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