May 2016 Newsletter

Summer Riding!

Summer is coming on fast here in New England.  There's a steady stream of cyclists rolling along the popular bike route in front of our house.

Registrations continue to roll along for the 2016 tour, too.  Our state count is up to 20.  New England and much of the east coast is represented along with the entire west coast and much of the southwest.  Women riders have taken a commanding lead in the gender comparison.  Women make up nearly 60% of registrants to date.

Early Bird Registration Ending Soon

If you haven't registered for the 2016 tour, you may want to act soon if you'd like to save a few dollars.  Our early registration pricing will end on May 31, 2016.

Also, note the story below that Berkshires to Boston will move to a biennial schedule after 2016.  If you want to participate in this ride before 2018, jump in this year.

 

Along the Way: Quabbin Reservoir

As we spin along the Route 122 Scenic Byway towards Petersham on Friday, riders get views of the northern reaches of Quabbin Reservoir, the largest inland body of water in the state.  The reservoir was built in the 1930's to serve as the primary water supply for Boston, some 65 miles to the east.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation manages over 82,000 acres surrounding the reservoir.  The extensive forests, fields and wetlands are home to abundant wildlife including moose, deer, bear, coyote and bald eagles.  Keep your eyes open for some of these local residents.

Our route across Massachusetts is full of wonderful sights and experiences.  Check out the Scene From the Saddle Page to learn more about the experiences along the way during the Berkshires to Boston Tour.

Rider News: Fun Girl Cycling Group

As mentioned above, women are currently outnumbering men in our registrations for the 2016 tour. There's a group of women riding with us this year that we are really looking forward to meeting, the Fun Girl Cycling Group from Rochester, New York.

2016 Fun Girl Jersey

2016 Fun Girl Jersey

The Fun Girl Cycling Group began 5 years ago when Stephanie Ayer and her friends needed a name for their team participating in the Diabetes Association Tour De Cure.  After assessing the collective spirit of her cycling friends, Stephanie proposed "the Fun Girl Group".  The group embraced the name and have been sharing and growing that cycling spirit ever since.

 

 

The normal routine is a Wednesday night ride from a local park.  The fifteen members ride together and then enjoy some post-ride "tailgating" to catch up on the things that happen between bike rides - kids (high school to post college), work, and family.  These women have other options for their regular training rides but they prefer the supportive and social spirit of the Fun Girl Group.

How did they choose to participate in Berkshires to Boston?  Each year the group meets in January for dinner and dreaming about the summer riding season.  (Winter riding on the shores of Lake Ontario is ...less fun.)  Each member brings an idea for a ride the group can participate in.  Someone suggested Berkshires to Boston and the vote was unanimous.  They marked their calendars and registered on opening day.

We're looking forward to sharing the cross-Massachusetts tour with Stephanie, Laura, Alice, Bernadette, Deanna, Germaine, Kathleen and Susan.

Berkshires to Boston Moves to Biennial Schedule After 2016!

As we watch our calendar filling with new events and tours for 2017, we're recognizing that we've come to a crossroads.  We need to create some space in the calendar to dedicate to these exciting new cycling adventures. Therefore, we're moving Berkshires to Boston to a biennial schedule after the 2016 tour.  So if you're thinking about this tour and don't want to wait until 2018 to join in, you may want to register soon.  

We'll be running the weekend Riverway Ride again in 2017 (still some room in the August, 2016 tour) and adding the 8-day, 4-state, 300-mile inn to inn Back Roads and Main Streets Tour.  In addition, we're excited to be supporting Adventure Cycling Association in the introduction of a new western New England Tour in 2017 and working with Historic Deerfield to produce 2, week-long educational bicycle tours offered through Road Scholar.  And, of course, there's always the River Valley Ice Cream Ride.  Explore all these tours and events at River's Edge Cycling.com

So, we'll be offering plenty of opportunities to explore Massachusetts by bicycle in 2017.  Berkshires to Boston will return to the calendar in 2018.

