October 7, 2018
Join us Sunday October 7, 2018 for the 31st annual ultimate century ride. The Great River Ride has been rated as "one of the best century rides in the USA" by Bicycling Magazine and the League of American Bicyclists. "Gorgeous but gruelling" is Bicycling's description for what we believe is the most challenging century in New England. This is a must do event for any cyclist. Done it before? Come again, each year or two the route changes slightly offering new vistas and new challenges. Can't wait til October? Visit our Berkshire Brevet page for a series of Spring events.
Your entry allows the staff of New Horizons to pursue their bicycle advocacy efforts throughout the Pioneer Valley. New Horizons works with the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, MassBike, the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail, City Governments, and other organizations to improve cycling in the region. Accomplishments include:
- Attend the Annual National Bike Summit in Washington DC
- Share The Road Signs on Westfield streets
- Bike racks on PVTA Southern Tier routes
- Organizer of the Berkshire Brevet Randonneur Series
- Encouraged the city of Westfield to approve a $700,000 bond to complete Columbia Greenway design
- Assisted in the development and co-promoter of the 1st 4 years of D2R2
- Encouraged the adoption of a resolution in support of Active Transportation by the city of Westfield
- Spearheaded the successful effort to prevent the sale of future Rail Trail Right of Way to a private developer in 2006, insuring the future of the Columbia Greenway.
- Introduced a zoning amendment (currently in Legislative & Ordinance Committee) to require bicycle parking in future commercial developments
- Founder and first chairperson of the Friends of the Columbia Greenway Rail Trail
- Founder of Westfield's original youth BMX racing program at the Westfield Fairgrounds.
Choose between five rides; 125 miles, 111 miles, 85 miles, 62 miles, 35 miles. Your entry fee includes a commemorative water bottle (First 300 Entrants), ride refreshments, a post-ride social with entertainment, and loads of great food. Riders registered before Sept. 22th can order a t-shirt. T-shirts might be avaialble day of the ride.
You will encounter knee-popping hills, breathtaking views, awesome descents, and gorgeous fall foliage as you tour the hilltowns of the Eastern Berkshires. Add in miles of stone walls, waterfalls, plenty of New England white churches, loads of colonial homes, historic keystone arches, a wild and scenic river, and did I mention hills. But thats not all, we've got rest stops staffed with friendly cyclists and good food, including our famous "Baked Potato" stop, and a feast at the end. Sometimes we're not sure whether riders come for the ride or just for the food.
The Westfield River, the Great River in the river ride, is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River. The GRR wanders the course of this scenic river to give you a unique cycling experience. For 2018 we're using most of the original route, thanks to Mass Highways repaving projects. The Century will actually total 111 miles with bailout options and we've got the original 25 mile downhill run (mostly) to the finish. Click to view scenes along the GRR.
Our GRR Short Sleeved jersey is custom made by Louis Garneau Cycle Clothing and can be ordered here. A limited number will be available for pick-up day of the ride others will be shipped shortly after.
Our GRR Long Sleeved jersey is custom made by Louis Garneau Cycle Clothing and can be ordered here. A limited number will be available for pick-up day of the ride others will be shipped shortly after.
For 2018 we'll be doing a GRR T-shirt again. For those of you that have done the GRR in the past, you'll remeber how unique our t's always were. We hope to continue that tradition with our 2018 t-shirt. One catch though, only early pre-reg riders can order a T-shirt, so don't wait til the last minute to register, Sept. 22 will be the cut-off date for T-shirt registration.
There are some t-shirts still available for day of the ride.
RUSA 200K Brevet (Pre_Reg Only Lights Required)
RUSA 170K Populaire (Timed Century)
|Century Ride (111 miles)||7:00 - 8:30 AM|
|85 mile route||9:00 - 9:30 AM|
|Metric Century||9:30 - 11:00 AM|
|35 mile ride||Noon|
The GRR is a recreational ride on hilly and winding roads. Riders of all ages and abilities are welcome.
34 x 28 is recommended but strong cyclists will find a 39 x 23 adequate.
Support includes parking, marked routes, sag wagon for rider pickup in the event of an irrepairable breakdown. Rest stops are supplied with snacks, water, and energy drinks.
Sons of Erin , William St., Westfield, MA
Directions to the GRR start:
From the Mass. Pike I - 90, Take exit 3, Right on to Rte. 202/10 South for 2 miles, immediately over Great River Bridge take a Left on to Meadow St., 0.4 miles Left into Sons of Erin Parking.
Attractions For Non-Riders
Bring the entire family to the GRR. There are plenty of attractions in the area to keep everyone happy.
Westfield's Stanley Park offers gorgeous floral gardens and extensive walking paths in its wildlife sanctuary. Just 3 miles away.
Sports buffs can visit theNaismith Basketball Hall of Fame in sprigfield, just 11 miles away.
If history is your cup of tea take a trip to the Springfield Armory National Historic Site (11 miles).
The RUSA (Randonneurs USA) Brevet and Populaire are timed with a 6:00 AM start time for the 200K ride, 7:00 AM for the 170K rideand 9:30 AM for the 100K ride. No adjustments are made for late starts and all finishers must turn in a completed ride passport at the end of the ride to have a time recorded. 200K Brevet riders are required to have lights (front and rear), a reflective vest and reflective ankle bands.
Riders are timed and must check in for a time stamp on their route card at each rest stop. RUSA membership is not required to ride the populaire.
GRR Route Cues
All routes are fully arrowed with detailed cue sheets provided day of the ride. Cue sheets of the routes are available here. Please be aware last minute changes are always a possibility and you should rely upon the cues given out day of the ride.