This just in from GObike Buffalo…
GObike Buffalo and Massachusetts Ave. Project host
7th Annual Tour de Farms on Sept. 12th
A Bicycle Tour of Local, Urban & Rural Farms
BUFFALO, NY – For the 7th year in a row the Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) and GObike Buffalo are hosting the Tour de Farms, a 35-mile bicycle tour through the City of Buffalo to the Oles Family Farm in Alden, NY on Saturday, Sept. 12th. The ride will stop at a number of community gardens and urban farms in the city before heading out to rural farms east of Buffalo. The event ends with a Local Food Celebration that includes a meal, drinks from local breweries, live music and awards to teams with the Best Costume and Largest Team. Afterwards participants can ride their bikes home in a group, get a ride from friends or family or take buses back to the start location. Bikes are transported back in large trucks.
From humble beginnings with just a few dozen participants the event has grown to a maximum capacity of 500 people due to space constraints at the gardens and farms, particularly the celebration at the Oles Farm. In the past two years the event has sold out, with people being offered a spot on a waiting list.
Rebekah Williams, MAP’s Youth Education Director, says, “One key element for the success of the event has been our continued partnership with Oles Family Farm. Oles Farm supports MAP throughout the growing season with produce for our Mobile Market. The Tour de Farms concludes at Oles Farm, with a delicious local-food barbecue, tours of their gorgeous property and extensive flower gardens and live music and dancing in the barn.” She adds, “All of the farms and community gardens that we stop at along the ride are critical to our region’s food system, and important to the success of Tour de Farms Buffalo.”
A food system is the path that food travels from field to fork, including growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consuming and even disposing of food. A strong local food system supports the regional economy and healthy communities.
Williams says, “Tour de Farms demonstrates the ability to purchase fresh, locally-grown food from farms in our own communities.”
Erin Sharkey, one of the event founders, said, “Biking is such a powerful activity, to see the beauty of the region and be able to travel by our own power.” The Tour de Farms event allows people “to see how big a local food system is, and connect urban and rural [areas].”
The ride is fairly all-inclusive, providing a light breakfast and light lunch before and during the tour. GObike staff and volunteers provide roadside assistance and MAP follows in support vehicles.
“Last year there was light rain in the morning. We fixed about 50 flat tires on the ride and transported dry clothes for people to change into when they got to the Oles farm,” says Henry Raess, event coordinator for GObike Buffalo. “By the time we got to the final farm the sun was shining. It was a beautiful day, and we have a great time every year.”
For more information go to www.tourdefarmsbuffalo.org.