We're looking forward to riding and speaking at the Great Finger Lakes Bike tour in Watkins Glen New York in June.  The Southern Tier Bicycle Club hosts this annual tour of some of the gorgeous cycling in western New York.  We appreciate Berkshires to Boston rider Greg Laskowski's invitation to participate in this great event.  

We'll see some of you on the June Riverway Ride to help us celebrate Adventure Cycling Association's National Bike Travel Weekend.  There are hundreds of rides occurring all over the country that weekend.  You can learn more at Bike Travel Weekend.  Participate in a ride or create you own early June cycling adventure.

March 2015 Newsletter

Rolling along the Route 116 Scenic Byway

Rolling along the Route 116 Scenic Byway

Registration weekend is finally here!  Registration for the 2016 Berkshires to Boston Tour will open this coming Sunday, February 28th at 8AM EST.  Join 165 riders as they experience the eral Massachusetts from the New York border to downtown Boston during this classic autumn bike tour.  Learn more about the tour at BerkshirestoBoston.com and make plans to ride across Massachusetts next September.  Ready to register?  Go to our SignMeUp page on Sunday morning at 8AM, EST.

Along the Way:  Hancock Shaker Village

Dawn at Hancock Shaker Village

Dawn at Hancock Shaker Village

Our riders love beginning the tour at Hancock Shaker Village.  They enjoy the unique experience of camping among the historic buildings where the Shaker community lived and worked for nearly 180 years.  

Today, Hancock Shaker Village operates as a living-history museum open to the public with 20 authentic Shaker buildings, costumed interpreters, rich collections of Shaker furniture and artifacts in rotating exhibits, a full schedule of activities and workshops, a mile-long hiking trail and picnic areas, a Village Store and Village Cafe, and a working farm with extensive gardens and heritage-breed livestock.  Tour registration includes entrance to the Village so plan to arrive on Tuesday or early Wednesday to spend some time exploring this historic site.

Massachusetts on Your Back

When registering for the tour, you can order one of our three tour jerseys featuring iconic Massachusetts scenes from the Berkshires to Boston Tour.  Our newest jersey features the Barre Town Common, a rest stop on Friday's ride from the Connecticut River Valley to Leominster.  You can purchase our jerseys and other tour gear at the Buy Tour Gear page on our website.

 

Rider News: Bari Freeman

We're delighted to have Bari Freeman returning to the tours this year.  Bari rode with us in 2014 and she couldn't get the smile off of her face.  We'd love to take all the credit for that: but really, its just part of her nature.  

Bari Freeman on the tour in 2014

Bari Freeman on the tour in 2014

For Bari, smiling, bicycling and adventure is in her DNA.  It's also her job.  She is the founder and Executive Director of Bike Newport, in Newport, Rhode Island.  The organization's goal is to help more people get out of the car and into the saddle- to discover, explore, traverse and enjoy the beauty of the "City By The Sea."  Since officially launching as a Rhode Island nonprofit in 2011, Bike Newport has encouraged biking and has led a collaborative effort by city government, businesses and community-based organizations to improve bicycle safety and enhance the overall experience for bicyclists.  The result is a more bicycle-friendly urban community with municipal stakeholders committed to supporting more and better bicycling for residents and visitors.  Thanks to these improvements, in October 2013, the national League of American Bicyclists recognized Newport as a Bicycle Friendly Community - making it the first municipality in Rhode Island to achieve that honor.

Bari's courageous and visionary leadership is also gaining recognition.  Last year, she was named one of the Wild Women of Newport and Bristol Counties by the Women's Resource Center, an organization leading domestic violence prevention in the Newport area.

Look for this Wild Woman on the tour this year.  You'll recognize her by the smile.


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We're expecting a flurry of registrations beginning Sunday morning at 8AM.  We will only allow 165 riders this year so be sure to register early. 

Also, Tuesday is the presidential primary in Massachusetts along with many other "Super Tuesday" states.  Be sure to cast your vote for the person you feel is most prepared to lead our country.  

We look forward to renewing our friendships with many of you and meeting many new Berkshires to Boston tour riders this year.

