What's Going On This Week
Saturday October 25, 2014
Monster Dash 5K Run - Gt. Barrington, MA

Great Gravel Grinder Bike For Sale

http://www.ebay.com/itm/2013-Cannondale-CAADX-Ultegra-Disc-Cyclocross-Gravel-Grinder-54-cm-700c-Aluminum-/111484373925? Only 20 lbs. 13 oz. I'd much rather sell it locally so give me a call if you want to buy it! 413-442-0560.

Berkshire Cycling Association
Gravel Grinder 2014

Thanks to all the riders and volunteers who shared a beautiful Sunday in the Berkshires with us. Special thanks to all the riders for riding safely and courteously during the day. We didn't see any litter at all! Very much appreciated.

We donated the entire proceeds from the ride to the Pittsfield High School Cross Country Teams in appreciation of their absolutely outstanding job manning our aid stations.

I created a quick video of the ride. Maybe you'll spot yourself in it, but to see it, you'll first have to scroll down through the list of all the people who helped make this ride a success. They are:

Theresa Apple - Head Coach of the Pittsfield High Girls Cross Country Running Team). The amount of planning and coordination required to organize four large groups of kids and adults and get them (and the aid station food) down to hard to find remote dirt roads an hour south of Pittsfield ON TIME was simply amazing. Had that gone wrong, the event would have been a disaster. Pulling that off in addition to the aid station costume themes was outstanding!

The Pittsfield High Cross Country Running Teams and Their Parents! - You all made this event quite special! The costumes, cheering and enthusiasm were incredible. The guy on Brace Road who used his truck rack as a bike rack was too cool. The baked goods were delicious! A superb performance by these young athletes and their parents!

Canterbury Farm - Linda Bacon (Canterbury Farm) and Heather ( Becket General Store ) did an excellent job with the after ride meal. The location was ideal for relaxing after the ride and they didn't run out of anything! The last rider in had a great meal.

Wandering Star Brewery - Many thanks to Chris Post for the beer! Great to have this small Pittsfield Brewery support our event.

Beth Herder - Invaluable. Purchased all the aid station food, borrowed water jugs, donated many supplies and organized all aid station supplies. She also spent two full days marking the course, helped with maps and cue sheets. She picked up all the signs from the start to the base of Schermerhorn after the last rider went by. Over the summer, she did a whole lot of reconnaissance with me finding the best possible course.

Sweep Voll - Ran the ship all day Sunday, set up everything from registration to the table for food to people recording finishers. She was our expert on the course and answered questions about it and everything else you needed to know. She also recruited several volunteers for us, spent all day Friday spray painting, bought and helped organize aid station food, transported supplies to and from Canterbury Farm, did post-ride massage and participated in several of our exploratory rides looking for the most awesome dirt roads.

Bob Birkby - spent all day Friday spray painting, transported stuff to/from Canterbury Farm, did several course recon rides too.

Mother Nature - Provided brilliant sunshine and cool temps plus a lot of rain the day before to make the top of Brace Rd nice and muddy so I could get some fun video.

Jay Kulpinski - His knowledge, experience and advice was invaluable along with all the work he did setting up bikereg.com, doing registration print outs, cue sheet print outs and handling LAB insurance. He also really wanted Schermerhorn Road included in the route (in case you wanted to know who to thank for that).

Peter Apple - Leaf blew Schermerhorn Road! If you thought is was tough on the day of the ride, imagine it 100% covered in wet leaves, it would have been positively treacherous. Peter actually went out Saturday in the pouring rain but the leaves were just too wet, so he got up early Sunday morning and didn't just blow a path up the road, he cleared the entire width of the road! And, when he got home, he also leaf blew his driveway!

Erik Forestell - Flat Tire Support Specialist - one guy had 4 flats in the first few miles. Erik finally discovered a tiny metal sliver that was causing them. Erik also performed some automotive service too - jump starting Coach Apple's car! :-)

Plaines Bike & Ski - Mitch Plaine used his huge plotter to make us several large posters, provided us a mechanic for the entire day and donated a bunch of tubes!

Jared Smith - Plaines Bike & Ski mechanic went around the course and fixed a few shifting issues and inflated several tires.

Matt Giardina - Manned our "unmanned" aid station after we found out so many people were going to opt for the Bonus Loop.

Kurt Kuehnel - Suggested Canterbury Farm, introduced us to Linda Bacon and contacted Chris Post from Wandering Star to get the beer donated.

Tom Martin - Ordinary Cycles designed and ordered our water bottles.

