Start date: 10/08/2023

Registration: opens 02/01/2023
Activity tags attached to this sportie.

Activities: Recreational 🚴🏿‍♂️, Gran fondo, 101 miles, 80 miles, 62 miles, 42 miles, 200 km, 65 miles, 30 miles

GID: 59080

          Great River Ride 2023

A Fundraiser for the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail Inc.

Post Ride Entertainment and Buffet at the finish

2023 marks the 36th Anniversary of the Great River Ride. Over the years the GRR has been recognized by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) and Bicycling Magazine as one of the top century rides in America. A variety of routes are offered to match the skill levels of all participants. Event proceeds will benefit the programs of the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail (FOCGRT), a 501 3c nonprofit organization.  

The routes are fully arrowed and your entry includes refreshment stops along the ride as well as a post-ride buffet from 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM. 

You will encounter knee-popping hills, breathtaking views, awesome descents, and gorgeous fall foliage as you tour the hilltowns of the Eastern Berkshires. Add in miles of stone walls, waterfalls, plenty of New England white churches, loads of colonial homes, historic keystone arches, a wild and scenic river, and did I mention hills. But thats not all, we've got rest stops staffed with friendly cyclists and snacks, including our famous "Baked Potato" stop.

The Westfield River, the Great River in the river ride, is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. The GRR wanders the course of this scenic river to give you a unique cycling experience. For 2023 we're using most of the original route, thanks to Mass Highways repaving projects. The Century will actually total 108miles with bailout options and we've got the original 25 mile downhill run (mostly) to the finish.

The GRR Gravel Route is a mix of pavement, gravel, dirt and seasonal roads that we’ve enjoyed fall riding on for over 50 years. The 65 mile route has several gravel/dirt sections totaling 23 miles.  The route will take you through the remote Knightville Basin and Chesterfield Gorge with stunning vistas along the East Branch of the Westfield River. You’ll pass through the Knightville Meadows, the Rainbow Pool, the Little Gorge and the Chesterfield Gorge on your ride.  Most climbs are paved but Thayer Rd. is a moderately difficult climb of 1.4 miles on dirt ranging from 10% to 7%.  A long descent to River Rd. follows a seasonal road with some steep downgrades. At River Rd. you will have a choice of the final gravel climb up Maynard Rd. or the bailout paved climb up East River Hill to the Spud stop at the Chester Hill Church. Gravel/Dirt sections will not be monitored by SAG vehicles and Cell Phone coverage is limited.  Be prepared to handle mechanical problems,and flats.  Several miles of the route follows a gated road closed to motor vehicles.   We recommend teaming up with other riders on these sections.  Tire widths of 38mm or wider are recommended.  Fallen leaves will hide loose and bony surfaces, so caution on descents is advised.

Our Winery Ride uses the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail and New Haven/Northampton Canal Trail for a flat 25 mile ride with a stop at the Brignole Vineyard for snacks (wine will be available for purchase).

Our 42 mile road route includes one moderate climb up the Granville Gorge with a mid ride rest stop at the Brignole Vineyard. At the vineyard you will have the choice of returning on the road (rolling terrain) or using the rail trail (flat).

Family Friendly - Free entry for children 15 & under riding with a registered adult.

Riders choosing to ride the RUSA sanctioned 200K must be current RUSA members and are expected to comply with RUSA Randonneuring Rules and the official start times for their respective event.

             The RUSA  Brevet and Populaires options are a timed events. A Poulaire is a timed long distance event of less than 200K while a brevet is 200K or greater conducted under the rules of the Adaux Club Parisien and its American counterpart, Randonneurs USA. Like a Gran Fondo pace line riding is permitted and there is an upper time limit for finishing. Brevet and Populaire riders cannot start before the posted start time. The clock start at the posted start time for each ride, no adjustments are made for late starts. All brevet and populaire riders are issued a route card that must be signed/stamped at each control (rest stop). Completed cards must be signed and handed in at the finish.The RUSA  (Randonneurs USA) Brevet and Populaire are timed with a 6:00 AM start time for the 200K ride. No adjustments are made for late starts and all finishers must turn in a completed ride passport at the end of the ride to have a time recorded. 200K Brevet riders are required to have lights (front and rear), a reflective vest and reflective ankle bands. 

The Great River Ride benefits the Bicycle Advocacy efforts of New Horizons Bikes and the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail.

Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail exists to ensure that the Columbia Greenway project is realized.  Specifically, Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail (FOCGRT) will advocate for the planning, design, construction, maintenance and continuence ot the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail, as well as advocating for cycling improvements to make Westfield a bicycle friendly community.

 This is a Rain or Shine Event: No refunds






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