A Gathering of Bicycles

by Andre Kopacki and Kylee Denesha, with additional footage provided by Ed Comeau

No type of weather will stop the devoted cyclists of the Pioneer Valley.

Despite rain, families and friends came together at this year’s Northampton Bike Fest for a full day of riding, smiling and eating.

“We wanted to provide people with an opportunity to join us and share the enjoyment and passion for cycling,” said founder Jeff Barron. “It’s a really great way for people to come together.”

Riders had the choice of which trail they preferred to follow.

“There are five different rides that folks can do,” said Barron. “Most people want to challenge themselves and follow the Century Ride, which is 100 miles.”

The most popular of the trails was the Family Ride, spanning 8 miles long. A parade of big bikes, little bikes and kiddie-trailers took off, and then soon returned to a luxurious BBQ meal.

“We really wanted our riders to enjoy a nice meal after all that endurance. One that isn’t pasta.”

Bike Fest was catered by the lead chef of the Lone Wolf Restaurant. Grilled swordfish, burgers, chicken and salads of every kind were served. The kids really seemed to enjoy the local ice cream.

Northampton Brewing Company served a selection of fresh, craft beer to the adults after a long ride.

“People seem to really get excited about this,” Barron said. “Who wouldn’t want to relax like that after a workout!”

Cyclists and children were welcomed back to the park with smooth jazz and blues played by the Arts Steele band. Although it was raining, they still entertained the crowd.

Not only did the band provide some fun for the cyclists, but there was also face-painting to keep the kids busy.

“My partner Mike and I look forward to this every year,” said Barron. “We’re very passionate about cycling, and we love sharing it with our community. Each year gets bigger and better, and we can’t wait to do it again next fall.”

For more opportunities to bike, check out the Pedal Poker Run this upcoming Sunday, October 2nd.

Andre Kopacki

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