The race to the Harpoon ride

The Harpoon Brewery to Brewery (or “B2B”) Ride is a New England Classic. It’s tough and fun. A serious commitment for serious cyclists. And when you’ve done it, you feel a sense of achievement (and you get free beer and a t-shirt to memorialize the event).

It’s been a couple years since I’ve done the ride, here’s my post on the 2009 B2B Ride to give you a feel for some of the details. The good folks at Harpoon have continued to tweak and evolve this ride, and they continue along that path this year. The ride is not for the faint of heart, yet it’s always sold out. Alumni get first dibs at registering in subsequent years, but now they’ll have to register appropriately via the new electronic measurement system to verify that they’ve completed the ride, and at the pace they signed up for.

And even then, alumni status does not guarantee entry after this year:

Along with other qualifications, alumni status will be considered very favorably for ride admission.

You can get the entire low down on the event here: Harpoon Brewery to Brewery Ride

Registration opens next Tuesday, February 15th. Good luck on getting into the event. And if you get in – good luck with the ride!

It’s not just about the bike

Along with the renewed commitment to making/keeping this an event for serious cyclists, Harpoon is raising the bar on the charity aspect of the event:

$100 minimum donation, split evenly and paid directly to these two charities:

  • 50% of your donation will go to The Jim Kenary Brain Tumor Research Fund at Dana Farber Cancer Institute
    • 50% of your donation will go to Team Psycho’s Elite Development Fund, 3 athletes are training to qualify for the 2012 Olympics!
    • Harpoon Indoor Time Trial 2.0

      Harpoon ITT SceneThe second annual Harpoon Indoor Time Trial was bigger and better than last year. Hundreds of racers competed in many heats throughout the day and night. Up to 24 could race at a time, in groups of 8 surrounding a three-sided techno-center of digital race readouts. Racers and viewers could see real-time speed, distance, wattage and other stats for each rider as each race progressed. Little cyclist avatars also played out the action in real-time. Winners of each heat (male & female) got a free case of beer and overall winners (male and female) won free entry into the Harpoon Brewery to Brewery ride in June.

      This year’s race was a lot of fun, and more crowded. The layout was expanded with more bathrooms and larger changing areas. Since the brewery was open for tours this year (with racing on Saturday instead of Sunday), they also setup a bar down near the race warm up area. Uncle Ted’s BBQ food was also available from the Forza-G racing team who were raising money for this year’s PMC ride.

      Boston’s WBUR radio station was also on hand, interviewing various folks for its show It’s Only A Game. The Harpoon ITT show should air next Saturday.

      Boston Cycling Community Organizes Fundraiser for Haiti

      On Thursday, February 4th, from 6:30 PM to 9:30 PM, some of the usual suspects in the Boston area cycling community are coming together to put on an event to support Haiti.

      Colivita New England Racing Team, Redbones BarBQ, and Harpoon Brewery are going to provide a feast for cyclists and others at Belmont Wheelworks in Belmont, MA.

      There will be music, a Colavita pasta dinner, Redbones BBQ, Harpoon Beer, $5 raffle tickets for ‘amazing’ prizes (purchase raffle tix here), and cycling movies. The cost is only $15 and 100% of the proceeds will benefit Haiti. Tickets can be purchased here.

      More details can be found here on the Belmont Wheelworks website.

      Photo Credit: Duchamp

      BBQ and Bikes and Beer

      BBQHarpoon announced another nice addition to next weeks indoor time trial event at the brewery – Bar-B-Q1

      Award Winning BBQ for a Cause
      Forza-G is a charity cycling team dedicated to the cause of cancer care and research. Each year they ride and fundraise as a team in support of the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) and The Jimmy Fund at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Some members of Forza-G are also part of the Award Winning Uncle Jed’s BBQ Team! They are cooking up a great menu for Harpoon ITT racers and spectators that includes: Bratwursts with peppers & onions, hearty chili (beef or pork), chili cheese nachos, red beans & rice (vegetarian) and veggie burgers. Each item will be $5 each. 100% of the money you donate will be dedicated to helping DFCI find a cure for cancer, and all donations are tax-deductible. Thanks in advance for supporting Team Forza-G in the fight against cancer!

