The Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder is a non-competitive bike ride that will take you through some of the most scenic country in the Northeast, in and around Columbia County, NY. It is approximately 65 miles long, on a rolling course that provides over 6100 feet of climbing, almost entirely on dirt roads with a bit of pavement here and there, and several sections of off-road thrown in as well. Even though there’s plenty of climbing, some of it steep, there are no long “killer” climbs, but lots of rolling terrain with plenty of fun descents to match the climbs.
Start and Finish
The ride is named after Chatham Brewing’s “Farmer’s Daughter” Rye IPA, born and brewed right in the town of Chatham, NY, where the ride starts and finishes. The 2017 start/finish venue is still under consideration at this time, but will be in or very close to Chatham NY . Start Time: 9:00 AM, Sunday May 21, 2017. There will be free parking available, and we’ll be having a great after-ride party there as well. There will be a barbecued chicken dinner (with vegetarian and vegan offerings as well) included for entrants, and beverages including a free beer from Chatham Brewing provided to all participants age 21 or older, at the finish.
We will provide maps and cue sheets to all participants, as well as online files available for download to bike computers as well, though the exact course details may not be made public until shortly before the ride due to changes that we may need to make to account for weather, road, and trail conditions.
Cellphone coverage will be sporadic on the course. You’ll be traveling through some sparsely populated and hilly areas, so there may be long sections with poor or no coverage.
There will be at least two fully supported aid stations on the course, equipped with food and beverages, some bike maintenance equipment, communication equipment, and portable toilets. There will also be roaming support out on the course, including sweep vehicles. In addition, there will be intermediate “water-only” stations. However, this will be a long, challenging ride, and support may be far from you at some points. You should carry your own food, water, tubes, tools, etc. on the ride with you.
A cyclocross bike, gravel grinder bike, or adventure bike is optimal for the course, and a hard-tail mountain bike would also work well. The course will have sections that won’t be suitable for road bikes, so we can’t recommend them.
You should bring with you any repair equipment that you would normally bring for a long ride, e.g., mini-pumps and/or CO2 pumps, chain lube, spare tubes, patch kit, boot, mini-tool, etc. There will be support at the aid stations, but we ask that you be prepared to be self-sufficient with regard to spares, etc. The aid stations will only have enough spare tubes, for example, for the occasional exceptional need.
You will be required to wear a UPSC-certified cycling helmet at all times that you are on a bike.
Rules of the Road
We will mark the course at all turns, and plan to have marshals on hand periodically at some intersections. However, we will not be stopping traffic for cyclists. This is not a race; you should obey all the normal rules of the road for cyclists, e.g., come to a full stop at stop signs, ride to the right, single file if there’s any chance of motor traffic. Be safe and be courteous. Several parts of the course are likely to be on private or restricted access property, and the only way we’ll be able to hold this event in coming years is if you act as good citizens in their neighborhoods.
If you see a fellow rider in distress, please stop and provide what help you can. It’s the right thing to do.
You can register online at our Bikreg.com page starting on February 1, 2017 .
The individual registration fee for 2017 is $50.00 before April 1, $60.00 until online registration closes, and $70.00 on the day of the event. Unlike previous years, registration includes a meal at the finish.
Riders under 18 years of age must have a parent or guardian sign a USAC rider release form available on site.
Please register early! There is limit of 400 riders. Also, your early registration helps us gauge how many participants we can expect, which in turn helps us ensure a great experience for you.
The Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder is a non-competitive, fun ride supported by USA Cycling (USAC Permit # (TBD)), and put on by two great cycling clubs in the New York Capital Region: HRRT(Helping Riders Realize Talent), and CBRC (Capital Bicycle Racing Club). The ride is sponsored by Bountiful Bread, Steiner Sports, and Chatham Brewing, and others.
Proceeds from the Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder will benefit the Columbia Land Conservancy. The CLC works with the local community to conserve the farmland, forests, wildlife habitat, and rural character of Columbia County, strengthening connections between people and the land. In 2015 we also made smaller donations to programs to support youth cycling development and to a local mountain biking group; we made use of a small part of one of their trails on the course last year, and they’re hard at work growing nice trail systems in Columbia County. We expect to make similar donations in 2016. All money that does not go into putting on the Farmer’s Daughter goes to charitable organizations.