DEERFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS – Hundreds of bike riders from all over the country and beyond will converge on the farm fields of Deerfield August 18 for the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee. Known as D2R2, the event is a fundraiser for the Franklin Land Trust, a local non-profit that works with landowners to protect farms, forests, and other natural resources in the region. According to FLT, D2R2 also provides riders the opportunity to experience first-hand the benefits of land conservation as they ride through some of the most scenic and historic landscapes in the area.
D2R2 begins in Deerfield and follows miles of back roads and horse-cart lanes in western Massachusetts and southern Vermont. According to ride designer Sandy Whittlesey, the idyllic quality of D2R2 is no accident: “We designed D2R2 by placing pins in the map where the covered bridges and coolest sights were, then connected the dots with dirt roads. When the ride was originally developed we expected it to be nothing more than a quirky event for the fringe cyclists known as “randonneurs”. However, the event got national press, with riders raving about how fun, challenging, and beautiful it was.” Because of this upsurge in interest, last year, D2R2 drew almost 1000 riders from 30 states and multiple countries.
D2R2 riders can choose from four distances: 40 mile, 100K, 150K, 115K, and 180K. The 40-mile Green River ride is flat and about 50% dirt roads, a great way for families or those looking for a slower pace to participate. The 100K takes about as much time as 100 miles on pavement (lots of hills!), and the 180K is one of the hardest rides in the country. Riders can register by contacting the Franklin Land Trust, or going to the FLT web site: www.franklinlandtrust.org. Meals, snacks and cold drinks are included with registration.