New Years 2016 Newsletter

 

Happy New Year!!

As we close out 2015, we're torn between savoring the great memories from last year's Berkshires to Boston Tour and other events and anticipating even more cycling adventures in 2016.  We're looking forward to starting the new year on the tandem with the creative characters at Boston Bike Party on the New Year's Day Ride through Boston.  If you're in the boston area tomorrow, meet at Copley Square at 12:30 PM.  Ride departs at 1:00 PM.  Learn more at New Year's Day Ride


Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour

Sunrise at Hancock Shaker village

Sunrise at Hancock Shaker village

We've just received dozens of new pictures from some riders who rode with us in the 2015 Berkshires to Boston Tour and we've added them to our Flickr page for the event.  Thanks to Paul, Perky, Dan, Becky, Mike, Topm, "Nate", Paula and others who contributed their pictures to document the 2015 tour.  If you're interested in seeing the tour through the eyes of our riders, check out their pictures there.  They help explain why 2015 riders Jeremy and Vanessa Berse described the tour as "like summer camp for grownups on bikes!"

We recently updated the Berkshires to Boston Tour page to include pricing, Boston lodging details and other changes for this year.  Over the next few weeks, we'll be adding more information as we prepare to open registration on Sunday, February 28th. 

West Stockbridge, Massachusetts

West Stockbridge, Massachusetts

We're really excited about one change this year, our expanded riding options for the Wednesday Warm Up on September 14, 2016. In addition to the popular Mt. Greylock route, we'll be offering some leisurely rides through the beautiful country side along the Mass./New York border.  We encourage riders to join us in the Berkshires on Tuesday night for a group dinner and overnight at the Village.  You'll be on site Wednesday morning to get in an early ride and then explore the grounds and exhibits at Hancock Shaker Village.  

Allison and Adee at Ashfield Rest Stop

Allison and Adee at Ashfield Rest Stop

We've heard from many of our past riders that are planning to join us for the 2016 tour and we're receiving a steady flow of inquiries from new riders who are looking to add the Massachusetts cross-state tour to the 2016 cycling calendar.  We look forward to  welcoming old and new friends when we meet in the Berkshires in September 2016. 

 

 

Other River's Edge Cycling Tours and Events in 2016

In addition to the autumn Berkshires to Boston Tour, we're looking forward to an expanded menu of great cycling tours and events in 2016.  

The Riverway Ride

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We're offering this weekend ride twice during the 2016 season, June 3- 5 and August 12 - 14.  No camping on this trip; you'll have hotel accommodation in Northampton, MA and Brattleboro, VT and catered meals in both cities.  Its less than 50 miles between these valley cities, but the relatively flat route is full of spectacular riverside scenery and classic New England communities and landscapes. 

Each of the Riverway Ride events is limited to just 25 riders. The June event is currently full but we still have some space available in August.

 

Boston Women's Bike Ride and Festival

We're excited to be working with the staff at Boston Bikes for the third annual Boston Women's Bike Ride and Festival.  The date is yet to be finalized (but keep Saturday, July 16th open).  We'll be adding more details to our website and at Boston Bikes soon.

 

River Valley Ice Cream Ride

Our 2016 event that seems to get the most enthusiastic response from occasional riders is the July 30th, 2016 River Valley Ice Cream Ride.  We're partnering with our Bart's Homemade, our favorite ice cream, to produce this one day ride through the beautiful Connecticut River Valley.  Three routes, the Kiddie Scoop Loop, the Single Scoop Loop and the Double Scoop Loop, provide options for varied rider levels including families with young children.  Along the way, riders will stop at family farms in the area to visit with the cows that contribute the local ingredients for our favorite summertime treat.  


Arizona Here We Come

Gary will be helping support Adventure Cycling Association's Southern Arizona Road Adventure March 12 - 18, 2016.  This popular ACA tour is a great opportunity to get in some early season riding for those of us living in colder climates.  The seven-day tour begins near Tucson and travels through iconic western towns like Tombstone and beautiful high-desert landscapes.  The tour includes luggage support, catered meals, two nights of indoor lodging and moderate daily mileages to help ease back into the spin of things as you pedal beneath the blue Arizona sky.  Only 60 riders for this tour and there's still some spaces available so sign up soon.

