SHIP CYCLING'S SECOND ANNUAL TREE AND FARM RACE
FEBRUARY 19, 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" (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, but since the ACCC generally runs a race on the previous weekend, The Tree and Farm Race goes off on the third 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 the edge of two Pennsylvania state forests.
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 and about a half mile of double-track (if the snow is clear, otherwise we'll take an all-paved detour around these sections), though nothing is too intense for standard 23mm road tires at typical pressure. What with the weather and the terrain, it's our way of giving nod to the spring races across the pond.
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. (However, packing your own map is recommended.)
The "race" starts at Southampton Township Park. It finishes at the top of Strohm road (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."
2010: Jon Marshall (1st), Dr. Goatesauce (2nd), Tim Cusick (3rd) ... limp chicken award (last-placed finisher): 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.
For more about Ship Cycling, please visit us on the web.