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!
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.
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.