We wish you all a peaceful and joyful New Year.  We hope to see some of you in Boston on New Year's Day and look forward to seeing many of you on one or more tours or events in the new year.



July 2015 Newsletter

Registrations have been rolling in this month as riders look to get in ahead of our registration cap and save a little money.  Prices increase for the 2015 Berkshires to Boston Tour on Wednesday, July 1.  You can save up to $60 by registering for the tour before then.  

 

Along the Way: Massachusetts Scenic Byways

During the tour, our riders travel along four of Western Massachusetts' designated scenic byways.   Wednesday, riders who choose to climb Mt. Greylock will approach the summit along the Mount Greylock Scenic Byway.  The Department of Conservation and Recreation invested over $15 million to create this spectacular access road.

On Thursday, riders travel along the Route 116 Scenic Byway through some of the Commonwealth's most picturesque communities and landscapes.

On Friday, it's the Connecticut River Scenic Byway where you'll find more tractors than traffic.  The Connecticut River routes is also designated as a National Scenic Byway.  Friday's ride to Devens will also roll along the Route 122 Scenic Byway as it passes along the banks of the state's largest body of water, Quabbin Reservoir.  

The scenic byway system was established to help protect the natural and cultural resources that make these areas so special. The system also promotes tourism in these scenic areas and thus helps support the rural economies that preserve these working landscapes.  

There's no better way to experience the Massachusetts scenic byway system than on a bicycle and no better time of year to ride them than the early fall. 

Rider News

This month we want to give a special shoutout to 2014 rider Michelle Murphy.  We're hoping that Michelle will be able to join us for this year's tour, but we recognize that she has a lot going on in her life right now.

Michelle Murphy departs Hancock Shaker Village on the 2014 Berkshires to Boston Tour

Michelle Murphy departs Hancock Shaker Village on the 2014 Berkshires to Boston Tour

This past winter, Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer.  This spring, she's endured 10 weeks of chemotheraphy and she's only half way through.  She'll resume her treatments over the summer. She's making good progress though and the future looks bright. 

Among the bright spots on the horizon for Michelle is her August wedding.  We wish Michelle and her new husband all the best.  And, of course, she continues her work for the Berkshire Visitors Bureau where she shares her knowledge of social technology with Berkshire businesses to help them translate the beauty and hospitality of the region into tweets, pins, posts and instagrams.

Michelle was an inspiration to us last year.  She had never tackled a ride like Berkshires to Boston before; but, she set her mind to it and what she lacked in experience she made up in the "grit" that pulled her over hills and through valleys all the way to Boston. Newfound friends like Josee and others helped as well.  We know that characteristic determination, her strong family and the many friends in her life will carry her through this challenge too.  

Michelle and her colleagues will be participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk next October. They've already hit their fundraising goal but you can help crush  that goal with a small donation. Support Michelle in her fight and help others in theirs with a small donation to Making Strides

Great Riding Coming Your Way

We're less than a month away from the second annual Women's Bike Ride and Festival in Boston, Saturday, July 18th.  The City of Boston, River's Edge Cycling, Ciclismo Classico and a pannier full of partners are working together to produce the event.  Hundreds of women are already signed up for riding and snacking on fun and healthy food provided by some of Boston's top women chefs.

The day will include 10, 30 and 50 mile rides plus opportunities to lear a wide range of bike-related skills from maintenance to commuting.  And, there will be music, delicious food and an expo of businesses that promote healthy lifestyles. Learn more about Bikes and Bites; Women's Bike Ride and Festival.

If you're thinking about adding another cross-state ride to your summer, you'll want to consider the Great Big FANY Ride.  Karen Empie and her crew lead riders across New York July 12 - July 18, 2015.  
Registration closes on July 1 so act quickly.

