Glen here, your tour director and humble servant since 1997.
It’s time to get out of the city and get back to beautiful relaxing farm country. Check out the photos on this web site -- all taken on The Farm Ride route.
Whether you are a beginner or an expert, we have an incredible ride ready for you.
We’re going to pedal along the river, on no-car bike paths and on quiet, back-country roads shaded with trees. You’ll ride past farms, dairy cows, rivers, tobacco sheds... Overhead is the Holyoke Range mountains. (No, we are NOT pedaling UP the mountains! We’ll pedal in the valley, ALONGSIDE the mountains!)
We’re going through towns that were founded in the 1700s.
There are no car alarms here.
There are no booming radios.
Instead you’ll enjoy a clear sky full of stars, friendly townspeople, great riding companions, fresh local food, and lush scenery.
Another swell bicycle ride from yer ol' pal Glen
The 13th Annual
"I swear this is the last year..."
August 9-11, 2019
Hey all -- the rest of this web site is about the 2018 ride, which is over. The 2019 ride will be similar, with a few improvements here and there. Feel free to poke around, but all the info on 2019 will be announced a bit later.
Ride One, Two, or All Three Days -- Your Choice
• • •
Amherst & Northampton, MA
Close to New York, Boston, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Albany, and Connecticut
• Optional Transportation from NYC for Your Bike and You
• Routes for Beginners, Families, and Experts
• No Fundraising Required •
Come for the whole weekend or ride for just one day. If you’re coming for the weekend we’re staying on the campus of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. We offer three different housing options on campus to fit your taste and your budget.
We’ll be visiting Amherst and Northampton -- both beautiful college towns with great bars, restaurants, and the place that I think has the best ice cream in the United States -- Herrell's (Yeah, I know... as soon as you name your favorite ice cream parlor or pizza place or barbecue joint an argument breaks out, but I’m standing by my choice here.)
Here’s a BRIEF schedule (more details on the web pages that follow). Remember -- pick only the days that work best for you.
FRIDAY AUGUST 10
Many people will head to Amherst on Friday after work (or skip work entirely, which I highly recommend... on any day...) Drive to Amherst on your own or take our optional transportation for your bike and you from NYC. We offer two departures from NYC on Friday: 8:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. -- your choice. Stay overnight on the University of Massachusetts campus if you wish.
If you get to Amherst early, we’ll have on optional 3 p.m. escorted ride of about 20 miles to explore the area. (Read: “A ride to go eat ice cream.”)
If you’d rather explore on your own stop by our office on-campus and pick up a route sheet. The routes will also be painted on the roadway.
In the early evening we’ll go on a VERY short ride into Amherst for dinner. Again, this ride and the dinner are both OPTIONAL -- come along if you want or head your own way -- your choice. If you come with us to dinner you pick up your own tab -- there are a wide variety of places to eat in this college town from cheap-o cheap-o to bit more formal. Free valet bike parking so you can pedal over and leave your lock in your room.
SATURDAY AUGUST 11
We ride! Today is The Farm Ride Century.
You’ll have your choice of routes: 100 miles, 70 miles, 50 miles, or 30 miles, or an easy cruise around town. We’ll do traditional free bike-ride breakfast at the start line (bagels, doughnuts, local baked goods, milk from local cows, coffee, cereal, bananas...) or if you want a full lumberjack breakfast you can buy it nearby.
We offer an optional escorted version of the 25-, 70-, and 100-mile routes at no additional charge -- ride with our cycling experts.
We’ll be right there with you all day with a gorgeous easy-to-follow marked route, turn sheet, full S.A.G. support (bike rescue) in case your bike breaks or you’re too tired to go on, and spectacular rest stops. (If you’ve never been on one of our rides, we tend to over-do the food thing, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.)
The routes are predominantly FLAT, but yes, there are indeed a few hills here and there. (But nothing you would write home about! Besides, you’re so tough that you don’t even care about hills! Too-much info on hills can be found here.)
After the ride we’ll have a great all-you-can-eat post-ride meal at a local farm.
The menu? Corn on the cob and salad that was still growing at the farm on the morning of the ride. Hamburgers, hot dogs, kielbasa, and sausages... all made in the Amherst area. (And veggie burgers too, of course ). Homemade potato salad and coleslaw, made from local potatoes and cabbage. Green and yellow squash melt. (It’s a Massachusetts thing!) Ice cream from cows that live next door to the farm. Homemade pie. Iced tea. Lemonade... The meal is included in the price of your ride.
After dinner we have a SHORT ride back to campus, or we’ll drive you if you prefer.
PLUS... our swell post-ride Saturday Night Dorm Party. The party is so much fun that we were temped to just hang out at the party and skip the pedaling entirely, but cooler heads prevailed. More details on the party here.
SUNDAY AUGUST 12
Still ready to ride? Good! (Had enough riding and just want to relax? Also good!)
Today is a casual day of riding -- we’ll have several route sheets for you to choose from. The routes are fully-marked, and we’ll have S.A.G. crews out there in case you need help, but you’re otherwise free to spend the day the way YOU want to! Go out and hammer, take a short ride, sleep late, or just cruise around town and shop. We’ll have a bike-snack buffet in the morning so you can fill your jersey with pocket food before you start to pedal.
There’s also a great place nearby where you can rent canoes and kayaks to paddle on the beautiful and calm Connecticut River. We’ll have a marked bike route ready to take you to the docks (a short ride) and we’ll help with all the boat rental details.
Amherst and Northampton are full of great restaurants and we’ll point you the right way if you want to grab one more meal before you leave.
If you’ve already checked out of your room, we’ll make sure you still have a place to shower and change before you head home.
If you drove to Amherst on your own you can head back whenever you’re ready. If you took our transportation from NYC we’ll have early and late runs home.