The Farmer's Daughter Gravel Grinder
The #farmersdaughtergravelgrinder is not only known for the longest hashtag on Instagram, its also quietly revered among gravel heads as a jewel of an event. While in the thick of road season, this year's Farmer's Daughter offered a change of scenery, an escape to the Catskills, and time with friends on and off the bike.
No two gravel rides are the same. Our two favorite gravel events that we return to every year are Rasputitsa in Burke VT, and the Deerfield Dirt Road Randonee (D2R2) in Deerfield MA. Unlike Rasputitsa, the Farmer's Daughter definitely is a ride and not a race. So it is closer to the D2R2 side of the spectrum in that respect. While the course mileage falls somewhere between the two, there is some seriously technical single track at Farmer's Daughter, which makes for a better comparison to snowy Rasputitsa than the dusty gravel at D2R2.
In fact, next year I hope to do Farmer's Daughter on my XC MTB, as that seemed faster in the technical stuff, as well as more appropriate gearing for the punchy hills.
Having gotten in a 6.5 lap break in Saturday morning's CRCA Club Race, Killington Stage Race on the calendar for next Memorial Day Weekend, and with the 1st week of Rockleigh coming up on Thursday night, Sunday's Farmer's Daughter was not the day to thrash myself with the "Gravel Series" crowd. Although I did get the holeshot to avoid getting caught in traffic in the first technical section, I quickly pulled the chord on any impressive riding feats and just enjoyed the spectacular scenery, friends, and yes even the rain.
The food throughout and complimentary beer after were great and on par with what one has come to expect at these kinds of events. But the live-music and ample Clif bars are what will keep me coming back to Chatham NY for the Farmer's Daughter in the years to come.