June 2015 Newsletter

Janet Echelman's As If It Were Already Here

Janet Echelman's As If It Were Already Here

Is there another bike tour in America that offers both the pastoral scenery of our rural landscape and the cultural energy of a capital city?  The Boston cultural landscape has a new feature this summer- Janet Echelman's amazing sculpture, As If It Were Already Here, suspended over the Rose Kennedy Greenway.  The artwork is just a few blocks from our overnight location in Boston's North End.  As you stroll to Mike's Pastry or one of the other amazing restaurants in walking distance of our camp, you'll want to check out this amazing aerial sculpture made up of 100 miles of twine and half a million knots. (It would stretch from Boston more than half way back to our Berkshires starting point along the tour route.)  Learn more about the installation As If It Were Already Here   

We hope you'll join us to experience Boston and cross Massachusetts by bicycle this September. Learn more about the Berkshires to Boston tour at our website and go to the Sign Me Up page to register.

Along the Way: Ashfield's Spruce Corner

We take great pride in sharing the real Massachusetts with our riders.  

This month, we're featuring a little piece of Massachusetts paradise that you'll pass through on Thursday, September, 17th.  We turn off of the Route 116 Scenic Byway for a bit  to take in a few miles of rolling hayfields, historic homes and stunning views as we head to our second rest stop in Ashfield center. 

Here you're likely to catch the farmer bailing hay and maybe spot a few deer or even a bear emerging out of the Trustees of Reservation's Bear Swamp Reservation. You'll definitely experience magnificent views, especially if you slow down enough on the descent into Ashfield to experience the view into Apple Valley.  This is definitely a part of the tour where you'll want to savor the landscape you're riding through.

Rider News

Todd Consentino atop Mt. Greylock

Todd Consentino atop Mt. Greylock

Riding across Massachusetts is a significant enough challenge; but, riding the whole route carrying all your own gear is a significantly larger challenge - especially if there's a handy truck right there ready to carry it for you.  

Team Big Orange ready for Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon

Team Big Orange ready for Bikes Not Bombs Bike-A-Thon

Todd Consentino doesn't shy away from challenges and certainly not those related to cycling.  He and his family travel by bike wherever they go around their Boston home.  You'll often see Todd pedaling Sophie, Clementine and Josephine in their Big Orange Bike.  The family will be riding to support Bikes Not Bombs during the Bike-A-Thon on June 7th.  You can help the family reach their fundraising goal at their team page.

 

 

Great Riding Coming Your Way

There's a pannier full of fun rides coming up over the next few months.  

 

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Bikes Not Bombs is holding their annual Bike-A-Thon on June 7th.  It's not too late to register to ride or to support others who are riding with adorable children for the cause. (see above.)  Bike-A-Thon riders are ambassadors of BNB's mission to promote environmental sustaainability and social justice, and all fundraising goes to making Bikes Not Bombs' programs possible.

pedal 2 pints.jpg

We will be participating in the Pedal to Pints ride on our tandem on June 13th.  The ride explores several of the wonderful local breweries in the Connecticut River Valley.  It's actually our 34th wedding anniversary that day so it will be a fun way to celebrate the day together.

 

In July, we're working with Boston Bikes to produce New England's largest cycling event for women, the second annual Women's Bike Ride and Festival in Boston, Saturday, July 18th.

This year, we're introducing a tasty new element with some of the Boston area's leading women chefs sharing their culinary art and we've named the event Bikes and Bites.  The day will include 10, 30 and 50 mile rides plus opportunities to learn a wide range of bike-related skills from maintenance to commuting.  And, there will be music, delicious food, and an expo of businesses that promote healthy lifestyles.

Learn more about Bikes and Bites; Women's Bike Ride and Festival.

Want to add another cross-state event to your summer? How about the Great Big FANY Ride?  Karen Empie and her crew lead riders across New York July 12 - July 18, 2015.  Do the FANY and Berkshires to Boston this year and you'll have ridden from Niagara Falls to Fenway Park.  

April 2015 Newsletter

Aaahhh Spring!  Finally, we've seen the end of this snowy winter and the true start of the warm weather cycling season.