Guidos Fresh Market Place - Tom Cornwell gave us fruit at cost and even loaded up our vehicle with it!

Steffen Root - Berkshire Bike & Board got us free Cliff Bloks!

Stacy Sears and Ella Sears - Finish Line Check-In, Great Pictures, Bell Ringers and Loud Enthusiastic Cheering!!!

Roger Sawyer - Bell Ringers and Loud Enthusiastic Cheering!

Michele Costa and Michele Emeson - Registration and helped organize everything outside.

Alan Rivenson - 32 mile ride leader.

This was the first event I've ever organized like this and thanks to our hard working volunteer teams, it went flawlessly! You guys made this event! I only wish I could have been at either registration or the after- party to meet more of the riders, but before the ride, I was out re- painting the Bonus loop (after Saturday's rain)and followed the last person removing signs from the top of Schermerhorn to the end. I did meet some of you out on the course, some of the aid station kids and parents, a woman who's tire I changed after Schermerhornand some stragglers at the after party. It was great to see everyone having a great time.

Thank you all!
Brad Herder

BTW - In the lost and found department, I lost two Strava KOM's.

Some Feedback We've Gotten

We have received many positive comments and I apologize for not writing back to each of you individually, but thank you, we really appreciate your kind words. I have copied all the comments for our volunteers to read and feel good about!

