sand on road bikes and make fun of people who screw it up, it will make us better at 'cross, or something.  And it's like a mile long so everyone will probably screw it up at some point.  I don't have any pictures of the sand section because we were all too busy trying not to crash, but it was awesome.

If you ride Speedplays you are gonna be so sad if you put a foot down though.

Here are some totally official maps I totally just drew up!

This is the short route, if you're trying to have "fun" and ride like 3 hours or something reasonable
 Are you psyched yet?  Good, you should be friggin' psyched, this is way better than Wells Ave or whatever intervals you were going to do.  Registration is here:  Get on it.  You'll get some feed stops (yeah there's no convenience stores out there, holy crap) and if you flat 800 times someone will rescue you and if your bike doesn't work rOti will be there to fix it, and when you're done we'll drink beer and eat pizza (YES, it's Handcrafted Artisanal Pizza, this is the GODDAMN VALLEY you're in) and it will be great and you'll be like "damn that was a great day on a bike I just had."

And if enough people show up and we actually make some money off this curated cycling adventure every single penny of profit will go back into New England Bike Racing through moto grants or development grants or equal prize money grants, because that's what NEBRA does with the money it makes  (it sure doesn't friggin' pay me to send emails and tell everyone what's up on phone calls!).

It's so damn Rapha up in here guys

If you want to read some official crap about the event go check it out here but really this blog post tells you everything you need to know, cool-ass roads and stupid road bike tricks ALL DAY LONG!


solobreak said…
"Route by Colin" not exactly a selling feature.

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