We have a new kind of flurries now.  A flurry of registrations for the 2015 Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour.  We hope you've got this cross-state bike tour on your ride schedule for this year!  Explore our website to learn more or go to the Sign Me Up page to register.

Registrations are coming in pretty steadily and it's likely we'll hit our cut-off early this year, so don't wait too long!

Rider News

Speaking of registered riders - we'll be welcoming our Mainiacs again for the third straight year! With all the great cycling we have in New England, it's an honor to have riders choose to return to your ride multiple times.   

Lynne, Cindy, Janet, Jill and Terri were introduced through their kids but their interest in cycling has been the glue that's kept them together through the years and over thousands of miles.  Since their first cross-state adventure on XOBA (across Ohio), they have ridden together in Virginia, Tennessee, New York, Maine and of course, Massachusetts.   

They love sharing cycling events but, in fact, most of their riding together occurs during training rides. Riding throughout southern Maine, they challenge and support each other as they tackle new routes and help each other push through personal boundaries.  If you ask the group about their "perfect ride", you'll hear recurring themes: friends, no clock, sunny skies, COFFEE and Janet's critical metric, ice cream!  

They love the Berkshires to Boston Tour and are among the early registrants each year.  And, we love having them along!  They're so ridiculously photogenic that their images have graced a variety of our publications including our website, newsletter and facebook page.  We are hoping to ride with some of the Mainiacs in August when we spend a little time in their neighborhood in southern Maine and look forward to their company on the 2015 tour.

Along the Way: Our Bike Shop Partners

During the tour, we really depend on our bike shop partners who help ensure that our riders keep rolling across Massachusetts.  With the Spring riding season here, it's a great time to stop in to see one of our shop partners to check out the latest bikes and gear or get your bike tuned up and ready for the season.

Mitch and Claudia at Plaine's Bike Ski and Snowboard are a great help to the tour as we gather in Hancock on Wednesday.  Their expert mechanic assists our riders with some of those last minute issues before they set out on the Wednesday Warm UP ride to Mt. Greylock and are available that afternoon to assist others with bike adjustments prior to beginning the cross-state tour on Thursday.  

Kathy Sarvary and Sarah Hills, at Blue Steel Bicycle Company in Sunderland, MA,  are new to the tour but not to bike shop operations. Kathy moved her shop from southern NH to the Connecticut Valley last fall and they're excited to be part of this year's tour.  They'll be assisting riders who choose to ship their bikes here for the tour via High Country Shipping and will be our Thursday mechanic team in Sunderland.  Kathy is also prepared to speak a little bit on Thursday night about another cycling interest of hers - cyclocross racing.  She's a four-time national champion and she'll be sharing some of her stories with our riders after dinner. 

Gene Kalajian will have his team from Gear Works Cyclery in Leominster at our camp in Devens after the long ride on Friday.  Seventy- eight mile can introduce a squeak, rub or mechanical challenge that you'd rather get taken care of before riding into Boston on Saturday morning.  Gear Works expert mechanic will be there to help you get rolling smoothly again.  

We encourage you to visit these great Berkshires to Boston Tour partners now for parts, service or that new bike for your stable.  If you're in Oregon, California, or Finland, we'll understand if you go to your local shop for these services.  Visit your local bike shop this weekend!

National Bicycle Summit

Gary was in Washington, DC for the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit in March.  MassBike led our team of advocates and business owners as we learned about some of the key issues facing cycling at the federal level and met with the Massachusetts legislative delegation to talk about their support.  Massachusetts is blessed with the best federal legislators in America when it comes to cycling and we know they will continue to champion bicycling at every turn.  Thanks to Richard Fries, Executive Director at MassBike, and his team for organizing the Massachusetts delegation to the Summit.  And, thanks to David Watson, former chief at MassBike and now leading Watson Active, for his generous leadership and wisdom in supporting the effort.

