Sunday was the Tour de Farm Ride!
There were 2 rides to choose from, a 15 mile and a 35 mile. Of course, you know what I registered us for! The ride is basically to raise funds to support land conservation and agriculture.
Since we had to be there at 8:30 – that meant no bagel day today (we did that yesterday). Instead, I fueled up with banana custard oats. Pretty standard fare for pre ride.
Then we drove to Hand Melon Farm where the race was to start. This farm is 100 years old. Also blueberry picking there, but I picked 5 pounds yesterday or I would have gotten more!
There were probably 200 riders today. I don’t know the split between the 2 distances, but I think the majority actually did the longer ride.
They had a bike safety check spot where they made sure you had brakes and air in your tire. That was nice!
Many different sizes and ages of people. I felt a little nervous for some reason.
The pre ride talk said that we would probably naturally end up in 3 groups – a slower group, medium group, and fast group. It was also emphasized that it was not a race and to not ride aggressive 😯
…. not aggressive…
Here we are lined up. John and I figured we would be in the middle group, so we lined up in the middle. A good mix of bikes. Mostly road, I think, but a fair amount of hybrids.
Then we headed out. The ride started together, then all the riders separated as we found our pace. John and I were riding at our normal pace, averaging about 14 mph for the first section. We ended up with no one around! Guess we don’t fit into any average ride group, even though we tend to do the same pace. Interesting. Leave it to us.
The ride started out hilly right away. One steep descent near the beginning and I hit 34.1 mph! Holy cow that was scary. I kept thinking of all the crashes in the Tour de France this week. Not the best thing to be doing.
We actually missed the first farm visit. The person waving us on said “The 35 mile ride keeps going” and other riders turned right. We thought that meant the shorter ride. Well, it turns out the ride kept going *unless* you wanted to visit the heifer facility, which would have been neat to see. They are employing green agricultural technology.
It was quite sunny out and warm. I had my 50 SPF sunscreen on, and I meant to reapply it at the first stop, but I forgot. We had a hill climb to get to the next rest stop, which was at mile 18 at the Saratoga Battlefield.
A park ranger there talked about the history of this spot, which was a turning point in the American Revolution. They fed us snacks and water here. Some sort of seed cake, which was almost like a granola bar with no oats. It was tasty!
You can see why this area was a good spot for a command post because it sits on a hill and you can see down all around.
I also talked with a woman named Alison there who had the same exact bike as me! A Fuji Absolute. I told her she had a nice bike She also bought hers at the same place I bought mine! Turns out she lives like a half mile from us, too. Small world. Maybe we can go biking some time.
Then it was on for another 11 miles or so. The roads were surprisingly uncrowded by cars, which was really nice for riding. Again, John and I were mostly by ourselves. I was hoping to try some drafting in a group, but either the people were slower than I wanted to go or faster. Oh well.
The next stop was the Sword Surrender site. This followed the Battle at Saratoga where British General Burgoyne surrendered his sword to American General Gates, which was around mile 30.
Note picture below of said event.
Yes, this picture was at the rest stop 😀
They are planning on making a historical site here, in its planning stages.
We were fed water and cucumbers here from one of the local farms.
They were refreshing! Although not proper ride fuel, so I had some of this:
Gorgeous day, right?
Then it was the last stretch home. We were still doing about 13.8 mph average speed, even with hills, so I was pleased about that. Then it was the final couple of miles and a monster hill.
Remember how I went down that hill earlier at 34.1 mph? Well, we had to get up a hill just like that on the return. It was ghastly. Truly ghastly. I kept dropping gear after gear until I was in 1, I think, then all of the sudden my pedals started spinning really fast because my chain fell off! I was going really slow, too, so I almost fell over and it scared me. That was almost half way up the hill. No telling if I would have actually made it to the top without stopping, but probably.
I took the picture while I was stopped because it was pretty.
I should have taken a picture of the hill, duh.
The hard part? Restarting on a hill! Ugh! Then I had a bump in my chain (which is why I think it fell off), so I couldn’t use the lower gears and had to power up the hill in a gear that was too high. Now that was a challenge! Phew! I was glad to see the farm again at mile 35. Yay – finished!
And glad to see they had the picnic lunch set up!
Check out this spread! Have you ever seen post event food like this?
Normally it is homemade cookies, or bagels and bananas. Not so here. We had a catered picnic lunch with local beef hamburgers on wheat buns and corn on the cob with compound butter. 3 different kinds of salads.
I got the potato salad that had dill and I think a little mustard and capers! Have you ever had a post race meal with capers?? Fancy!
Not to mention fresh made lemonade with ginger, which tasted amazing (probably because I was dehydrated).
Another nice touch? Local crafted pilsner!
I am such a light weight anymore. I used to be able to drink 5 or 6 beers a night with no problem. Now? 8 ounces and I felt it.
Ice Cream Man in Greenwich also provided us with dessert. This ice cream was just made this morning – mint with fudge swirl.
We even got t-shirts, too! Mine is almost long enough to be a mini dress, too.
Maybe a micro mini. This is a medium. Vanity sizing anyone??
Distance: 35 miles (just shy actually)
Ride Time: 2 hours 36 minutes
Average speed: 13.5 mph
Top speed: 34.1 (Eeeeeeeeee!!!)
Calories burned: 1094 (probably on the low side with those hills).
And the best news?? No flat tires for either of us! Woo Hoo!!!!