Monday, May 14, 2012

RAID Rockingham :: Race or Ride?

It's probably not much of a stretch to say that most of you here love and ride bicycles, or else you wouldn't be reading this.

So my question for the day is how do you ride your bicycles?  There's a wide range of sanctioned races in just about any locale if you're inclined to pin on a number and fire your pedals competitively, and the last several decades have seen a wave of charity rides sprout up to benefit just about anything.  But what about the person that just wants to go out and ride harder than the costumed enthusiasts riding to save/prevent/find-a-cure for whatever, but doesn't want to bump elbows and bars (and jeopardize their ability to be at work on Monday) at the local town center crit for bragging rights and a chance for the coveted gift certificate to Big Bill's Bowlarama?

Queue the rise of Grand Fondos, Cycle Sportives, unsanctioned races like the Rapha Gentlemen's Races, or as some like to call them, organized challenge rides. Grand Fondos and Cycle Sportives have been popular in Europe for some time now, and like most Euro cycling things, have belatedly made their way to our shores with events like next weekend's Grand Fondo New York, and Levi Leipheimer's Grand Fondo.

In our neck of the woods we've had the Deerfield to Deerfield Dirt Road Randonnee, which splits the difference between being an organized challenge ride and a charity ride (e.g., it's really frickin hard, and it benefits the Franklin County Land Trust, a group that works to protect much of the land that the ride traverses). D2R2 as it is called, is a can't miss event on our calendars, but it is not until August, so what do we do?

Well, our good friends down the hallway at Loco Sports organize and promote just about every road running event in the general area that is worth attending, so we partnered with them to create a local challenge ride, the RAID Rockingham on June 17th.  Is it a race? If you want it to be, then you can feel free to ride against the clock. Will it be fun? Well, there's beer, bikes, and bike swag involved, so... yeah, kind of hard for it not to be.
The route is short enough at approximately 45 miles, but challenging enough for you to leave plenty on the course. We roll out in the morning, so you'll still have the balance of the day to spend on other activities, or better yet, join us for the after party featuring Smuttynose Beer, good food, and lots of swag to give away.

The course is a mix of our favorite packed gravel and paved roads, so a cyclocross bike or a road bike fitted with larger tires is the perfect ride. Don't have a CX bike or a road bike that can take 28's? No worries, we're offering 10% off any Ridley CX bike at our shop, The Bike Factory NH, with your Raid Rockingham registration.

So... sign up, ride hard, drink some beer, tour our shop, and generally have a great time. We'd be honored to show you our local roads and secret stash of packed gravel.