BikeyFace

One of the Massachusetts advocates at the National Bike Summit was Bekka Wright of Somerville, MA.  Bekka is the creative artist behind Bikeyface, a comic blog illustrating the joys and jolts of cycling in our car-centric society.  We think that her irreverent voice should be encouraged and so the Berkshires to Boston Tour is proud to be a supporting sponsor of her work.  Stop in for some great cycling humor at Bikeyface.

Bike and Bites: Women's Bike Ride and Festival

Among the things we're looking forward to over the next few months is the secon annual Women's Bike Ride and Fesitval in Boston, Saturday, July 18th.  River's Edge Cycling and Boston Bikes are working together to produce the event, New England's largest cycling event for women.  This year, we're introducing a tasty new element with some of the Boston area's leading women chefs sharing their culinary art and we've named the event, Bikes and Bites.  The day will include 10, 30 and 50 mile rides plus opportunities to learn a wide range of bike-related skills from maintenance to commuting.  And, there will be music, delicious food and an expo of businesses that promote healthy lifestyles.  Learn more about Bikes and Bites; Women's Bike Ride and Festival.

 

 

 

March 2015 Newsletter

 

February has been quite a month for us in New England.  Record-setting snow and persistent cold has got us all dreaming about spring.  

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While we're waiting for rising temps and lengthening days to thaw our saddles and finally beat back this historic winter, it's a good time to begin planning our season's riding adventures.  We hope you've got the 2015 Berkshires to Boston Tour on your ride schedule for this year.

If so, you'll want to mark your calendar and set your alarm for 8AM this coming Sunday, March 1. Registration for the September Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour opens that morning.  To register, follow this link 

Sign Me Up 

or go to our Sign Me Up page on the tour website. Don't be left out in the cold when others are spinning across Massachusetts next fall.

Remember, the registration page will go live at 8:00 AM on Sunday, March 1st.

2015 Tour Jersey

We're excited to introduce our 2015 tour jersey. This year, the jersey features the Round Stone Barn at Hancock Shaker Village.

Constructed in 1826, it's the only circular barn ever built by the Shakers. Widely recognized as an architectural icon and agricultural wonder, this unique dairy barn originally stabled 52 milk cows and has been attracting visitors since its construction.  It's said that Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, staged a footrace in the structure.   You'll be able to view the barn from our campsite at the village and your registration includes full access to explore the barn and the Hancock Shaker Village grounds on Wednesday before the tour.  

Once again, we'll be challenging riders in the "Picture Yourself Here" contest. Riders who submit a picture of themselves wearing the 2015 jersey in the location that inspired it will be entered into a drawing to receive free registration in the 2016 tour.  

We're excited about our new partnership with Massachuetts-based VOmax to produce this jersey. From inspiration to design to production, its all here in Massachusetts.  The 2015 jerseys are available for purchase through our website "Tour Gear"page and as part of your 2015 registration.  Get yours and ride with a bit of Massachusetts history in your kit.  

Along the Way

John Peitso, near Double Edge Theater in Ashfield

John Peitso, near Double Edge Theater in Ashfield

You just never know what you'll discover as you travel the tour route across Massachusetts.  While riding through Ashfield on my bike last fall I came upon John Peitso composing a tune as he walked along the Route 116 Scenic Byway.  

John is the Technical Director and Music Director at the Charlestown Working Theater and a long-term collaborator for the Double Edge Theater in Ashfield. 

John was working though a tune for an upcoming performance and adding a little cultural charm to the always scenic landscape.

Double Edge Theater is a cauldron of creativity in Western MA. They produce indoor and outdoor performances, offer training for actors and support for local communities by training area students and promoting local business through their Rural Initiative.  The relationship between Double Edge and western Franklin County embodies the idea that good art makes thriving communities.  

We believe that good cycling also makes thriving communities.  Massachusetts is rich in creativity, scenery, art and surprisingly great bicycling.

Rider News

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There's a rumor that John Stewart is leaving The Daily Show later this year just so that he can ride in the Berkshires to Boston Tour.  We don't know if that's true; but, of course, we'd love to have John along for the ride.  (We wish he'd just take the time off from the show though.)

