Written by Rick Harbison Sunday, 16 June 2019 00:00
The Farmer's daughter gravel grinder is a can't miss event in upstate NY that attracts roadies, cross and MTB riders to share in the fun and suffering. They limited it to 480 entrants and it did fill early so if you want in next year make sure to sign up soon after registration opens. This ride is in late May which for me feels pretty early in the season for a tough and hilly 65 mile ride.
I have learned to go fairly hard the first few miles being early on there is a section of almost never used rail trail (not the easiest place to pass )followed closely by a section of single track that I guarantee you will not clean. This section will also become backed up due to people having a tough time riding it. Even in the front group I saw several folks crashing. There is a couple more single track sections later on but by then everyone is spread out so there wouldn't be any traffic jams there.
Other highlights are long gravel climbs and some fast descents, and 3 well stocked food/water spots where you will find power balls, whisky fish, maple syrup shots, ice cream, sandwiches and even some healthy stuff. They save the biggest of the climbs for the second half which adds to the "fun". And when there is no more local hills in New York to go up the course puts you in Massachusetts for a big hill or two over there. This year I bonked as the refreshing weather turned pretty hot but I kept pushing on thinking about the beer, band and more food waiting at the finish. This is not a race so no timing tent but I am petty sure most folks finish in the 5 to 7 hour range with a few faster and some slower.
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