I had a great time. Great ride. Great day. I think the aid stations and post ride gathering were EXCELLENT! All around - great job. Thanks! Mark
Kudos for pulling off an incredibly unique and challenging ride that offered spectacular fall views of Southern Berkshire County. The organization, markings, support as well as the enthusiastic and friendly volunteers were second to none! Regards, Brian
Great ride! I'd say my legs are more shot right now than after the 160K D2R2. The only suggestion I have for the future is more toilets. Andy
*** Yes Andy - more toilets are required, we agree. ***
It was a fantastic day!! Your organization was splendid and the volunteers were wonderful! Everything was a lot of fun...well...except for the last big climb whose name starts with an "S". Even that had its moments. I would like to personally thank you for putting on such a fine event. While I didn't get to meet you - you were the guy with the great white lab?-maybe next time. I couldn't be critical about a single thing (except if the gate at the start of climb "S" had been open it would have helped my 70-year-old legs a lot) because it was all done with great enthusiasm, fine spirits and a love of fun.Thank you!!!Sandy
A great event, the food was overwhelming and the baked goods out of this world. Thanks to all of your support staff. Everyone hopes this will be an annual event. Would be happy to help develop routes in the future.- Christian
I may have lost my lunch chasing John Funk up schmelhorn but pls keep it - Mark
Thank YOU and your crew for an awesome event/ ride. The roads/ markings, the feed zone (esp. #4 ... maple syrup shots!), and the food afterwards ...was perfect! I look forward in doing it again.- John
A most enthusiastic "THANK YOU!!!" to everyone who made the F2G2 happen. The 53 mile route was spectacular and certainly challenging. The roads were very well marked, the rest stops well stocked and the volunteers were amazing. The after ride party was tasty and plentiful. And the maple syrup shots at the last rest stop were inspired. Thanks again for a perfect day!- Jim
you all should be applauded. that was a first class event. every aid station without exception had great energy and great food. food and beer at end was marvelous. course marking and routes perfect. don't change a thing. great job to all - Tim
This is a great opportunity to let you and everyone involved know the day was a 10! I've done many rides over the years and today ranks up there with the best! Next year-don't change a thing! Those kids at the Swags were fantastic and the greeting committee when we came in was fantastic.- Pete
Great job!! It was one of my favorite rides of the year. What a course!! I live here and most of the time I had no idea where I was. Loved it.Best;Bill
I just want to send a quick note to congratulate you and your team on a job well done, especially in light of this being a first-time event. I participated in a number of dirt road events this season, and I have to say that the organization, arrowing, aid support and after-party were all first rate. I know that those who are true to randonnees would look negatively at course arrows, but for me, it increases the enjoyment factor not having to pull out the cue sheet at every other turn. In my opinion, the first two-thirds of the ride had a great flow and mix of route segment. Having that rain the day before the event turned Brace Road into a true backcountry adventure. If there was one negative to the ride, I would say that it was the segment after the third aid station over to Schemerhorn Road. For me, having the miles of pavement to get over to that final major climb just seemed to break up the natural flow of the ride. Once you made the climb, outside of the section around the reservoir, the roads on the top of the mountain seemed less engaging than those earlier in the ride. This may sound like heresy, but I might even consider eliminating that segment and keep the ride on the south side of the Mass Pike, as I'm sure there's plenty more opportunity for dirt road exploration in that area. Having organized road rides in the past, I know the amount of effort and coordination that goes into a ride of this magnitude. Once again, thank you and congratulations on putting together a fantastic event and I look forward to it next year. By the way, if you're seeking additional support when organizing next year's event, I would be glad to lend a hand wherever you might see a need. Take care, Mark
*** Yes Mark - we agree, everything after the 3rd aid station is probably going to be changed next year. ***
F2G2 was terrific, and I hope to return in 2015. My thoughts on the day: It was a gorgeous day. Fall Foliage Gravel Grinder is a perfect name. The route was terrific. Among the very best of dirt/gravel events in the region. I liked the mix of surfaces - dirt, gravel, road, jeep track, a bit of pavement, etc. That variety was continually engaging. A nice challenge too. I was glad to have a 700x38 cx tire in this event as compared to other dirt road events where one can get away with fat road tires. I thought the 60 mile loop was a great length, particularly when considering the amount of climbing and the roughness (which I like) of the roads. I might have been able to ride a slightly longer loop, but I doubt more length would have made the day more enjoyable. Schermerhorn Rd was remarkable inasmuchas it is the steepest and most bombed-out section of road I've seen, but the Beartown State Forest bonus loopwas by far my favorite part of the route.The volunteers were the most enthusiastic I've ever encountered. I'll have to get used to people cheering for me when I'm riding a bike ; ) A real treat. The rest stops were packed full of refreshments, though I could have easily gone without the Beartown Bonus stop and the Goose Pond stop - I stopped only to check in and say hi. Canterbury Farm was a great home base. I enjoyed the hot breakfast before and the meal after. I'd like to check out their nordic skiing. Overall event organization was exceptional. The videos set accurate expectations. Route signage was perfect. I'm sorry that I did not get a chance to say hello and thank you on Sunday. I rushed off to make it home for dinner with my girls. It was a great day. Thank you. Steve
We had a great time and will do it next year! -Steph
First of all thanks for the absolutely great ride. You set up a fantastic course with very little road riding and traffic. I saw 3 bears on the descent after station #2. I was wondering what the vertical ascent for the ride was. I cramped just as I climbed Fred Snow Rd at the end. Usuallythat means I climbed a lot. Thanks- Jason
what a GREAT Event top notch very well done looking forward to it next year - Josh
what a fantastic job of organizing, promoting and executing the Gravel Grinder today! Everyone had a great time, loved the course, venue andparty afterwards. All your hard work really made for the perfect day! Thanks for everything that you did. - Michele
Excellent on all accounts, glad you had 150 show up. Thanks for all your efforts. Directions were good, course well marked, food excellent, aid stations were very good. All in all an A+ event. Curious to know how much, if any, food was left over, just to see if my "formula" worked out and if you could have added more people the day-of. Judy said a lot of people got back to Canterbury, loaded their bikes, and drove off w/o eating anything. She also was able ride ride all the way up Schmerhorn Rd except for the big washed out section. I think that's more than I rode with 2 lower gears than she has. If you've got the time today, you might send out a Survey Monkey survey to the riders from yesterday, I'm sure you'll get good feedback. It would be nice to know how people found out about your ride, what they liked the most and what they liked the least. - Tom
Awesome ride today, marked really good, great aid stations and mechanics. Had lots of fun. - Robert
terrific ride!! Congrats to you and your crew - and the volunteers at the snack stops rocked it! - Kim
One of the best parts of the ride were the aid stations! - Ruth
One of the best promoted, best prepared and best run events I've ever participated in. Kudos to Brad and all of the great volunteers! Looking forwardto 2015! - Marc
Perhaps the prettiest ride I have ever been on. Thanks to all who hosted this great event and to Pittsfield High School for manning the aid stations.- Jason
You've probably read Paceline forums nothing but praise and kudo's for F2G2's initial offering. Just wanted to add my own well done, Aid stationswere highly praised everybody liked the food and the spirit added to the event by the PHS cross country kids. Many comments said don't change a thing.- Tom
Check out the Blayley's (the folks on the Tandem) blog on the ride: http://blayleys.blogspot.com/2014/10/f2g2-fall-foliage-gravel-grinder.html


If anyone else has more posted somewhere, please let me know! Thanks!

2014 VIDEO

Direct Link to Video