We have heard from quite a few of our past riders who will be returning for this classic autumn event.  And, activity on the website suggests that we'll be hosting a number of first time riders as well.  We know of a few Oregonians who will be rising early Sunday morning to make sure they get in.  Conversely, there's a couple of English riders who will be waiting til after lunch to sign up. Whatever time zone you're in, don't wait too long to register.

Finally, we want to encourage you to support your local businesses during these challenging times.  If you're from just about anywhere in New England, this year's long stretch of frigid and snowy weather has had a major impact on the regional economy and that includes your local restaurants and shops.  It's estimated that Massachusetts alone has lost more than $1 billion through lost sales and productivity in the last two months.  Treat yourself to a night out with family and friends to celebrate your resilience and fortitude.  Go to your local bike shop or other store and pick up some harbinger o spring riding and warmer weather.  It will help you close out these final frigid days and will mean a lot to your local business.

February 2015 Newsletter

Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour News

We don't know what the weather is where you are but it has been cold here in Massachusetts!  The month of January has been bitter and now we're digging out of a bit of a blizzard.

If you're like us, you've probably been hunkered down a bit and beginning to plan your riding season. We'll be riding in Indiana in June with Adventure Cycling and hopefullly riding with family and friends in Newport, RI and Quebec later in the summer.  

With all the local talk this week about footballs and just how hard they should be, I put my bike on the trainer to continue breaking in that new leather saddle.  Honestly, if there was a way to deflate it, I would but I think it is just going to take patient mileage to get the feel I would like for spring riding.

And, of course, we're deep into planning for another great Berkshires to Boston Tour across Massachusetts.  We hope you'll be joining us for the tour this September.

2015 Berkshires to Boston Tour Jersey: Made in Massachusetts

It's true that last year's jersey won national recognition and it's true that Primal has been a great partner for our tour wear;  but, we had the opportunity to work with a local Massachusetts company for the production of our jerseys for 2015.  We're really excited that VOmax, headquartered in Northampton, MA, will be producing our 2015 jerseys.  

 

We'll be revealing the design in the next few weeks. Once again, it'll feature an iconic location along the tour and once again, we'll be challenging riders in the "Picture Yourself Here" contest. Riders who submit a picture of themselves in the location that inspired the jersey will be entered into a drawing to receive free registration in the 2016 tour.  We're looking forward to having Bari Freeman, last year's winner, ride with us again this September.

 

 

Along the Way

Our Berkshires to Boston Tour route intersects with some of the Commonwealth's most scenic and historic sites.  On the short mileage day from Devens into Boston, our route follows the Minuteman Rail Trail which passes through the heart of the historic community of Lexington. Just off the path is the Buckman Tavern.

2014 rider Linda Furlani at the Buckman Tavern in Lexington

2014 rider Linda Furlani at the Buckman Tavern in Lexington

The Lexington militia gathered here early on the morning of April 19, 1775 before confronting the British regular army on Lexington Green. You may want to hop off your bike for a little while to explore this historic site and others in town. For a small entry fee you can explore the restored tavern and artifacts from the time including the original front door complete with a bullet hole from the battle.   Learn more at  Lexington Historical Society
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rider News

2014 rider Craig Cox will be biking the Big Apple in this year's Five Boro Bicycle Tour.  If you haven't ridden the 5 boro tour, it should be on your cycling bucket list.  New York was recently named America's most bikable city by Bicycling magazine and what better way to experience the city than with 32,000 other cyclists. Do be prepared for some stopping along the way. Thirty-two thousand cyclists riding along the 40 mile route tends to create some challenges for law enforcement and organizers so be patient and enjoy this unique NYC experience. Registration will fill in the next few weeks so register early. Learn more: 5 Boro Bicycle Tour

Visit our brand new website, Berkshires to Boston Tour to learn more about the tour and mark your calendar for September 16 - 20, 2015. You'll also want to mark your calendar and your alarm clock for Sunday, March 1st, 2015. Registration for the 2015 tour opens at 8AM eastern time!

 

Gary and Maureen Briere

River's Edge Cycling and the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour