We go up, the cows walk down. D2R2 2012 © Cyclocross Magazine

We ride up, the cows walk down. D2R2 2012 © Cyclocross Magazine

Spending your offseason off-road on your ’cross bike, exploring old dirt roads? If you’re a subscriber to Cyclocross Magazine, then you most likely read our recent feature on the allure of gravel racing. If you haven’t had a chance to try it out for yourself, one of the races that we listed on our country-wide calendar, Western Massachusetts’ D2R2, is open for reg, and has a few surprises in store for riders this year.

The Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnée is open for registration and will be taking place on Saturday, August 24, Deerfield, Massachusetts. Known as D2R2, the event is a fundraiser for the Franklin Land Trust (FLT), a local non-profit organization. FLT has conserved more than 26,000 acres of productive, scenic, and ecologically sensitive land in western Massachusetts, including 12,000 acres of farmland. According to FLT, D2R2 presents a great opportunity for riders to experience first-hand the benefits of land conservation as they ride back roads through some of the most scenic and historic farms, fields and forests in the northeast.

The Deerfield Dirt-Road Randonnée was conceived in the 1990’s as just a favorite dirt-road loop in the hill towns of Franklin County, Massachusetts.  Since its birth as an organized event in 2005, many have hailed D2R2 as the hardest, most beautiful, most fun, most traffic-free, most unique, and overall best ride that they have ever done.

Even as the ride continues to gain notoriety, drawing riders from all over the country and beyond, it remains true to the tenets set by ride designer and D2R2 guru Sandy Whittlesey:

  • The courses will use the narrowest, oldest, twistiest, quietest, and most-scenic roads available.
  • A range of courses will provide access to novices as well as challenge the world’s strongest riders.
  • D2R2 will never offer prizes for anything other than gags, nor will finish results ever be presented like it was a race.
  • Riders shall cover the course in a self-sufficient manner, without motorized crew vehicles.
  • The organization will put as much effort into its food offerings as it does the ride itself.
  • The event is a key fundraiser for the Franklin Land Trust’s efforts to preserve land in the region.

Course Options:

  • 180K, 150K, 115K, 100K
  • Green River Tour (40 mile): The Green River Tour is designed for those riders who want to enjoy the D2R2 experience with a more modest physical challenge.  The majority of this ride is on the dirt road that runs adjacent to the Green River between the towns of Colrain and Leyden, Mass and into Green River Village in Guilford Vermont.

New This Year:

  • Go the Extra Mile Team: We are asking riders to consider asking family and friends to pledge per mile (or per ride) to benefit land conservation. For each $20 in pledges a rider receives he/she will have one ticket entered into a drawing for a CUSTOM DESIGNED Bike Frame by Independent Fabrication. Riders can NOT purchase tickets for this raffle. Only riders who secure pledges are entered into this EXCLUSIVE RAFFLE. To sweeten the deal, any rider who receives $500 or more in pledges receives a free Go the Extra Mile team D2R2 bike jersey designed by Craft Sports. In addition, any rider who receives $500 or more in pledges will receive a free Go the Extra Mile team D2R2 bike jersey designed by Craft Sports. Please choose your event category (180K, 150K, 115K, 100K or 40mile) and an individual team page will be designed for you. It’s completely voluntary and you can choose to share with family and friends if you’d like. Sign up for the G-E-M team when you get your confirmation from
  • Riders should check for and print their own cue sheets
  • Lunch & DINNER are now included for Green River Tour riders
  • Dinner menu is enhanced (new caterer) and now includes a
  • Burrito bar
  • New t-shirt & jersey designs (pictures coming soon!)