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 2018 start/finish venue at Crellin Town Park in Chatham NY . Start Time: 9:00 AM, Sunday May 20, 2018. There will be  free parking available, and we’ll be having a great after-ride party there as well. There will be live music, a full 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.

On-Course Support

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 Bikereg.com page starting on February 1, 2018 .

The individual registration fee for 2018 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, and we’ve filled to capacity every year. 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 prior years 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 2018. All money that does not go into putting on the Farmer’s Daughter goes to charitable organizations.

22 thoughts on “Event

    1. Our event photographer Dave Kraus is sorting and culling now, said he’d have them to post sometime this week.

  1. Road pedals have been fine for all the gravel rides I have done up until now such as Battenkill, Lu Lacka Wyco, etc., which have mostly road sections with 20-30% gravel, even when muddy. Based on the description of this course, though, it sounds like MTB pedals would be a better choice. Am I right in my thinking?

    1. Especially with CX or gravel bikes, there will be a few places where most riders will want to get off the bike and walk. I’d suggest MTB pedals.

  2. Hi, wondering, with all the rain forecast for the days leading up to the ride, if you have more specific tire recommendations–will file tread tires in 40mm+ be enough, or do you suggest a mud-specific tire? Is it the type of mud that tends to stick and build up? Thanks, looking forward to it, whatever the weather!! (I believe you can reverse the comment order on Word Press–might make more sense to have the latest comments appear first.)

    1. Hi Mark, Thanks for the question. I’m going to hold off making a recommendation filetread vs. all-purpose tires on CX bikes until I see what the trail sections look like on Saturday when we mark the course. When I was there several days ago, trail conditions were fairly dry, with only the occasional spot that might want a small-nobbed tire. However, there are almost always a few spots where you’re either going to walk through with a filetread or might get through on the bike with a slightly more aggressive tire. I’ve ridden the course with both. Since it’s not a race, I’d say that in most cases going to something like a Challenge Grifo or my personal favorite all-around tire, the Michelin Mud 2 (not actually a mud tire). I didn’t notice any significant degradation of efficiency with such a tire vs. filetreads. I hope that helps. Thanks for the tip on comment order, I hadn’t noticed that there was a newest first setting.

    1. The easiest thing to do is to have the person you’re transferring to indicate at registration on the day of the event that he/she is substituting for you. I think you can also edit your entry on BikeReg.com as well.

  3. Although I won’t be able to join the ride this year, I don’t want to miss it next year. Do you have an emailing list I can join to remind me? Thank you

    1. Sure, Chris. You can also “like” the Facebook page (search for “Farmer’s Daughter Gravel Grinder”). Hope to see you next year!

  4. Hi Jon,
    A huge thank you to you and all the folks who gave up riding to make this day possible! Everything was great! Great venue at the park, the new route out of town was fun, putting the lap around the pond at the end was a nice idea.
    Bountiful Bread, Cold Stone did an wonderful job with the food. Chatham Brewery and the local folks who served the post ride meal…Just everything.
    There are parts of the route that will challenge anyone but I didn’t see anyone who was not smiling.

  5. Jon, This was also my first ride and it was a blast! I made it to the second aid station and then took the opt-out…my legs were shot by that point! Everything was well organized and well-marked. It was nice to not have to rely on cue sheets or a computer to navigate.

    One head’s up though…on the cue sheet for the second bail-out, Hogel Hill Road is in reality not labelled as such at the corner of NY-203. The sign says Country Road 61. You might want to add that for next year!

  6. Jon – Just wanted to let you know that the 2017 ride was my first, and it was amazing! Incredible course that really pushed me beyond my abilities, but the roads and scenery made it all worthwhile. The ride support from your team and sponsors were the best I have experienced outside of the Pan-Mass Challenge. Thank you for putting on such a great event.

    1. Thanks for the good word, Kevin! We do have a challenging course, and try hard to give you all the support we can to get you through it in good shape. We hope to see you again next year, we think that a big part of why Farmer’s Daughter has become a success is that we attract a great group of cyclists who come together every May to share the experience.

  7. Will there be a marked bail-out option / shortcut for riders who don’t feel prepared to go the full distance?

    1. Not marked, but there will be two points (the two manned aid stations) at which you can pick up a cue sheet that will direct you back via simple routes on paved roads from that point. These are not supported alternate courses, that is, there won’t be roving support or signage on them, they’re bail-out options for those who find that the full course is too much for them on that particular day.

  8. What kind of food is available at the aid station, it helps to know what to expect, thanks. Also, will you have day of the ride reg. even if you get your 400?

    1. I don’t have the full details on the food yet, stay tuned. Bountiful Bread supplies the first manned aid station, last year they provided diverse sandwiches including vegetarian and vegan options, salads, fruit, cookies, a true gourmet spread. Since it’s not a race, we expect people to stop for a few minutes and really enjoy themselves. At the second manned aid station you’re more likely to find a less expansive spread, but still lots of good stuff. Last year we had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cookies, apples, granola bars, etc. One thing that we don’t provide is electrolyte gel packages. There’s also plenty of water and electrolyte mix at those two stations, and bottled water at two unmanned stops as well.

      As for day-of registration, we will only have it if we have not reached our cap of 400. If we do have it the price will also be higher, $60 if memory serves.

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