Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Grapes of Wrath - Newtown MTB race 9/20

Received an email the other day from someone asking me about new trails around the McLaughlin Vineyards and the fact that someone was planning a mountain bike race here called the Grapes of Wrath.  Looks like you can even register online from McLaughlin's website.  What I find interesting is that you would think this would be splashed on all the local Mountain Biking Forums and Websites, or even the local shops, but I haven't seen anything.  The only online reference I found was a blurb in the July 17th edition of the Newtown Bee, Mountain Section (it's a section about what's going on, on the Mountain):

Mountain bikers still have plenty of time to get in shape for this fall's race at McLaughlin Vineyards on Alberts Hill Road, organizer Terrence Ford tells me. The Grapes of Wrath Mountain Bike Race will be held Saturday, September 20, and is open to all riders, all classes, he says. Music, food, a kids' bike race through the vineyard trails will all be part of the fun that day. Plus, first place includes a $1,000 cash purse. I'm squeezing into my biking shorts already. For more information, call Terrence at 526-8247.

No offense to Terrence but you would think he would try to publicize this everywhere as much as possible, especially in the very active and often viewed websites and forums including CT NEMBA,,,, the Connecticut sections of MTBR and NEMBA.  The only reference, however, has been in the Newtown Bee above.  That strikes me as really increadibly short sighted from a marketing perspective in which the organizer must be relying solely on word of mouth.  Or maybe that is his intention, keep the race small and local.

I am interested to know what trails this will include because from what I have seen around the vineyard there is the Newtown Trailway, a few old ATV/Horse trails coming off of that and heading in the direction of Shady Rest, and the old Railway bed now gas line.  The Vineyard is seen in the map below as the white area between the bottom track (Railroad Bed/Gas Line) and the top track (Newtown Trailway).

I never saw any trails heading into that hilly section between the two tracks but there very well could be trails in there.  If that is where the race course is heading, that will be one brutal ride.  Of course, I have explored the trails comming off the Trailway that head towards Shady Rest.  The course could be using those.  If the weather is ameanable Sunday morning, I might have to take a ride out there and check it out.


Anonymous said...

Did you go to the Grapes of Wrath Race if so how was it?

Mark said...

I wanted to but already had plans. It could have been the first mountain biking event (not NEMBA related) for the Snack to cover.