Hi all, It is snowing out my window today in Boston, so I thought it'd be a perfect time to talk about SUMMER plans! I'm helping out with promoting the charity ride benefiting the MassBike Coalition (MA's advocacy organization) - the 5th Annual Mass BikePike Tour. Each year this 4-day tour explores a different part of our state, and this year we start in Northampton and go straight into the scenic Berkshires. I've pasted on some information - and feel free to ask questions here as well. Thanks for reading!! *** Tired of riding on your own or seeing the same roads every week? Join “The Friendliest Ride in the East” this summer – the Mass BikePike Tour! From August 11th to 14th, riders will explore the back roads of scenic (and challenging!) western Massachusetts. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition, which promotes a bicycle-friendly environment in Massachusetts. With a diverse group of riders and rides of differing lengths available, the Mass BikePike Tour is especially appropriate if your cycling companions ride at different speeds. “We are both longtime cyclists with very different riding styles – the Mass BikePike Tour is a ride with enough challenges to keep us both happy” -rider Tia Tilson about riding the MassBike Pike Tour with her partner Daily rides are longer (40-75 miles) and shorter (20-45 miles) with a “head start” option to shave additional miles off the ride. Western Massachusetts is characterized by quiet, scenic roads and challenging hills. There are plenty of attractions en route if you enjoy combining tourism with a great ride. The Mass BikePike Tour includes a hearty breakfast and dinner, luggage transport, hot showers, rest stops, SAG support, and camping. For an additional fee, you can camp in style using the “Comfy Campers” service. Whatever your experience level, you will be welcomed onto the Mass BikePike Tour– to sign up or find out more, please visit www.massbikepike.org “We always had an unofficial social hour before dinner – everyone catches up! Telling stories about the day’s ride, and about other rides and past experiences. I love talking with people from all over the country.” -rider John Sullivan of Marshfield, MA QUICK FACTS Dates: Thursday, August 11th thru Sunday, August 14th. The route: 2011’s ride features the rolling hills and picturesque towns of western Massachusetts, including Northampton, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Williamstown, Lenox, Lee, North Adams, and Pittsfield. How long? We offer two routes each day. The shorter route is between 25 and 45 miles and the longer route is between 45 and 70 miles. Riders who want to shorten their distance can use our optional Head Start drop-off service that allows you to start up to 20 miles into the route. The food: We provide hearty breakfasts and dinners each day and strive to serve the best of what is local. The ride has rest stops and lists other options for lunch on your own. Creature comforts: This is a camping tour including hot showers. We provide motel/B&B suggestions as well as the very-popular “Comfy Campers” service. Included: luggage transport, camping privileges, support vehicles, rest stops, excellent route marking, and a tour t-shirt. Start/finish location: Tri-County Fairgrounds, Northampton, MA. Transportation from Boston to and from the start is available for a small fee. Sign up early: The Mass BikePike Tour is limited to 125 riders!