Excitedly fall cycling is fast approaching. With it comes crisp departure temperatures, warm coffee shop stops, and a relieving antithesis to structure. Kermesse Sport Oktoberfest Ride in Collegeville, PA comes at the perfect time, and offers 2 routes to choose from (46 & 62 miles). Sign up for the October 21st ride to put a period on your 2018 cycling season.
The ride departs from Appalachian Brewing Company under police escort in the bustling town of Collegeville (Ursinus College is just up the street). Collegeville is compact, quaint, and perfect for small town life. The departure displays a town just waking up, and you exit town in a matter of minutes, head off into rural Montgomery County.
The Oktoberfest Routes offer a heavy dosage of variety. I love the opening miles of hardwood forests, winding roads, and the curious houses close by. There are multiple turns in the first few miles which I continue to dream about. Taking them at a comfortable speed, I truly felt the course, the bike, and that the conditions were designed solely for this moment. The bike gripped the turns, the smell of breakfast wafted from the nearby houses, and the urge for maple syrup entered my thoughts.
One of the most anticipated portions of the ride is along Green Lane Reservoir; the route passes through Green Lane Park. These miles are full of serendipity. Passing by parking lots, I remember seeing early morning kayakers gearing up for a day of exploration. There were dog walkers holding cups of coffee. They all had smiles on their faces. Green Lane’s roads are easy to identify; they are light gray in stature with white lines down the shoulder; the yellow center line is omitted. These roads are not traveled much and the passing group of cyclists give it some attention.
Nestled in the Musser Scout Reservation, the ride’s aid station offers unique seasonal treats, along with event staples. The road along the Scout Camp trends downhill, allowing one to gently rewarm their leg muscles prior to tackling the remainder of the course. What follows, the undulating section along Unami Creek on Swamp Creek Road, is one of my favorite collection of miles in any cycling event, but is even better during the Oktoberfest Ride due to the vivid autumnal foliage.
Bypassing the small town of Harleysville puts large barns from a bygone era on display, but not before viewing many of these farms in open space. The trees are no longer complete canopies, the roads are more vibrant than sheltered. The temperature has always risen by this point, and it is welcomed. With the return to suburbia, thoughts turn to the post-ride meal that is certainly earned with an enjoyable, challenging, and beautiful course.
Though the sun had warmed me by this point, I was eager to have real food and real ale. This desire was quickly fulfilled. Appalachian Brewing Company dresses up the restaurant just for this event; it opens early exclusively for the participants of the Oktoberfest Ride to sit and relax after such an effort. This is unique compared any to other event I’ve experienced, having the brewery opens its doors specifically for a cycling experience. Genuine German food and a large variety of house made craft beers are on offer.
It’s Oktoberfest by bike and it’s Oktoberfest by pub. Most importantly it’s a full Oktoberfest from start to finish.
The 2018 Oktoberfest Ride takes place on Sunday October 21st. Information can be found at: http://oktoberfestride.com/ Registration is available at: https://www.bikereg.com/oktoberfest-ride Use Coupon Code “Movement” to save $10 on your entry fee.
CJ Rudy returned to road biking after a hockey career in Upstate New York. He has bounced around from bike shop to bike shop while writing for his cycling-oriented website, creakybottombracket.com. He can often be found at the Kermesse events starting in the back with a stomach full of coffee. He can also be found riding his local roads in the hills of northern Bucks County or at home with his family and two dogs.