September means back to school, cooler temperatures, root vegetables, changing leaves, crisp nights, and for many, the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour. 2015 marks the Tour’s third year and my second year of participation. What is the Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour? A 240-mile autumn ride across the state of Massachusetts that joins up with Boston’s Hub on Wheels event on the Tour’s last day. The Tour hosts 150 riders from all over the world who seek to explore Massachusetts by bicycle. The Tour is challenging, well organized, and awe-inspiring.
I was challenged in the best of ways. The terrain offers variety: moments of intensity followed by moments of peace and back again. I’m an avid rider but lack those moments to spend hours on my bicycle. Instead of daily jaunts, I enjoy cycling when I can. I thrive on physical challenges and enjoy the success of pushing myself.
Gary Briere of Rivers Edge Cycling has orchestrated an incredible few days. Transitions are seamless and the 44-page downloadable manual has every question covered – how to train, what to pack, where you’ll find the showers and restrooms at the end of each riding day on the campsites, and much more.
I was born and raised on one end of Massachusetts and am a transplant, living and working at the other end. While I’m a true country mouse at heart, getting back into Boston via bicycle nourishes deep parts of my soul. While winding through country roads, I am reminded of the beauty of nature and of the complexity of the human body and its ability. I enjoy the deep clarity and focus that comes when presented with one mission: get to the end safely.
I am excited, nervous, and full of anxiety before the Tour, a feeling I felt on a larger scale last year. I signed up for the Tour on a whim when I felt its calling and honestly walked away with soulmates from the ride. The ride is much more than a bicycle and the road ahead. The people from the Tour are what make this adventure special. Its people are woven from similar cloth, share a common interest, and all found the Tour in their own ways.
So here’s my call to action: Maybe you’re reading this and you’re a business owner, resident, or visitor of the Berkshires. Maybe you’re looking for an adventure or a few days to clear your mind or want to feel the excitement of accomplishment or whatever the case may be. The Berkshires to Boston Bicycle Tour exists to fill any reason you can come up with. There’s still time to sign up for this year’s Tour and maybe I’ll see you on the road!
Buy the full meal plan. Train on long and short hills, a lot. Charge your phone each night at the stations – even though you’ll want to take in the beauty with your being, you are going to want a lot of photos of your trip to go back to in the Winter while you dream of the next tour. And finally, relax, enjoy the ride, breathe deeply and savor the small moments like when you ride by the smallest of flowers growing through the cracks in the pavement.
Most days you can find Michelle Murphy, BVB Communications Associate, on the road visiting Members. Her visits help to keep the BVB staff updated on what’s new and offer’s Members a chance to share images and information through our various social media channels. Site visits usually last about 30-45 minutes and it is a great opportunity to educate the BVB staff so that they can inspire visitors to come and see you as well! To schedule a visit from Michelle, please email at [email protected] or call 413.743.4500, ext. 133.