Date: The fourth Saturday of February, 9:00 am.
the tree and farm race
** 2012 Date: SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 9:00 AM **
Location: Meet at Southhampton Township Park near Shippensburg.
Description: Forty-nine miles gallivanting around southwestern Cumberland County.
(Click here for an interactive map w/ elevation profile.)
This "race" (there will be several race-and-regroup stretches throughout, and we'll probably only end up really racing over the last 5-10 miles or so) is our annual unofficial kickoff to the collegiate season. The ECCC starts its season on the first weekend of March, so The Tree and Farm Race goes off on the fourth weekend of February.
Usually cold, usually windy, sometimes snowy, completing this course is no Sunday stroll. The route offers a survey of wonderful riding southeastern Cumberland County has to offer, with a survey of Mennonite farm lands, Pennsylvania game lands, and four non-paved sections (non-paved sections are highlighted in maroon in the map above).
Unless you plan on never leaving the wheel of someone who knows the course well, you'll want a cue sheet (provided at start) tied to your top tube. The course meanders along all manner of rural farm road, peppered with two sections of loose cinder rail-trail (4 and 2 miles long) and two sections of dirt road (1.5 and 2 miles long), though nothing is too intense for standard 23mm road tires at typical pressure.
And if you're not game for the whole thing, don't worry, the course offers plenty of opportunities to bail and head for the comfort of home or car. (Packing your own map is recommended for this option.)
The "race" starts at Southampton Township Park. It finishes atop the Strohmsberg (the top of Strohm road...also the high point of the TNR course) at the "M & M Roofing" sign.
A view of the finish from the rider's perspective. The finish is at the white elbow sign which reads "M & M Roofing."PAST WINNERS
2012: Micah Engle (1st), Jon Marshall (2nd), Dr. Goatesauce (3rd) ... limp chicken award: Steve Bussey.
2011: Jon Marshall (1st), Dr. Goatesauce (2nd), Pete LoBianco (3rd) ... limp chicken award: Alan Royek.
2010: Jon Marshall (1st), Dr. Goatesauce (2nd), Tim Cusick (3rd) ... limp chicken award: Rider Big E.
We call this a "race," but it's really just a bunch of guys and gals out looking for a good time on a cold Saturday morning. We race, yes, and there's usually a little something fun for the first finishers, but there are no entry fees, no waivers, and therefore no whining if something bad happens to you while on this ride (like you crash and break your carbon frame or someone insults your girlfriend). If you're the kind of person that doesn't play well with others, please don't come. This non-event event is for non-fun-haters only.