New England is arguably the best place for mountain biking, fall the best time for riding, and chili the most comforting fall food so lets combine those three things to create one magnificent event - the first annual Pioneer Valley Chili MTB Ride™!
The ride part will take place at Wendell State Forest on Saturday, November 7th. We will meet/park at the Wendell Ranger Station (scroll down for directions) and start riding at 1pm. Wendell State Forest has some of the best mountain biking in Western MA. The beautiful scenery is highlighted by an ever-expanding system of strategically built and beautifully maintained single track. The trails range from all-ability to highly technical and from gently rolling to up-/downhill that is sure to have your heart racing!
To showcase some of Wendell's greatest trails and varied terrain, we will ride one of the classic loops at Wendell and add some trails here and there. At a moderate pace, I expect that the ride should take us 3-4 hours. Depending on the crowd, we might split into a "faster" and an "intermediate" group, and trails might be added/skipped depending on general consensus, but here is the rough plan as of 3:43pm on Oct. 13th:
To start off, we'll go down the XC to Carlton's Dirth, over to Harold's Hiatus and up Wicked Pond Escape. From there, we can either head directly over to the Maple Leaf trail to Nipmuck or take Two Brothers (to Maple Leaf). We'll go up Maple Leaf, down Nipmuck and climb up Baker Road (a local favorite Tongue out). We'll bomb down Hannah Swarton and climb back up Mormon Hollow (or vice versa). After that, we can finish on the Lookout trail and either the Pond Loop or "Trail" back over to the Ranger Station.
But wait, there's more: Hungry and thirsty, we will cross the road over to the Robert Frost trail and to our gracious host, Bill Gabriel, where we will feast on chili and fine beer. Afterwards, we will shuttle people back to their cars.
Please let me know if you plan on coming so that we can properly prepare! All are welcome (but by no means required) to bring a dish, snack or beverage to share. If you want to bring something please email me to let me know what you're bringing, or to ask what we might still need. We can drop food off at Bill's house before the ride (12-12:45pm; directions below). The rain/snow date for the ride is Sunday, November 15th, but lets keep our fingers crossed that we won't need it!
Directions to the Wendell Ranger Station:
From the east or west: Take Rte. 2 to Rte. 63 south through Miller Falls, Wendell Rd. over R.R. bridge, take Montague Rd. and follow signs.
From the north or south: Take Rte 47 North to Route 63 North. Travel approximately 6 miles and follow lead in signs approximately 2 miles to the Park Headquarters. (From RT63: turn right on Highland St (before center of Millers Falls) to intersection with S Prospect St, turn right onto S Prospect St and follow that all the way up -turns into Wendell Rd, bear right)
Directions to Bill Gabriel's house (from Millers Falls):
Follow the signs to Wendell State Forest. Bill's house is on the right just before the Ranger Station, brown house with a red barn sitting back from the road (334 Wendell Road).
Contact: Steffi Krug, (413)522-7321, firstname.lastname@example.org
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