      Harpoon does it right. This year’s event is sold out, but check out the event web page ( to peruse some of the details and get ready to sign up for next year. It’s a lot of fun!

      Photo Credit:

      Harpoon Indoor Time Trial

      Cycling and beer go well together. Nobody seems to know that better than the folks at Harpoon Brewery in Boston. The Harpoon Indoor Time Trial takes place two weeks from Saturday, providing a great mid-winter goal for many competitive cyclists and recreational riders alike.

      Though I’m not a competitive racer, I raced in the first Harpoon ITT last year. The event provided great motivation for off-season training and provided a good mid-winter personal training assessment and baseline.

      It was a lot of fun too. The folks at Harpoon did a great job with all the logistics, from sign-up to warm up to the racing action. Fast Splits provided two 8-unit banks of Computrainers so 16 racers were able to compete in each heat. Real-time action was projected onto two large screens overhead. A DJ kept music pumping while a live announcer shouted play-by-play and encouragement for all the racers. It was a really great, fun scene, all taking place right in the middle of the brewery.

      The brewery also has a working bar, and there’s nothing better than a cold, fresh beer after an intense ride. Two free beers were included with each race registration.

      This year the event is taking place on a Saturday instead of a Sunday, and the schedule is shifted to run from the afternoon into the evening. This format should make it even better. They’ve also organized the heats a little differently in order to group the most competitive pro, collegiate, and club teams together.

      Find out the rest of the details by checking out the event web page here. Also check out my post on last year’s event, which includes a photo from the race floor.

      Photo Credit: bdjsb7

      Harpoon B2B Ride 2009

      Whew! What a ride. 148 miles and 8000+ feet of climbing is a long way to go for a beer, but it sure tasted good when we got there.

      The Harpoon Brewery to Brewery ride is an excellent adventure. It’s a ride from the early dawn in downtown Boston to the late afternoon in rural Vermont. It’s also a ride from “I think I can” to “I know I can” to “I’m glad I did.” At least that’s how it went for my inaugural ride this past Saturday.

      Thankfully all the weather forecasts of rain, showers, thunderstorms and the like were wrong. The sun was shining brightly in Boston as we arrived at the start. The ride was very well organized and every detail ran smoothly – from bike and bag drop off, to registration, to corralling riders into groups and launching them off. There was even an optional registration & packet pick up Friday night at the brewery – compete with free beer!

      The ride out to the first water stop at mile 46 in Townsend was smooth and enjoyable. Our group proceeded at a leisurely pace through the more densely populated areas of Boston, Cambridge and Arlington, and then picked up the pace through Lexington Bedford, Carlisle and along Route 119.

      After that, the climbing began. Up through Willard Brook and into Rindge, NH, climbing about 1000 feet over the course of nearly 10 miles. From there the route became more rolling until the big climb of about another 1000 feet, this time condensed into about 5 miles from Ashuelot up into Hindsdale. The hills continued to roll on from there with a few good smaller climbs thrown in for good measure.

      Along the way there were food and water stops that seemed to run smoothly with plenty of port ‘o potties at each. Designed to keep you rolling along, each seemed to feature either simple food choices or just a water refill. Some riders (including my group) also stopped at one of the many convenience stores along the way for additional nourishment.

      At the end, the prison-style shower setup for the men offered a quick refreshing clean up before heading to the bar-b-que (good food!) to listen to live music and enjoy some well-earned Harpoon beer. Bikes were loaded on trucks and riders onto buses for a two-hour bus ride back to the start.

      For more details on the course, check out the Map My Ride site:

      Also, check out the event’s official web page.

      Also to get a feel for the ride, check out “Skip & Dan’s B2B Adventure” YouTube video: